Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A to Z: P for Power

Power has two basic dimensions among humans, physical power and social power. Physical power is measured as the ability to do work and feeds off energy. Energy to me is the key to both dimensions of power. Socially powerful people influence people and control behavior through their energy, either implicit or explicit. Explicit energy is exerted physically or coercively -- think of a police force or military might under the rule of a dictator as one extreme form of explicit energy yielding power, while implicit energy runs the gamut from the ability to hand out material rewards in a parent or a boss to the spiritual energy or ideas of a guru or historical religious figure.
I'm interested in weighing the various forms of energy involved in power to see which is stronger. My  hunch is that implicit energy is stronger than explicit energy. The story of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania on 9/11/2001 is a good example to illustrate the greater power of implicit energy. The knife-wielding Al-Qaeda terrorists were literally overpowered once the passengers, learning of the other hijacked planes that morning in cell phone conversations with loved ones, united and overcame their fear and rushed the cockpit. Overcoming a fear of death is a motif in many stories about power and perhaps is the key underlying theme in the Passion of Christ which Christians celebrate this week. Death of course wields the ultimate explicit expression of energy, which is to master all matter through entropy.

  1. (Photo by Stefan Krause)

In Savior, the leader of the Santos Muertos, Samael Chagnon, seeks power over men by both means, implicit and explicit energy. He's trying to build the Resonator, which will terrorize world leaders into capitulation, and he leads his own followers, the members of the LSM, through the cultish devotion to Lady Death, the Santa Muerte, (see my third post in the A to Z series - C for Cult). He's holding Al Lyons as a prisoner against his will in his facility beneath the Canadian oil tar sand belt in northern Alberta, while Al tries to resist defeat and death using the power of his memories of his family and faith in God.

SAVIOR will be published April 18th on the Amazon Kindle platform by Harvard Square Editions. Visit the SAVIOR page on the HSE website, and then check back here throughout the A to Z challenge month to learn more about SAVIOR and publication launch details.
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