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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Max Landis On Power and Man of Steel

"Having that much power makes you responsible for other people."
First let's clarify what power is, though.  It isn't the mad grab for dominance over others that both capitalism and socialism breed - "I have resources and ego issues so everyone either does what I say or simply don't matter."
No.  Power is like driving car on streets where there are pedestrians and bicycles.  You don't try and remove the less-powerful entities, like Rob Ford would do in an attempt to push the weak to the margins and allow cars to rule the world.  What you do, as a driver, is drive responsibly.  As your vehicle has the capacity to kill you are more responsible than the pedestrian or the biker who doesn't have that kind of street clout. 
This isn't to say those with less power have no responsibility, only that those with power have more.  Its why those at the top of the social food chain, be they politicians or sports stars or the super-wealthy get held to a higher standard of accountability than regular people do.  Average folk know that they have less influence than those at the top and will seek to knock down or penalize behavior seen as over-the-top.  Elections, talk radio, tabloid newspapers and thanks to Social Media, social murmuration are the tools we use to keep the powerful in line.
Of course, this is why it's a slippery slope when politicians try to pull the HOAG (Hell Of A Guy) card.  Back to Rob Ford, who has tried to portray himself as an average bear in the same way George W, Bush did; Ford is not rooted in the same world as the everyman/woman.  He comes from wealth.  He has access to people and resources that a kid from the wrong side of the tracks simply can't connect to without a bridge.  When people like him portray themselves as average bears, they are attempting to remove themselves from the increased scrutiny society places on those we know to be elites.
So what if Ford gets drunk at hockey games, doesn't read his Mayoral accountability material or texts while driving?  Any average Joe does that.  Yeah, but not any average Joe is responsible for running a city.
With great power, we've been told, comes great responsibility.  We should demand nothing less from our leaders.
In fact, true leaders strive to give us nothing less.

It's not about having power.  It's about how you empower others.

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