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Jill Valentine
Apr 6, 2023
Imagine a wealthy individual. They have the power to buy a mug…But are allowed to only buy a mug.

They can choose how many mugs they want, they can buy a mug of over one trillion dollars, buy a blue mug, a polka dot mug. A tall mug, short mug, or a rare exotic mug.

However, they are unable to buy anything else, else face imprisionment, or public execution.

This is a principal I like to call, "The Seemingly Power Theory". In where a powerful civilian has absolute power limited to both his circumstances, or factors outside his or her control.

For example, in where a man in America may have over one million dollars, at the cost that he must report to another individual, else face losing both his wealth and reputation.

Looking at real world examples of this kind of power-setback, you can look at people in gangs, or in the mafia.

A high ranking mafia leader has absolute power within his organization, but he must report to his boss, which means he is powerful to some, but a pawn to others: like a queen is the strongest piece on the chess board, but if the King falls, then she loses the same with all the other pieces in the King's kingdom. In other words even though she is capable of great power, her role is more or less no different than a pawn, if she is unable to truly control how the game is played.

Or a more real world example, a general manager has the power to fire his employees, however, he must report to his boss, else face diciplinary actions as well.

This setback delivers the illusion of power, where somebody rich is powerful, but in reality they're of the same vaule as everybody else.

Looking in the wealthy, you need look no further than the Harvey Weinstein cases, involving his sexual assault of women, who many were high ranking and very wealthy, such as Angelina Jolie, Rose Mcgowen, and many others (BBC.com).

In instances such as these, though forced into this or not; the outcome is the same as the SP Dilemna; in where these high ranking women were able to "buy a mug" any mug they wanted, at any price, at any amount, but were unable to buy anything else. (Able to be rich and influencal, but must have sex with Harvey, else risk their entire career).

-The dilemna isn't exactly the fact that a person couldn't change their minds, it's the reason that if they did, in doing so would face backlash or repercussion.

In terms of power within society, the Seemingly Power is often used by high ranking individuals in order to solidify the chain of command; in other words, when the government uses it on staff, they are unable to tell others about secret operations (like a Black Opps can't discuss his operations or missions). In doing so the Black Opp is powerful—able to buy any mug he wants, and however many he needs–as in, able to enjoy the money received from his service to the government…But should he disobey a request–should he buy something other than a mug, like a lamp—as in, should he decide he wants to tell his friends at the bar about his missions, he will be punished. The Black Opp is a powerless powerful individual, whichs means he's the same as everybody else.

As is shown here, we see that an individual has absolute power, until he wants out of it, then their power is taken away. Many in the rich society are trapped in this dilemna, and the truth of the matter, is that in many of these situations, they are not trapped by force, but willingly, in order to continue to obtain the illusion of power.

To them, the power isn't within their ability to leave, but their power comes from how others view them, and their ability to continue to make value out of a boomerang-linear situation.

When you are trapped in this, the way out would be to apply the same pricinple to the individual holding the mug over you: So because you can only buy mugs, you must have another object that your superior doesn't have that they want, that is of value to them.

Like the Harvey case, Harvey would 'bribe' others to not release his secrets, in order to keep his malice going (If I buy this mug for this, then you must give me a lamp.)

which translate to the typical bribe: If I keep your secret of what you did, you must pay me money.

This is the logic of blackmail, though the Seemingly Power principal isn't just exclusive to blackmail, and isn't simply exclusive to a hate, tolerate relationship. It could also be a positive, positive relationship in a completely different scenareo:

Like a friend and you are in a rock club. You only collect rocks, but your friend is thirsty, so you give him a rock that is shaped and functions as a mug, and use it to collect water coming from underneath a rock. Now you're able to look for mugs, because the cycle has been broken to allow you to use mugs (since the rock was also a mug, now you can transcend roles and use mugs) Until you find a 'bowl', now your club is the Bowl Club, until you find a hat that looks like a bowl, now the hat club. In this, even though water isn't a 'rock' you both must make an exception in order to satisfy each other's needs, which can be a food source, water, ect.

Like a soldier who the government finds is more skilled than others, and uses them to be a Black Opp. Now the Black Opp is old, he trains new Black Opps.

A negative positive, or positive negative switch would be like a plate businessman only allowed to buy mugs, but there's a plate shortage that the superior needs. Now in order for the two to be happy, the superior must buy his mugs from the plate businessman; in this, the two hold something over one another, even though both hold each other on a lease, which translates to neither of these individuals truly having absolute power, only enough to get by like everyone else.

This is the logic of being seemingly powerful.


Harvey Weinstein scandal: Who has accused him of what? (2019). BBC.com Retrieved from URL:

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