Jan 20, 2012

The Root of Power over People

Through the reading of the book "The Gnostic Gospels" by Elaine Pagels, I came across the topic of clerical power. While cutting into the possible roots of discomfort between the orthodox Christians and the Gnostics, there's the matter of religion as a way to gain power. Basically, a system of believes such as a religion, gives a group of people, or a person, the right to rule over all the others. Through religion someone can say that God speaks to him directly and has appointed him as ruler over all others. This becomes more clear in different quotes and depictions where a parallel between heaven and earth is drawn, where basically as angels are ruled by God, bishops are ruled by angels and the people is ruled by bishops (or something of the sort. I'm not going into details here).

Through history we have also often said how kings claimed to be appointed by God to rule over their people. Also, religion makes sure you can't question God, God's authority or God's power. This secured air tight the system, ensuring that THEN the authority on Earth couldn't be questioned, for that would equal to question God Himself. In a way this gave also footing to claims of the "true religion", for only a true religion worshipped a true god, and only a true god could appoint a true ruler.

One would sigh releaved and think that's good that those times are over... at least for a part of our civilization, but as I mulled over this matter, I realized that's not true. Our senators, presidents, prime ministers and ministers don't claim to be put in power by God, (God-God), but they claim their power on the name of yet another god that's just as ubiquitous, and often more mythical that real, quite unsubstantial and also free from questioning: The People. But who is this People, and when does it appear? How does this People manifest itself and how does it appoint a ruler of all? 

This People - who are supposed to be all of us - becomes visible at elections, right after the candidates have made many an offering to it so they would be appointed. In many countries where rulers also get anointed by The People, the arm of this empowering god is forged, but that doesn't stop them from claiming the same root for their power, and take over for themselves much more powers, many of them often aimed at looting at the actual people you and I make part of.

As the kings and often the bishops, anointed by God to exercise their power, current leaders claim a power from a root they then disrespect, ignore and often act against. So then, why do we let them do it? They say they have been appointed by the people and they represent us, but time and again they bow to the current court, the current nobles - the companies - and loot from us - source of their power - to give to their buddies and those that have bought their loyalty.

Cuts to taxes for the wealthy in detriment of the social programs that aid the people, or cuts on taxes for the wealthy compensated with a raise on taxes for the people. Permisive labor laws, or the execution of it, protection to the sources of income of companies in detriment of the income and access to services and products by the people. SOPA and PIPA are a question again of favoring the New Nobility against the People, and where is this Rulership appointed by The People aiming at? Who's the Rulership favoring - despite of what it says? The New Nobility.

Certainly as a Root of Power, this god called The People is more like a circus pet, pulled out every four years to do a show.

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