Shakespeare on Power

“Then every thing includes itself in power,
Power into will, will into appetite;
And appetite, an universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,
Must make perforce an universal prey,
And last eat up himself.”
(Troilus and Cressida, act 1, sc. 3)

Tips for Use.  Optimal way to concisely describe the structure of power. Especially when the structure is stripped of the usual sanctimonious and hypocritical expression of love for democracy or similar. Should these lines trigger the interest of some to discover (or re-discover) more on the subject, they may refer to Machiavelli’s “Prince”. Incidentally it is usually assumed… that Machiavelli advocated the theories he exposed on the strength of examples. This is not so. He wanted to warn people about what to look for, so as to be able to defend themselves. And yet, not even Machiavelli could have foreseen the power system that has gradually evolved – when a reasonably large part of the population has access to information. That is, create a fictitious opposition that fictitiously fights an equally fictitious majority. By so doing the bewitched, befuddled, bewildered and mythical average man acquires the strong illusion that he lives in a ‘democratic’ country. And when an illusion takes hold, it is easier to believe subsequent illusions. An example of which is the famous pronouncement by George W. Bush that Afghanistan wants to invade the United States “because they envy our freedoms”.
A fictitious component of democracy was always present, but from Reagan onwards the fabrication of fictitiousness has made giant strides without any real opposition. A hope for redress can only rest on the essence of today’s Shakespearean lines. That is, appetite, seconded by will and power, will turn everything into a universal prey and (may) eventually eat up itself. Pessimistic? Maybe but consult the blog of a few days ago, “And yet to me what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me….”
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In the play. Ulysses upbraids the Greeks for their weakness and lack of unified authority.

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