Power itself eventually warp - Deepstash
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Power itself eventually warp

Power itself eventually warp

Even if power is gained by kindness, generosity, and concern for the common good, power itself will eventually warp priorities and become less kind, less generous, and less concerned with the common good, which will erode her power.

For example, poor people give a greater percentage of their income to charity than rich people. Those in power often show more entitled behaviours, drivers of expensive cars are most inconsiderate to pedestrians, etc.

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Definitions of power, status, control, and social class

Keltner offers elegant and necessary definitions of the distinct ideas comprising the constellation of power in modern society:

  • Power is your ability to make a difference in the world by influencing the states of other people.
  • Status is the res...

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Powerful people are busier and more rushed

Power in the modern world is "gained and maintained through a focus on others." 

However, the more powerful a person becomes, the busier and more rushed they become, causing them to become less kind and generous.

It could be that a scarcity of time rather than an excess of power is th...

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37 reads

Thoreau’s wisdom on silence and shouting

Thoreau wrote, "There are many fine things which we cannot say if we have to shout." Yet, a  century and a half later, we've created a culture that equates loudness with leadership and abrasiveness with authority.

Keltner adds to Thoreau's wisdom that a new wave of thinking about p...

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46 reads

Mishandling the power paradox

Mishandling the power paradox

Keltner argues that our culture's understanding of power causes us to mishandle the power paradox.

Our understanding of power was shaped by Niccolò Machiavelli's sixteenth-century book The Prince, but it is outdated today. Today, a different kind of power governs the modern world. ...

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46 reads

Power dynamics

Power dynamics

Psychologist Dacher Keltner writes that at the heart of power is a troubling paradox:

"We rise in power and make a difference in the world due to what is best about human nature, but we fall from power due to what is worst. We gain a capacity to make a difference in the world by enhanci...

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