Sunday Thoughts 008

Power, Powerlessness and Freedom

Many exhibits of power are merely grandiose symptoms of powerlessness.

– The person in a uniform who cannot exercise discretion.
– The person in a call centre who must follow a script.
– A CEO whose future is based on shareholder reaction.
– The priest whose honouring of the confessional allows crimes to go unprosecuted.
– Politicians who…..

Agency is the capacity of an individual to act in a given situation.

Moral agency describes an individual’s ability to make moral judgments based on some notion of right and wrong.

The ultimate form of powerlessness is the inability to act on your conscience. When we allow external rules to override our assessment of what ought to be done in a particular situation.

These moments of powerlessness come back to haunt us, as they should. They lie deep in our conscience and rise to the surface years later as admonishments to be a better person.

True freedom is the antithesis of powerlessness. It is the willingness to be held accountable for actions based on a moral judgement of the right thing to do at the time.

It is called Ethical Individualism.


Sunday Thoughts is a weekly series of sometimes incomplete thought pieces to stimulate thinking, and annoy you.

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