Video instructions and help with filling out and completing Can 8850 Form Governing

Instructions and Help about Can 8850 Form Governing

Music every day of your life you move through systems of power that other people made you sense them do you understand power do you realize why it matters how are something we're often uncomfortable talking about that's especially true in civic life how we live together in community in a democracy power is supposed to reside with the people period any further talk about power and who really has it seems a little dirty maybe even evil but power is no more inherently good or evil than fire or physics it just is it governs how any form of government works it determines who gets to determine the rules of the game so learning how power operates is key to being effective being taken seriously and not being taken advantage of in this lesson we'll look at where power comes from how it's exercised and what you can do to become more powerful in public life let's start with a basic definition power is the ability to make others do what you would have them do of course this plays out in all arenas of life from family to the workplace to our relationships our focus is on the Civic Arena where power means getting a community to make the choices and to take the actions that you want there are six main sources of civic power first there's physical force and a capacity for violence control of the means of whether in the police or a militia is power at its most primal a second core source of power is wealth money creates the ability to buy results and to buy almost any other kind of power the third form of power is state action government this is the use of law and bureaucracy to compel people to do or not do certain things in a democracy for example We the People theoretically give government its power through elections in a dictatorship state power emerges from the threat of force not the consent of the governed the fourth type of power is social norms or what other people think is okay norms don't have the centralized machinery of government they operate in a softer way peer to peer but they can certainly make people change behavior and even change laws think about how norms around marriage equality today are evolving the fifth form of power is ideas an idea individual liberties say or racial equality can generate boundless amounts of power if it motivates enough people to change their thinking and actions and so the sixth source of power is numbers lots of humans a vocal mass of people creates power by expressing collective intensity of interest and by asserting legitimacy think of the Arab Spring or the rise of the Tea Party crowds count these are the six main sources of power what power is so now let's think about how power operates there are three laws of power worth examining while number one power is never static it's always either accumulate or decayed in the Civic Arena so if you aren't taking action you're being acted upon law number two power is like water it flows like a current through everyday life politics is the work of harnessing that flow in a direction you prefer policymaking is an effort to freeze and perpetuate a particular flow of power policy is power frozen law number 3 power compounds power begets more power and so does powerlessness the only thing that keeps law number 3 from leading to a situation where only one person has all the power is how we apply laws 1 & 2 what rules do we set up so that a few people don't accumulate too much power and so they can't enshrine their privilege in policy that's the question of democracy and you can see each of these laws at work in any news story low-wage workers organize to get higher pay oil companies push to get a big pipeline of gay and lesbian couples seek the legal right to marry urban parents demand school vouchers you may support these efforts or not whether you get what you want depends on how adept you are with power which brings us finally to what you can do to become more powerful in public life here it's useful to think in terms of literacy your challenge is to learn how to read power and write power to read power means to pay attention to as many texts of power as you can I don't mean books only I mean seeing society as a set of texts don't like how things are in your campus or city or country map out who has what kind of power arrayed in what systems understand why it turned out this way who's made it so and who wants to keep it so study the strategies others in such situations used frontal attack or indirection coalition's are charismatic Authority read so you may write to write power requires first that you believe you have the right to write to be an author of change you do as with any kind of writing you learn to express yourself speak up in a voice that's authentic organize your items then organize other people to practice consensus go practice conflict as with writing it's all about practice every day you have a chance to practice in your neighborhood and beyond set objectives than bigger rooms watch the patterns to see what works adapt repeat sister in this short lesson we've explored where civic power comes from how it works and what you can do to exercise it one big question remaining is the why of power do you want power to benefit everyone for only you are your purposes pro-social or anti-social this question isn't about strategy it's about character and that's another set of lessons remember this power plus character equals a great citizen and you as the power to be