Power and its Abuses 2

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  • Original Artwork / Carol Matthews

    Original Artwork by Carol Matthews. It is easy to see that American democracy often makes mistakes in the choice of men to whom it entrusts power, but it is not so easy to say why the state prospers in their hands. ~Alexis de Tocqueville, from Democracy in America
  • In the News... The Burden of Office / Gary Bauslaugh

    The orderly functioning of society seems to require that certain powers are ceded to some individuals, on the implicit if not explicit understanding that those given such powers are meant to use them for the common good. This obligation is felt strongly by some, more mildly by others, and not...
  • EDITORIAL: The Abuse of Power (2) / Gary Bauslaugh

    The common saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely has never struck me as quite right. Certainly we see the corrupt employment of power, perhaps never so dramatically and clearly, and drearily, than with Donald Trump, but his power did not make him what he is...
  • Poetry Section / Various Sources

    Poets provide us with unique and insightful perspectives on matters of human importance. In a departure for Humanist Perspectives, we offer here some voices of poets on our theme of Abuse of Power.SEA LIONS DURING THE AMERICAN ELECTION, JAY RUZESKYBAFFLED IN ASHDOD, BLIND IN GAZA, STEVEN HEIGHTONHENRY VIII, TIMOTHY BROWNLOWWELLNESS,...
  • Power, Love and Listening: an Observation of Shakespeare’s Drama / Gwyneth Evans

    The urge to gain or hold onto power over other people is a prominent motive for the characters in Shakespeare’s plays, as it is in many – if not most – aspects of human life. Shakespeare’s kings, tyrants, military and ecclesiastical leaders, and also his parents, siblings, and even his...
  • Does Donald Trump Read Shakespeare? / Gwyneth Evans & Gary Bauslaugh

    Donald Trump did not invent abuse of power. Four hundred years ago, the greatest of all writers recognized that the ways power is applied in human relationships is central to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The theme, explored from various perspectives, appears in all of his plays.
  • The Value of Studying Philosophy / Ben D'Andrea

    The development office of my alma mater contacted me early last March about leaving the university some money in my will. My undergraduate adventure was decades ago and I’m nearing retirement age, so this nudge towards “estate planning” — to use the genteel phrase — wasn’t unexpected.
  • Some Observations on Machiavelli’s The Prince / Ian Johnston

    We are much beholden to Machiavelli and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do. For it is not possible to join serpentine wisdom with the columbine innocency, except men know exactly all the conditions of the serpent; his baseness and going upon his belly,...
  • How to Find Abuses of Power / Dale Beyerstein

    When we think about abuse of power, most of us, including me, find ourselves in the position of the Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1958 to 1981, Potter Stewart, when he was looking for a threshold test for hard core pornography (not obscenity as it is...

    Vocal minorities have at times served a useful social purpose in bringing injustices to public attention, as in the Black Lives Matter movement. At other times, however, they have, caused great social harm, as we witness today in the USA, with aggrieved and fanatical conspiracy theorists threatening the viability of...