04 February 2012
Basic Power and Political Power
I ran into a terminological problem in the previous posts. I was making the argument that it is more acceptable for non-sovereigns to demand a share in the spoils of government than to demand a share in the actual decision-making of government.
To do that I had to classify those people who have power₁ to make demands on government, but who don't use that power₁ to actually share in power₂ by influencing government policy. I need a different word to distinguish the capability to influence policy from the exercise of that capability. I would like to call the first "potential power", except that Etymology Man would come crashing through the window, and it's too cold in here as it is.
The best I've come up with is "Basic power" versus "Political power". So I can say that those with basic power owe loyalty to the sovereign, but can expect to be rewarded for that loyalty. Any attempt to gain political power, rather than wealth and status, is disloyalty, and should be opposed by all right-thinking people.
The terms aren't really obvious though, and I'm hoping to find better ones.