On Power

Power is the ability to marshal flows of energy.

Where individuals marshal energy flows, be they politicians, fictional characters with fantastic  powers, electric guitar players, or corporate executives, matter and energy accumulate. Such command of energy flows is related to charisma, and can confer reproductive fitness. Political power may also be quantifiable, if we measure the power density of energy flows commanded by powerful individuals. Decentralized information (the Internet) and decentralized energy production (renewable energy production technologies such as rooftop solar panels) are disruptive of Agrarian and Industrial Age power concentration paradigms. The individuals who control the energy flows in those paradigms do not want to see them supplanted. They entrench against an onrushing future.

That matter and energy accumulate and concentrate in recurrent patterns seems to indicate that such concentration of surplus energy (and, therefore, wealth) is in the fundamental nature of the universe. In human affairs, unless such concentration is purposefully checked by regulating how matter and energy (money and power) accumulate at energy flow nodes, it leads naturally to feudalism and monarchy – and presents an existential threat to democracy.



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