The Role Of Power In Society

1340 Words6 Pages
Two traditionally contrasting and confusing ways of using the word ‘power’ have been the ‘power to’ and ‘power over’ paradigms. As Wartenberg explains, “The expressions power-to and power-over are a shorthand way of making a distinction between two fundamentally different ordinary language locutions within which the term ‘power’ occurs. Depending upon which locution one takes as the basis of one’s theory of power, one will arrive at a very different model of the role of power in the social world” (Wartenberg 27). The different models of the role of power are not our concern, this article is related to the varied manifestations of the role and rule of power in society, the manifestations which come to constitute its ‘discourse’: “What gives…show more content…
Throughout the novel one can find the wide web of power-discourse encompassing almost all the spheres of ordinary lives. In fact, power plays a major role in our society by means of prominent and dominant networks. That is why Foucault sees power as more of a means of exertion, rather than of possession. The strategy or mode of execution of power is not one-dimensional; resulting in the fact that there are always a set of power-relations dispersed and disseminated throughout the society: “I am not referring to Power with a capital P, dominating and imposing its rationality upon the totality of the social body. In fact, there are power relations. They are multiple; they have different forms, they can be in play in family relations, or within an institution, or an administration” (Foucault, Critical Theory, 38).These multifarious networks of power dominate, influence, and give shape to the ‘lives of others’ in Neel Mukherjee’s…show more content…
Supratik’s Presidency years are very much influenced by the political ideology of the surging communist activities in Bengal, proclaiming its presence through spirited slogans. Ironically enough, Supratik later discovers the banality of this so-called communist ideology which advocates the revolution of the landless peasants on the one hand, while, on the other, expecting the peasants “to stay within the boundaries set by them”( The Lives of Others 100). As a result, life does never change, the world moves on as before: “All this hurling of bombs, burning of trams, headlines in newspapers—to what avail? The condition of the people remained unchanged. Life carried on as before, restored to its status quo…” (The Lives of Others 37). The sad realization of this hypocrisy and the vote-bank calculus lying at the heart of power calculation drives Supratik to come under the influence of the Maoist ideology, influencing next generation revolutionaries like Sabita Kumari who desperately attempt to take revenge on what they look upon as the megalomaniac machinery of the government that has cruelly crushed the lives of ‘others’ to the
Open Document