"Power consumes those that do not have it".
This statement belongs to Giulio Andreotti the unflinching and enigmatic Italian politician who was present in Parliament without interruption from 1945 till his death in 2013, who was seven times Prime Minister, and Minister on innumerable occasions. In other words someone who understood power.
Oriana Fallaci wrote this about him: "I felt an unease which I couldn't quite describe. The all of a sudden I realised that it wasn't unease. It was fear. This man made me fearful. But why? He had welcomed me with infinite kindness: with cordiality. Real power has no need for insouciance, long beards, a booming voice. Real power strangles you with silk ribbons, with politeness, intelligence".
Power is never enough, it never leaves you sated. Power is a powerful drug that requires ever greater doses, the s... _OMISSIS_
...siac. The desire for power is absolute and irreversible.
Power is an inner vortex that inebriates souls, that weakens the mind, that gives a sense of omnipotence, brings with it money and sex. The powerful have escorts, money, privileges, they don't have to queue at airports or at post office. They are surrounded by armies of adulators, by legions of adoring volunteers. They speed through life to the sound of wailing sirens.
In a week they handle money, take trips, meet important people and take part in events in greater measure than could many generations of ordinary people.
They live up to excess. A life multiplied by two.
They become physiologically dependent on power, often if they are denied it, they become ill and perish.
Ordinary people malign politicians from a distance, but given the opportu... _OMISSIS_
...se they become obsequious, they warm to the occasion, they feel a pang of fear, they hope to be able to gain some advantage by rubbing shoulders with the powerful, they believe that their proximity to power has somehow elevated them to the ranks of the powerful, only to then revert to their previous condition, satisfied in their pride, inebriated by the blinding light of the occasion that they just witnessed, that they will remember and talk about for years after.
People boast of impossible liaisons with the powerful. They pretend to possess their phone numbers. If they manage to get themselves photographed next to the powerful, they have the photograph framed and place it in their living rooms.
Power is success, it means being in the spotlight, it means escaping from obscurity, from nowhere, from anonymity and every day squalor, to gain a place in the sun, it means acquiring respect and reverence, to ... _OMISSIS_
..., it means becoming a protagonist in television history, of the exclusive theatre reserved to the movers and shakers, to whom all the others pay silent homage from the shadows, it means acquiring a small piece of immortality.
Power has invisible hands, it controls everything with invisible strings. It is fleeting, fast omnipresent, mysterious, can't be captured, it lurks in everyone's shadow. You can only ever see its tip, like an iceberg. nothing or nearly nothing is left to chance.
Power is a manipulation of reality.
And when reality eludes it, power becomes the manipulation of the interpretation of reality, of its recording or non as the case may be, by virtue of channels of communication.
And since reality exists in the state in which it is manifested in people's minds, power through information and disinformation has control of th... _OMISSIS_
Power is control. Control of one's consciousness, one's feelings, one's thoughts and wishes, and also of decisions and actions. It imposes values, behaviours and ways of doing things, sometimes by gentle or violent coercion, sometimes by legitimate or underhand means.
With a simple touch, power can create or destroy lives, careers, reputations and destinies.
Power is dangerous, ruthless. those that resist it are brought to heel or crushed by any means. At times when required, even by recourse to murder. Dogmatic judges, brave journalists, honest officials, awkward witnesses. The litany of excesses, abuses and mysterious deaths is endless.
The powerful can smell one another, are attracted to each other, join exclusive clubs, become masons, join secret societies, exclusive oligarchies. However, power divides and isolates everyone else.
Power uses and takes over everything, influences all, doesn't spare anything, doesn't forgive or forget anything.
Nonetheless, as Pope Francis has said, power could also be called something else, something which is identified in the humble word: service.
Is politics really service?
Aimed at the people?