I am convinced there is something revealed when exploring how individual power plays out in in ‘public’ relationship once the individuals coalesce into groups. I suggest the groups reflect shared perspectives of “power” – the need for it, how it works, how it can be maintained. Groups claiming to be disinterested in “power” are either uncommonly mature, or support one another’s disinterest in such a way that they share a “victim” role.
There is nothing wrong with “power”. But there is a huge difference between an “inner, secure, “felt” personal power” and a “need to act out external power-over another/others” to experience a sense of power. The first is deep, and has no requirement to prove itself; the second is based on a ‘felt insecurity’ that must be overcome time and again by wielding power over another or others to “prove” power when it is not securely felt.
The first is often labeled “empowerment” (of self thereby of group); the second, as already noted, insists on “power-over” (by self and/or or group).
A study of martial arts that includes philosophy of the arts reveals the same distinction. A skilled martial artist has no need to demonstrate power to prove anything. Highly developed skill is calming, and the individual meets challenges in confidence. The skill, when/if it is used, meets the situation competently and effectively. Then the event is over. An assailant may not even be seriously harmed, depending on the level of the challenge. The skill is a physical way to say: “I don’t think your plan is a good one, and I won’t let you carry it out on me.” Not the least co-dependent; but also not the least of lasting importance. The skilled practitioner returns to whatever was happening prior to the assault.
Competence and confidence. No real need to prove power. No need to practice “power-over” as a way of life. No need to accumulate “proof” of power. Adler was onto all this in a big way.