Power is often confused with dopamine. “If I feel (there’s the dopamine) powerful, then I am. If I don’t, then I’m not.”
Real power, exercised, is often agonizing, or boring. You, yourself, can choose, by effort of will, to get ripped, or rich. In other words: time at the gym, or spreadsheets. Like I said: agonizing or boring.
This is why our votes don’t matter—because we don’t want them to matter. Seriously, who wants the headache of being responsible for a country, and not just some third-world hellhole, but the Empire? We collectively owe CNN and the unelected bureaucracy (so we don’t have to worry about choosing them either) a great debt for taking care of the matter for us.
The reader would be mistaken to think this is perjorative. OK, the very first part, about confusion, is. But the sin here is not “not desiring power” — power’s a headache, don’t have to tell me twice, you want to go get drunk in a shack in North Dakota, you’ll get no shade from me— but lying to ourselves about it.
This is why, paradoxically, the decline of discipline and punishment has made us less powerful. Odysseus was the only man to hear the sirens and come out alive, and his secret was tying himself up.
Don’t you have work to do? Don’t I?