The Powers of the Weak

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by Copabanana, Sep 7, 2015.

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Here is a book I read some years ago. This is part of a review from 1980 in Christian Science Monitor. I will try to get my hands on another copy. In it she identifies specific strategies to gain power used by subjected peoples throughout history. I think therein we might find some of ourselves.
    Worthwhile advice on how not to be subjugated; Powers of the Weak, by Elizabeth Janeway. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. $13.95.

    By Lucille deView, Lucille deView is on the Monitor's staff. SEPTEMBER 10, 1980
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    If you are among the weak -- if, for example, you are a woman -- Elizabeth Janeway says you should know why you are dominated by the powerful, how you are kept that way, and how you can find the power to escape.

    She is happy to point the way with her guidebook, "Powers of the Weak," which contends by its very title that the weak are not powerless at all. They need only learn and use effective techniques against the power structure to become strong.

    Then, newly in command, they can rule their own lives with grace and create a new world in which power is shared for the good of all. This is no utopian dream, she says repeatedly, but a practical blueprint on the verge of coming true, especially if women continue the forward surge of their movement for liberation.

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    It is a hopeful contention, and Elizabeth Janeway is a vigorous cheerleader. She explains the weapons women can use -- a wise mistrust of the powerful and a willingness to band together and exercise dissent. But all the while she warns that change does not come easily and demands bravery, risk-taking, sacrifice, and endless vigilance.

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    It is all in the way we define ourselves, she says. If the weak accept the labels "powerful" and "weak" and accept the roles that go with the labels, they are doomed. They consent to be subjugated. But once the weak identify themselves as worthy and equally capable persons, the maskof power can be ripped away.

    Janeway argues that one of the more devious devices of the powerful to keep their subjects in check is to polarize society and make the weak feel isolated and estranged, a group to be treated differently on all counts.
  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This one stands on its own.

    Hello, mom.

    " of the more devious devices to polarize...isolated and estranged, a group to be treated differently on all counts."