On the Nature of Political Power
Those are the only means by which power is exchanged. The problem is that most among the nations think power is either something intrinsic or controlled by those in authority. It is not. Those who wish to obtain or maintain power only have three real tools at their disposal.
- influence, prestige, prominence
- armed forces
- natural resources
- magical items
- magical guilds
- magical lore
- special rights
The Three True PowersBe not like those among the nations. The Eternal Padishah taught us that the only real powers a leader possesses are sharing, giving, and force. Through the use of these powers in isolation or in combination, any who chose to be a leader gain the consent of others and build their power base. Called the paths of Gold, Silver, and Iron, all must follow these ways if the wish to accrue or maintain power. Each has its own benefits and limitations, but in every power structure, all three exist in some degree.
The Golden Power of SharingShared reward and loss breed personal interest in the success and failure of the corporate endeavors of the group as a whole. Mutuality is key to maintaining stability in consent among any collection of individuals. When all members of a collective body feel a personal investment in the mission, vision, and goal of the institution, consent is freely given to empower the actions power requires. Openness and clear accountability are the foundations upon which this power is exercised. Strange to say for those who live in the Secret Kingdom of the Rivers and Lakes, but it is the underlying nature of the Golden Path. For this reason, it is discouraged to employ those who have not been judged before The Ember Throne and been found worthy to walk among us in the secret places of the world. The secrecy necessary to keep our ways from the eyes of those who would seek to end them.
The Silver Power of GivingEquitable balance is key to maintaining stability in consent among the trade partners. Imbalance, prejudice, or partiality weaken this path to power. One who follows the silver path must place the balance above their own desires lest the whole endeavor is for nought. The silver path also requires adherents to work against prejudice and partiality or the whole project will be rightly seen as little more than a show of power with no real intent or magnanimity behind it. The art of giving is no different from the art of asking. To receive in any measurable way, one must be willing to give, else one takes rather than receives and this is the path of iron. ￼
The Iron Power of ForceConcord is key to maintaining stability in consent among the solidarity. Force erodes consent when inappropriately, disproportionately, or prejudicially applied or tolerated. Beware the path of iron. Many have fallen to ruin along its course and have lost their way. The lack of trust and injustice fostered by its misuse and misapplication cannot be easily mended and require the the efforts of generations working in concord and solidarity to rebuild. It is better not to erode truth or betray the consent garnered than to squander it for temporary and impermanent gains. Power maintained with the blade always ends with the most bitter cut. Do not make the same mistakes as those who came before you, but learn from their errors.
The Quirini Theory of Power￼ The Quirini in their wisdom saw that states possessed only three powers all of which are illusions on the path of iron:
- Pereziz- imperium, the power to command
- Auctoritanz- prestige and influence
- Potestanz- power to coerce