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Henry Stein January 20th, 2007 09:13 PM

War in Iraq
 
"Learning Counterinsurgency: Observations from Soldiering in Iraq," by Lieutenant General David H. Petraeus, U.S. Army, includes a section on "Paradoxes of Counterinsurgency." His comments about the uses and abuses of force echo Adler's thoughts about striving for power.

(From "The Psychology of Power," Chapter XV, in "The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume 6, Jounral Articles: 1927-1931.")

"The striving for personal power is a disastrous delusion and poisons man's living together. Whoever desires the human community must renounce the striving for power over others."

"To prevail through violence appears to many as an obvious thought. And we admit: the simplest way to attain everything that is good and promises happiness, or even only what is in the line of a continuous evolution seems to be by means of power. But where in the life of men or in the history of mankind has such an attempt ever succeeded? As far as we can see, even the use of mild violence awakens opposition everywhere, even where the welfare of the subjugated is obviously intended."

"It would be a gross deception to admit power intoxication only for the individual psyche. The mass also is guided by this goal and the effect of this is the more devastating as in the mass psyche the feeling of personal responsibility is essentially reduced."

"Modern psychology has shown us that the traits of craving for power, ambition, and striving for power over others, with their numerous ugly concomitants, are not innate and unalterable. Rather they are inoculated into the child at an early age; the child receives them involuntarily from an atmosphere saturated by the titillation of power. In our blood is still the desire for the intoxication with power, and our souls are playthings of the craving for power."

"One thing can save us: the mistrust of any form of predominance. Our strength lies in conviction, in organizing strength, in a world view, not in the violence of armament and not in emergency laws. With such means other strong forces before us have fought in vain for their existence."

"For us the way and tactics emerge from our highest goal: the nursing and strengthening of social feeling."

George Neeson January 23rd, 2007 10:38 PM

Re: War in Iraq
 
A wonderful quote that applies from the current world conflicts to the corporate world. As a Canadian, I would rather not comment in any way that could be seen to be political, but the hope for mankind can never be found in personal or national aggression aggrandisement or the seeking for power by force.


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