July 14th, 2005


rock, paper, scissors


A brief analysis of how power works in the world -- focused here on political power, though the principle arguably holds for, well, everything.* Our model will be the kid's game of our title, and the checks and balances built into its rules: scissors cut paper; paper covers rock; rock breaks scissors. Our basic point: power is never absolutely monolithic, it is a collision of forces -- some stronger, some weaker -- most any of which can attain dominance (become stronger by overbalancing others) under the proper conditions. Collapse )