One aspect of this class project will involve students exploring “the facts” about a whole range of different people (or groups), from the past and the present, whom they believe have power of one sort or another.
We’ll be asking questions such as:
- What sort of power does this person have? Who do they have power over?
- How did they get their power?
- What are some specific outcomes of the person’s use (consciously or unconsciously) of their power? Were these outcomes for good or for ill?
- Does the person show signs of being corrupt? Do they have good intentions, or are they motivated by self-interest, greed, cruelty, anger, a quest for celebrity or popularity…etc?
- Overall is the person a good, bad or monstrous influence on their society and the people around them?
The person or group generally has good intentions, and most of the time their power has a positive and good effect on others. We could say they are using their power for good and it improves their society and/or benefits others.
People in this category might sometimes wield their power in a way that affects others positively, but more often it impacts on those around them in a negative way. The motives of the person are often seen to be questionable.
This category is reserved for power-players throughout history and in present society who unquestionably wield their power for ill. They exercise their power for their own whims and gains, in the process causing horrible harm to others.