Submitted by [deleted]
on February 28, 2019 at 11:18 AM in AskRaddle
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It's for sure power. Split the atom, make states even better at genocide.
Replying to !deleted8205 (#104,701)
No, lots of knowledge keeps you alive. Like knowing which plants are toxic. It's only power when it creates authority. The best way for knowledge to create authority is for it to be exclusive; only available to the elite. Knowledge about your ecosystem passed down from generation to generation isn't authority forming like e.g. knowledge about how to split an atom - which can only be understood and utilized by elites.
Replying to !deleted8205 (#104,743)
authority existed long before capitalism, in fact knowledge was even more exclusive back then because only royalty and the church had access to it. civilization created authority. before civilization, everyone was on equal footing. after it, certain people were enshrined with power and authority.
Knowledge is indeed power. But it doesn't have to be an authoritarian power. If the knowledge is accessible to all then that power is equal amongst all. Knowing what is edible, how to shelter yourself, how to clean your water, etc won't allow you to have power over others unless that knowledge is exclusive to a select group of people. Knowledge could allow you to live your life the way you wish if it were not for the state and/or land owners.
if you define power as the ability to do stuff, the relationship between authority, knowledge and power becomes quite simple imo:
authority is the power to increase or decrease the power of other people
knowledge has 2 versions: it's either a tool to predict the outcome of actions (so we could say it makes power visible); or it's a tool that opens up new possibilities (like unlocking stuff on a skill tree of power lol)
maybe knowledge could be called a power optimizer/enable: it makes using power more efficient, easy, and effective.
No. Think of all the uneducated unlearned people with massive amounts of power and all of the extremely intelligent people you know who work shit jobs, etc.
Replying to !deleted8205 (#104,812)
I guess you could say that, white not forgetting that having power, in itself, isnt bad!
Replying to !deleted8205 (#104,810)
If the knowledge and application of that knowledge is available to all, then I don't believe it to be authoritarian. If it's locked behind a pay wall (or restricted to a group of people based on some form of discrimination) of some sort, it's authoritarian. An example of this would be learning primitive survival skills but lacking land to practice application of the knowledge (also, most wilderness survival skills teachers charge hundreds of USD for a few hours of lessons).
Replying to !deleted8205 (#104,825)
Power is not bad in and of itself. It is how that power is applied.
Replying to JayGrym (#104,830)
"with great power comes great responsibility" - uncle ben
Feudal systems were wholly reliant on the control of the spread of knowledge to maintain the caste system. That's why knights and their hand-picked men at arms dominated martial academies, mercenary bands and training fields to maintain their chokehold on the knowledge of warfare, clergymen read sermons in Latin to restrict biblical knowledge and understanding and therefore the ability to interpret teachings from the flock, and guilds initially formed to protect the interests of city-living freemen eventually became entities like the Hansa forcing all who would learn a trade to learn through their channels. Without the restriction of learning opportunities by birth or wealth, eradication of oral cultures that would otherwise pass on their ways outside of the Church's or the University's supervision, and enforcement of poverty and illiteracy among even yeomen, feudalism would not have been able to survive. Translating the bible into German is the one good thing protestants did for anyone.
Replying to !deleted8205 (#104,834)
Understanding how to split an atom is one thing. Having the ability to apply that knowledge is another as it is heavily regulated by the state.
Replying to !deleted8205 (#104,838)
very good video btw
Maybe we need a generalized example in order to break down the definition of each power and how they interact with each other. I think the example would have to have an easily traceable timeline in order for us to understand these things. Also, we may need separate categories for the various types of power as that seems to be a large portion of the original question. Hopefully someone has a good suggestion for the example and hopefully it can touch on each power structure.
Replying to !deleted8205 (#104,845)
Yeah. A society that, for example, taught its oral traditions to all its members and allowed for unrestricted pursuits of the arts, the trades, weapons training etc. would be one in which that knowledge wouldn't be any inherent advantage over another member of that society, since there would be no barriers to one learning the same skills.
Replying to betterletter (#104,818)
I feel like u/TheLegendaryBirdMonster addresses this very well in their comments.
Replying to !deleted8205 (#104,854)
The druids themselves are a case of controlling the flow of knowledge to maintain both their own monopoly on religious interpretation and as a pedagogical tool for their new initiates to be forced to recall lessons by rote or mnemonic devices rather than to become reliant on referencing texts. However, our knowledge of them is deeply fragmented both because of this method of teaching and because of what amounts to a society-wide character assassination by the Romans, painting them as violent inscrutable barbarians who engaged in whatever activities the average Roman noble would find distasteful or obscene. Because of this, it's hard to understand just how widespread druidic teachings were, how they differed from region to region and tribe to tribe, and how often the rule of not committing religious knowledge to writing was broken.
We do have surviving continental celtic texts (E: mostly secular or written by layfolk to clarify) written in Latin and Greek script, and so understand a bit of their languages, but in the way that an englishman would understand Japanese through romaji. Poorly and lacking many nuances of the language.
As others have pointed out, the way knowledge is distributed is also key in determining the effects of that knowledge.
Replying to GaldraChevaliere (#104,856)
America relies on rote learning.