New thoughts are rare to me now. Thoughts that are worth dancing with in my mind. Thoughts I want to buy a drink, that I want to ask home, that I want to seduce and be seduced by me. That I want to be brave for. Thoughts that scare me.
There is a meeting. Between someone with power and someone who has power exerted over them. I read somewhere once that power is the capacity to get someone to carry out one’s will. It isn’t. Power is the capacity to get someone to share your expectations. The transference of action, the extension of one’s capacity to act, is a dumb force. It is muted. You can’t have a conversation with it. You can manipulate it like a lever. This has to happen, therefore I can make this happen. It can be reversed. It is a weak power.
For someone to share you expectations means there is a temporal feedback loop. It is inescapable. A future event guides your actions. You have an expectation of what should happen and it isn’t your own. It is inevitable. This is far more profound that getting someone to act. One is a question of ideology, a question that can be answered with action. The other serves as the basis for reality itself. There is no question, because all questions assume it.
Within this meeting the person with power acts with a ruthlessness. They are ruthless which means they don’t care about the other person’s expectations. There is no ethical dialogue of a common goal, of shared equitable expectations. To be ruthless means imposing one’s expectations on another.
It also means acting without shame. You need to be shameless to be ruthless. Most decent human beings feel shame when they impose their will by forcing someone to share their expectations.
The profit motive of capital is how we describe its ruthlessness. Capital has no shame.
In the meeting the person without power is in a room full of his bosses, his managers. They all share expectations. They want him to share their expectations. For that he shall be rewarded. He needs to learn how to become shameless.
Or figure out how to make them feel ashamed.