Power Play

Power Play

I have no idea why I was thinking about Harry Potter this morning when I got up but the chain of thoughts that followed were a little, I don’t know insightful sorts. I mean here I was thinking about the HP Series and how cute he is and stuff like that when suddenly I found myself questioning, how is it that in every story, the bad guy who is supposedly more powerful is defeated by an ordinary powerless guy?

I mean the Good over Evil seems a farfetched concept and if you were to think about this logically, there has to be a sensible explanation for this! And as I delved deeper into this, a very different thought came to my mind! And now as I am going to explain this in the rest of the article, I am sure it will make sense to you too! After all it is PURE ECONOMICS!

POWER MAKES YOU WEAK! Yes, I know you are probably wondering how having Power could actually make you weak. I mean doesn’t power mean to be stronger and better than other men and doesn’t it actually give you an edge over all the other powerless creatures? It may, for a small period of time and as an Economist, I am going to explain exactly how it makes you weak.

Define Economics. It is making the best possible rational choice in the face of scarcity. We all know that the resources are limited and that in order to utilize them efficiently; we need to take a rational decision or make a choice on how to make use of those resources for our best possible profit.

Now every human being is endowed with these resources, the normal ones that everyone has – two hands, two feet, a pair of eyes, a brain (define the normal anatomy) which he learns to use efficiently to the best of his ability. Some are less endowed while others are more and thus you learn to live with that. Thus every person is practicing Economics in their life by utilizing the resources at hand to their optimal use and deriving the maximum benefit that they can from them.

Now power is external and could mean different things to different people. For some, more money brings power while for the others it could be their position in the society, for some it could be the connections that they have while for others it could be the weapons at their disposal. For some it could also be their brain, their genius minds which give them more power than the others. The problem is it messes with the whole dynamics of Economics.

Okay before that, here I am assuming that you have acquired this power sometime later in your life. Assumptions are like breathing oxygen for an economist and to establish my theory, I need to set some ground rules. And almost in 90% of the cases power is acquired at some point later in life so, having established that let’s move further.

A person, born with certain resources (abilities) learns to use them to the best of his advantage and efficiently. Now, if you were to increase an old resource or add a new one which is abundant in nature and gives him “Power” over the others, the person would then focus more on this new resource than necessary, leaving or ignoring the previous scarce resources. His efficiency would go down because now he could experiment with his choices and not concentrate on the best possible outcome as he has a lot of it stored up his sleeve.

Logically speaking, if you give someone an extra lollipop, all their attention would center on that one lollipop and would conveniently forget the other resources that you already have but they are in limited supply. When you have something which is scarce, you are more reluctant to waste it and thus would try and make the best possible use of it. On the other hand, if you had abundant resources at your disposal, you will use more of it than necessary and thus not only waste it in the process but also ignore the other resources which you already have with you but which are in limited quantity.

As I said, it simply messes with the whole dynamics of Economics!

Now coming back to the main question – how is it that in every story, the bad guy who is supposedly more powerful is defeated by an ordinary powerless guy? Because more power means extra resources which the villain happily wastes and with all his attention on that one extra resource, he ignores all the other resources that he has and thus does not use them to the best of their capacity. While the “Hero” has all the resources (scarce of course) and thus makes the best possible use of what is available to him and utilizes all of them to the best of their capacity.

So, economically speaking it is one large resource which is being used inefficiently versus all the scarce resources being used to their optimal level. You decide whose side you are on then!

And if you were to apply this to our world economy, this holds pretty good for that too! How it that a small country is doing is so well while the super powers of the world are dangling in the recession? How is it that a village is being developed and is prospering while the development of the entire country stands questionable? How is it that a new producer ends up with a blockbuster while the big wiggies of the industry are struggling with a series of flops? How is it that a small factory is making unimaginable profits while the entire industry is taking the hit?

Life isn’t that complicated. If you figure out the economics behind every situation then you can handle it very easily. And everything in life, if broken down is just pure Economics! You just need to figure out how.

8 Responses to Power Play

  1. Anukool says:

    Consider Villian as any person, who increases the entropy in the system and Hero as any person who helps maintain the equilibrium in the system. Since the fundamental tendency of villian is to increase the overall ‘Entropy’ of the system, he will utilize/waste the resources for the personal benefit, and the Good guy will fight against him to avoid that…..

    Another food for thought… Japan is next to US among the list of developed economies, however, its power consumption is just half of US!!!!

    • Swati Bhalla says:

      Absolutely! It is not just about how much power you have, rather it is all about how efficiently do you use it to achieve whatever your goals are! You’ve just given a better terminology that I can use in this article :)

  2. Swati, you reminded me.of a book called 48 immutable laws of POWER. Going through the book, always made me uncomfortable. What it said about power was so against our outlook of morality, humanity and ethics.

    your article opens up a whole new perspective for me. Thank you for writing this one!

    • Swati Bhalla says:

      Thank you bhaiyya! Its just one of those weird mornings when you wake up with some weird thoughts inside your heads and then question yourself, how can this be even possible?! Guess this one made more sense when I woke up and I am glad I penned it down for everyone to read :) Will be back with more!

  3. Alakh Sehgal says:

    Well the famous quote by Spidey’s aunt sums it up…

    “With greater power comes greater responsibility !”

    Responsibility to take sensible decisions, make best possible rational choices….

    Anyways a thought-provoking article though…

    • Swati Bhalla says:

      Hehe!! Correct Alakh bhaiyya! I really missed this quote in the new movie!! Thank you for your appreciation :)

  4. Ravi Prakash says:

    A thought provoking article for sure…I guess this is what thinking outside of the box means…It also is reminding me of Abhinav Bhaiya Explaining the System’s thinking. It looks like you have applied ‘systems thinking’ with economics as its base…

    • Swati Bhalla says:

      Hehe Thanks Jiju!! I seriously have no clue whether I did apply Bhaiyya’s Systems Thinking or not, it was more or less a question which triggered a few ideas which I finally penned down and the result is here for you to read!! But I am glad it provides further base for more such deep thinking!!! Happy to Help :)

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