What is the power of a nation?
Someone asked a question recently that stated, "Do you think that the United States is still the world's most powerful nation?" My answer hinges upon an understanding or an opinion of just what real power is. I think this question is a matter of perception and of specific concern to every American who holds the Constitution in high regard right now, particularly with the horror the nation is experiencing over the approving votes in favor of s 1867 by Congress, which essentially strips the Bill of Rights from the Constitution and declares war on the People.
First we would have to ask IF in our current value system as a People (not the government making a clear distinction here) are we overly concerned about being the most powerful nation. I don't believe we as a people care one way or another about striving to be or having been called the most powerful. The American People are more concerned about corruption, integrity, rights and responsibilities, and about a quality of life that has less to do with material gain than it has to do with quality of nature. Why for instance do most who disagree with current politics or governance advocate protestation and resistance that does not involve violence? Because to resort to violence lowers us to the level of those who would force such a choice. This is not to say that violence in the face of unsufferable tyranny is not an action the People would ever take or contemplate. This is to say that it is an example of the quality of a People to hold it in grim low regard or as an action of last resort.
Secondly - When we talk about power we have to take into account that power is not necessarily measured by material means. More often real power is a matter of personal perception. A small man might have great power for he does not fail to uphold his oaths or given promises, while a large and materially well endowed man has in truth less power for he stoops in the face of inequity and grovels for the favor of tyrants who have taken power illicitly, though they may be the lesser individuals. To have a great army or a great system of governance does not mean you have great power or influence. These are contraptions that anyone could produce. Power comes from those who take it and apply it; the effectiveness is determined by the limits of perception...and an ignorant population is notorious for being more easily victimized than one which has educated itself or become aware...the nature of the power thus determining the longevity and resilience for it is brittle and hollow in the face of Truth. One man upholding a Truth is fully capable of stripping an entire army of its every capacity for action or effectiveness.
Corruption and self-servance detracts from the perception of power held by would-be influences. A Senator who uses his position for self-gain has little power to silence those who have studied his character and actions then work to see him recalled and removed from this position of honor and expectation. Historically speaking, a silent woman in a bus seat where a mob might not want her can hold great power by choice of refusing the mob obeisance for the sake of what is right; surpassing all fear and thereby unleashing an understanding and a future that otherwise might never have bloomed. A man who speaks his mind in opposition to those accustomed to administrative power, who accepts great personal suffering at the hands of that administration on behalf of the rights of others can wield even greater power among the population of a people, for when he then calls out to them they listen for he has paid the price on their behalf. Great changes can come of the acts of such raindrops that raise the sea, and all the baubles and technocratic toys and insinuated threats in the world cannot hold a candle to the day a People once again realise that power is not some trapping of fabric or title or position or statis you wear, but rather an inherent quality born deep within the heart and soul which you take and apply to your life and your world with unselfish care.