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The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be by Moisés Naím

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CHAPTER FIVE

WHY ARE LANDSLIDES, MAJORITIES, AND STRONG MANDATES ENDANGERED SPECIES?

The Decay of Power in National Politics

THE ESSENCE OF POLITICS IS POWER; THE ESSENCE OF POWER IS politics. And since the Ancients, the classic path to power has been the pursuit of politics. Indeed, power is to politicians what sunlight is to plants. What politicians do with their power varies; but the aspiration to power is their essential common trait. As Max Weber put it almost a century ago: “He who is active in politics strives for power, either as a means in serving other ends, ideal or egoistic, or as ‘power for power’s sake,’ that is, in order to enjoy the prestige-feeling that power gives.”1

But that “prestige-feeling” is a fragile emotion. And these ...

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