Home > Life Lessons > The Legitimacy of Power

The Legitimacy of Power

The Occupy Wall Street protests all over the country are fascinating. Of course, it is hard to understand how we as a nation have allowed losses to be socialized and gains to be privatized, but there is more going on which should be cause for reflection. What the protests have really done for me is to begin to make me think deeply about my own nation’s response to dissent and how completely oblivious those in power must be to the changing levels of civilian lead accountability. (This is especially poignant in light of the latest from Egypt.)

Let’s forget for a moment who is right and who is wrong and really look at what it means for police in full riot gear to be facing off against people who look like J Crew models (or college students). Who in power in these cities is thinking about what this looks like on You-Tube and how it comes across on Facebook? How many times will those with power ignore the new laws of social media and user-generated content?


Here is a helpful hint police all over the world. When pondering whether to pepper-spray or beat a protestor ask yourself this, “Would I want my mom to see me beating Ryan Gosling?” If the answer is no, which it always should be, find another way to enforce order if order needs enforcing.

Categories: Life Lessons
  1. November 21, 2011 at 6:53 am

    The legitimacy of leadership only exists to the point that the leadership is for the benefit of those that are submitted under that leadership. If the intent of our government is being questioned by protests, the question is “are you for me?” Trust is at a crossroads.

    The legitimate leader responds with a heart and intent to ensure trust that they are driven by the best interests of those they claim to lead. The evidence of social unrest in the occupy demonstrations raises this question, even if it is not well defined. The legitimacy of leadership hangs in the balance of their response.

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