When you hear the word power what immediately springs to mind? What I mean is, what image comes to mind when you think of a powerful person? It is an interesting question for sure, had you asked this question at the turn of the century or maybe 30 – 50 years ago I’m pretty sure that the only face that would have come to mind would be that of a middle aged white man because that’s what power looked like for most people in the western world, and that would have been an accurate depiction of the face of power in the 20th century but I’m not so sure that’s the case now.
In today’s world, the face of power has a very different face, to begin with, I think it’s much more commonplace now to see a woman as the face of power. The last 50 years have seen women begin to take their rightful place at the table of power and the dynamics in the workplace alone have been at the very least revolutionary and show a definite change in the face of power. And it’s benefited the workforce, one example that demonstrates this is the flexible working hours we now enjoy, if not for the injection of women in everyday positions of work and the need to accommodate the different demands that life places on women such as childcare, I doubt things would have changed in that area of work. But not only is it the perception that women can hold power that’s changing but the idea of non-Europeans and power which has also changed.
Who can deny the fact that we now see the rest of the world staking a claim as a legitimate face of power, China is the world’s second largest economy and India (as well as many other nations) are beginning to exert their economic influence. The world is beginning to see more variety and that can only be a good thing.
So how come the results of power are still the same and why is it that the change seems to have occurred mainly at the top of this pyramid and the base is just becoming wider and wider. I think it was erroneously assumed that the introduction of women and non-European nations would bring about real change to the lives of the everyday working person, lasting change for the better and for a wider section of society but time and again this turns out to not be the case. In the UK poverty levels have risen according to a Poverty and Social Exclusion project at Bristol University (2014) from 14% in 1983 to 33% in 2012, even the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that in 2016 after housing costs have been taken into consideration, the number of people living in the UK in relative poverty to be 13.44m (21% of the population) and this in a country with the world’s 5th largest economy in terms of GDP.
But this isn’t an isolated incident unique to the UK, all over the world you’ll find that despite women and other nations becoming far more involved in how the world’s global economy is shaped it still appears that those who govern the world are people of the same mentality with the same agenda and it’s not one of equality and harmony, but one of domination. This leads me to wonder whether despite the outward appearance of change has anything really changed? It still seems that those governing the world are the same but they’ve changed who we see through manipulating the media into gaining the public’s trust into believing that with the changing face of power there’s a change in policy. But the truth is if you care to take a look, it is all too familiar and the reality of the matter is that despite the outward appearance of change it’s business as usual.
I mean, when there’s a changing of the guard do you think it means things have changed or that someone else is standing on duty protecting the same interests for the same people?
By Carl Mason