The Sources of Power
T;0SE who aim at any radical reform of our social system are faced by the difficulty that the existing system is advantageous to the holders of power, and
is therefore difficult to change. It is not easy to see how power is to be wrested from those who now possess it, unless by a struggle so terrible as to destroy our whole civilization. The apparent hopelessness of this problem causes many to acquiesce in present evils in spite of keen consciousness of their magnitude, while it leads other to a recklessly revolutionary attitude which estranges those who have a sense of social responsibility. I believe that the problem is by no means as insoluble as it is thought to be. Power, even the most monarchical, requires a popular basis, either in the general opinion of some large group or in its traditions and habits. Tradition and habits strong as they are, are diminishing forces in our kaleidoscopic world. Thus opinion becomes the decisive factor in determining who is to hold power in the future. This is the thesis which I wish to establish, by analysing the main sources of power in modern communities.