Friday, March 29

Proletariat

How easy is it to abuse power?

Being Indian, we see the innocent trampled under the iron heel of what passes for government almost every day. In Mumbai, every minute. Being people with internet connections, and about 20 minutes a day when we're not on Twitter, FB or torrenting a movie, we read about it happening, overtly and covertly, all over the world. Unless we're the unfortunate sods getting fucked by fate and the machinations of the Man, it is only faintly affecting. Like trying to read by the light of a few stars.

Of course, we probably engage in it ourselves; in various subtle or knowing ways, with family, friends and random others. Then it becomes excusable, thanks to various nifty and self-assuring phrases that zoom through our craniums, so again, the effect is diluted.

So, if you know you're powerful, how easy is it to abuse power? 

From what I've seen over the last couple of weeks, not that hard. All it takes is the ability to enjoy being vindictive and to articulate your words and feelings through a series of devastating broadsides. I wasn't the target this time around, but a day may come when I will be, so it was a great validation of my suspicions.

Its disappointing to see. I'm not saying you need to be the milk of human kindness. Lord knows, in this economy, you'll curdle. You can be tough, but fair. You can have compassion, and express that through your behaviour. You can be benevolent. You don't have to let your monstrous ego get in the way. You don't have to crush an ant with a hammer. You can choose...

You choose. To show the extent of your power by making an example of someone so junior that their life and future shouldn't matter to your existence. To harass them with impossible deadlines, ludicrous criticisms, defame their character and do whatever else you can. Its like watching Jupiter becoming insecure because of Mercury. It'd be funny if it weren't so sad. 

Now, the rest of us minions now know how things stand. So, we're not obliged to bleed for the company or have any vestige of pride about working here. But we have long memories and contacts. And you can bet your sweet booties not one of us is recommending this place, even to our enemies.

Abuse your power all you want. Just don't be surprised at the consequences. That just makes it worse.

Song for the moment: Napalm Love - Air

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