It is impossible for an outside observer to tell the difference between power and love simply by outward manifestations, particularly when there exists those odd persons whose internal notions of “love” deviate outside of the norms.
It would seem to me that ultimate power rests with he or she who dictates the course that “love” should take with others. Whether one is talking about men behaving chivalrously toward women as a demonstration of love for those women, or women behaving subserviently toward men as a demonstration of love, social norms might call one “good” and the other “bad”. Whoever defines those social norms has a lot of power.
Whereas I think that it is strange that there isn’t a linguistic equivalent of “chivalry” when the actor is a woman. Since men are generally physically stronger than women it would seem to me that the social equivalent of “chivalry” is “modesty”. Specifically, a woman who physically and materially subverts her outward appearance (the primary source of “power” in a woman particularly a young healthy one) such as to recede into the shadow of her beloved man is essentially behaving “chivalrously” by subverting her own power in his service, assuming that it is a service.
I think it’s funny when Feminist men practically sputter with indignation when it turns out that I don’t appreciate being put on a pedestal. If I don’t like it, then, it isn’t an honor or signifying of love. I only appreciate it when a professional subordinate does that for me, and not for long. To be waited on requires a certain level of responsibility unless the whole point is to be an annoying “diva”, which I understand is a fantasy held by many men. If a narcissist of a woman can be made to smile and bestow approval for even just a fleeting moment on her supplicant, then a man raised by such a woman to believe that such an action signifies “love,” will always seek it. However, such a relationship is one of “co-dependence” rather than love because such an act is not necessarily in the best interest of the one so cultivated as the bestower of fleeting approval, unless that actor has been both consensually and deliberately bestowed that “honor”.
Ironically, it would seem that those persons whose spirit is best nurtured by engaging in acts of servitude often compensate for the lack of opportunity for performing such service by ostensibly seeking some form of power or notoriety. However, those who are capable of accepting the limelight will naturally attract supplicants, even if such is not necessarily within one’s heart’s desire. Therefore, generally speaking in my experience and observation, the person with the most “power” tends to be the one who is solicited to enter the limelight rather than the one who deliberately seeks it.
Plato, it would seem, would tend to agree.
Just how much “power” does one who is obsessed with controlling others really have? There is actual or net power and then there is imaginary power. I suppose a certain level of faith held by the supplicant or supplicants is necessary in order to feed the feedback loop. At the same time, “modesty” in a person who holds power tends to result in more power.
Meanwhile, martyrs can “control” a disproportionate amount of power which is why power-mongers tend to suppress martyrs’ stories. However, does it actually do a dead person a favor to bestow power posthumously upon them? Perhaps it could even be a form of abuse such that the humiliation of unwanted power might even cause a spirit to fail to transcend.
There’s a part of me that believes I’ll be doing Axel a “favor” when I succeed in moving on such as to find someone or something else to inspire my daily life. I’m still waiting to see who or what that might be.