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Crown, Politics, & etc., Part II

     Following is the addendum to the previously sent discussion.  As you 
     can see, most of the current discussion has happened again and again, 
     and should probably be added to the FAQ list of stuff not to clog the 
     Internet with.
     -J. Blackbow
     From: Colin the Blackheart <br>
     To: All  <br>                                   
     Msg #67, 06-Jun-89 13:50mst<br>
     Subject: Power<br>
     Echo: MEDIEVAL<br>
     Thank you, Ioseph, for presenting that series on politics in the SCA. 
     In a similar vein I present "Bases of Social Power", taken from notes 
     and text of 
     a Psychological Social Psychology class I had a year ago. Ref: Social 
     Psychology, John C. Brigham, FSU, 1986, Little, Brown, & company. 
         I have annotated and commented in the indented paragraphs like 
     <center>-<i>Ioseph of Locksley</i></center>
     <center><h3> Bases of Social Power </h3></center>
     <b><i> Social power</i></b> - <i>a person's capacity to alter the 
     actions of others</i>.
     <p> This power consists of six types:<br>
      <i>coercive, legitimate, reward, expert, referent, and 
     <p>Coercive power involves the ability to force another person to 
     change his or 
     her behavior by threats and punishments. . . Although coercive power 
     widely used, it is often ineffective, especially when utilized against 
     (Falbo, 1977). When a group is threatened with coercion, the threat 
     actually bring the group closer together (Tedeschi, 1974). . . 
     coercive power 
     may be effective in causing compliance, but it is not likely to lead 
     identification or to private acceptance; the low-power person is 
     likely to 
     attribute his behavior to the (necessary) surveillance rather than to 
     worth of the behavior. 
         I have NEVER known coercive power to work well, in the context of
         the SCA.....people tend to tell you to sit on a stick if you try
         to use this on them....or just leave the group entirely...and the
         degree of resentment/anger that the use of this provokes makes it
         something to use very seldom. The ABILITY to use it is what makes
         it powerful. The NON-USE of it, save in extreme circumstance, is
         what marks the true Leader/Statesmen from the mass of 
         Law Enforcement people are taught this early on, at least around
         here. They have the ultimate sanction (power of Life/Death) but
         are taught to use verbal (non-violent) or non-lethal means FIRST.
     <p>Legitimate power is derived from a role or position (warranted 
     household head, pointy hat, etc). Those who have it do not have to 
     their actions to those who do not (officially, anyway). 
         Much of the actual power in the SCA derives from one or another
         form of hero-worship (referent power.) Thus, a Marshal who is
         not a Peer has a difficult time doing his job when it comes to
         the Belts.....or a simple Knight as Marshall has a difficult
         time with a Duke, and even a King...or a BoD.....with no respect
         finds that governing is much like pushing water uphill with a 
     <p>Reward power is giving positive reinforcement such as money, 
     praise, or 
     prestige. Reward power can easily lead to compliance, but it may not 
     lead to 
     private acceptance. If the reward is removed, the new behavior may 
     . . individuals may attribute their behavior to the reward rather than 
     to any 
     benefits of the behavior itself (overjustification effect) 
     (interesting side 
     effect of the merit-badge syndrome, eh?) 
         And therefore more power is given to the Peerage Circle when they
         can advise that a candidate be given a lower-prestige award rather
         than the Peerage....we have a SERIOUS merit-badge mentality in 
         quarters, here..."first give them their Barony Arts award, then 
         Principality Arts award, then the Kingdom Arts Award, and then, 
         if they haven't given up in disgust, the Laurel....."
         This enables some Peers to go on feeling suPEERior...or something.
     <p>Expert power is possessing important knowledge (and the capacity to 
     apply it) 
     that others do not have. Chiurgeons, marshals, master (not necessarily 
     Master) craftsmen, etc. can be assumed to have expert power (although 
     may also have legitimate power). 
         But merely holding the office does not an expert make. And 
     <p>Referent power is the one I believe is most important. Power 
     derived from the 
     degree to which one is admired and liked is called referent power. 
     want to identify with others whom they consider admirable and 
     Hence, people have referent power over those who wish to identify with 
     (cultive personality). . . Unlike reward or coercive power, referent 
     does not require surveillance to be effective since the motivation to 
     identify with the model is not dependent on external rewards or 
         But BEWARE of the person that can fake hero-worship, or believes
         it is hero-worship (admiration of an Ideal) on his part, but who
         really is only after rewards......people like this DO exist.
         The "functional sociopath" is an AMAZING, and very scary, critter.
         It is rather amusing to watch those who THINK they have Referent
         power with people, when actually all they hold is coercive/reward.
         This makes for some VERY interesting situations, as a person with
         referent power can command loyalty....while the coercive/reward
     <p>Informational power is an individual possessing information that 
     others do 
     not. The eyewitness to an arguement can influence others who did not 
     hear or 
     even know about the arguement. Informational power is limited to the 
     situation for which the information is relevant. 
         This is one of the sources of Rumor. An individual wants to 
         powerful, so he embroiders information....or sets out to collect 
         or sets up a situation to create it.....and then becomes one of 
         Who Know. In his/her mind, they become a source of Referent Power!
         The more you can base your own position on MORE THAN ONE OR TWO of 
         the above, the more secure you will be. For example, a Duke of 
         charisma winning the Crown.....he winds up holding by all six 
         nicely. HOWEVER, given the same situation with a Duke that is not
         respected.....HOO BOY! The lack of adequate referent power would 
         his reign a living Hell for him and the populace!
     <i>His Grace Duke Cariadoc of the Bow comments:</i><br>
     <p>Ioseph suggests that our kings are constitutional rather than 
     monarchs. I disagree. In my view, SCA kings are neither constitutional 
     absolute monarchs. They are feudal monarchs. That may be less true in 
     West than in the East or Middle, but I think it is fundamentally true 
     <p>Why do I say that? While it is true that our kings have some formal 
     restraints on what they can do (corpora and mundane law), the main 
     is that, as Ioseph points out, people who disagree with the king will 
     or ignore him. That is the essential feudal constraint. The defining 
     characteristic of a feudal order, in my view, is that the combined 
     armies of 
     the barons are much larger than the army of the king. Generalizing 
     that, a 
     feudal order is one where the relevant resources are controlled at the 
     level, with the result that the king is some combination of coalition 
     and charismatic leader (i.e., inspiring local people with his vision 
     of what 
     the organization should be doing). I think that describes our kings. 
     <p>A constitutional monarch is limited in his authority over the 
     government, but 
     the government he is king over typically has a lot of centralized 
     power over 
     its society. Queen Elizabeth II has very limited power over her army, 
     but her 
     army has essentially all of the heavy weapons in Britain. An analogous 
     situation for the SCA would be if most of us were employees of our 
     (as in a Renaissance fair), but the kingdom was run by some 
     system involving king, great officers, etc., where the king himself 
     severely limited power. That is not (fortunately) what the SCA is 
     Almost all of the important resources (mostly human, but also 
     belong to and are controlled by the local membership.<br> 

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