Forms and places of Power (Baccalauréat expression orale en anglais)



I’m going to talk about the notion “Forms and places of Power”.  Power can be defined as the ability to influence or to control people, events, environment or resources. It’s also the ability to make things happen despite obstacles, resistance or opposition. We can wonder what are the different forms of power and in which places we can find them?  First I’d like to mention the political power. Then I would talk about the power of school and of education. Finally I’d like to mention the power of the Media and the counter powers.

Obviously the political power is separated in three powers: the executive one, the legislative one and the judiciary one. In democracies like in the US the three powers are separated. That’s why it’s benefic for people. For instance Obama has been chosen by the US-citizens to rule the country. Of course he is not alone; there is also the US congress to take decision. We studied President’s Obama speech in which he claims that he wants to curb illegal immigration and trafficking across the border. It’s shows that people are able to indirectly vote the laws. And the judiciary power makes people respect the law.
However the abuses of power exist, for example dictatorship like in North Korea. They are not reflecting what the people want as a single person or a small group has the power. Generally the political power is not separated.

Then there is also the power of money. When you have enough money you have power over your own life and destiny. You are not forced to leave the place where you lived like the Mexican immigrants. We studied an article about Ana, a Mexican woman, who had debts and lived in dire straits. And therefore she was forced to migrate. You can also give your children an education. School allows also you to be highly educated and therefore you can choose your job, be able form an opinion. Therefore power of education is linked to the power of money.
Money gives also rich people the power to change other people’s lives. We studied an article in which American philanthropists give founds to private scientific institutes to find solution to health issues in order to help people.

Then there is also the power of the media and the internet. Media make it possible for citizens to form an opinion. But the media can influence people. Sometimes they only release their own point of views or give a little part of the information. It’s partial.

That’s is why the Internet can be considered as a counter power because people share information worldwide in real time and people learn thing that the media did not release. For instance during the Arab Spring, the media was controlled and censored but thanks to the internet and to Twitter people communicated to organize demonstration and people worldwide can follow the events and know what happen.
It shows also that the street power is a counter power. We studied a photo about a Hispanics demonstrating in an American street. They call for legalization. They no longer want to be undocumented immigrants. There were also demonstrations in South Africa to end apartheid and it worked

To conclude we can say that the political power, the power of money, of education, the counter power are linked and organized in different places like in democracies, schools and the street. However they are all important and need to be controlled by the rules in order to be benefic to the people. Finally we can draw a parallel between the power of money and the notion of “Myths and Heroes”

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