What is Social Power?

Ibrahim Anwar

By Ibrahim Anwar:

Every state has been established by a power which can be called ‘Political Power’, but there is another power – Social Power – based on the citizens. Social Power often stands against Political Power so that, if at any time Political Power wants to move alone and develop an authoritarian regime, Social Power can work against Political Power and make that power retreat.

You might have heard the story that, if one person carries a gun, the people around that person cannot be safe. In the area of power and nation it is the same. Therefore, power should not be in the hands of one person or group. Power should be distributed to avoid having a dictatorial regime. It is worth mentioning that, in authoritarian countries, the only power is Political Power; therefore, when people do not do take any action against a ruler, they allow themselves to be oppressed.

Who makes a Social Power?

Any group of two or more citizens can be a Social Power. In other words, any group of people whose members have common interests could call themselves a Social Power – such as students groups, syndicates or even a group of unemployed citizens. The important thing in all kinds of Social Power groups is that they should comprise ordinary citizens and should be non-governmental groups.

If we could have some organised and active Social Power groups we could stand against the  oppression of Political Power. I remembered a quote of Thomas Jefferson: “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty”. Therefore we should have an active and true Social Power to defend citizens’ rights, but unfortunately our current Social Powers are under control of Political Power.

Another factor, that is under the control of Political Power, is Religious Power. They have controlled people through some Islamic centres and Islamic ideologies. By one of these Islamic ideologies we are waiting for a person to bring peace, equality and justice. But the only thing that we can see from this ideology till now is the replacing of one tyranny with another. This is our history for 100 years. The role of a true Social Power is to give real opportunity to people to choose their destiny.

We need a living Social Power; we do not need opposition from outside to come, like a fake superman and save us. Social Power says: “There is no saviour from outside to save us, the only saviour of myself is me, the only saviour for yourself is you and the only saviour of ourselves is us”.

Ibrahim Anwar was born in 1987 in Mashhad, Iran. He is an assistant lecturer in Business Economic Department, University of Zakho, Kurdistan. He grew up in Iran until he finished high school, and he finished his BSc in Accounting at the University of Duhok in Kurdistan in 2010. He received his MSc in Financial Management from Sheffield Hallam University, UK. After graduation he decided to get back to his place, Kurdistan, and try to help make some changes for it to be a better region. So he decided to write articles and do seminars on different subjects as a way to educate people. He is trying for a true freedom and democracy.

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