symbolic power: progress as betrayal

Real power wanes when people shift into the symbolic.

For instance, as England ceased to be a global power, the monarchy became even more important, yet the country and monarchy had less power as reverence increased.

Similarly Japan, after losing World War II, doubles down on the (symbolic) moral imperatives as unique signifiers when real power lead to disaster.

The danger is when symbolic power becomes reified into privileged national nostalgia it locks down the citizenry so that no real change is possible: to progress is to betray.



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