The Empty Side of Power


Algis Mickunas, PhD – Professor of Communication, Emeritus Ohio University, Vilnius Tech University, Lithuania, Athens, Ohio, USA
Joseph Pilotta, PhD – Professor of Communication, Vilnius Tech University, Vilnius Lithuania and in NOVA.1, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Series: Contemporary Cultural Studies
BISAC: PHI009000; PHI000000; PHI018000

The many discussions of power, from ancient India, China, through modern writers such as Nietzsche, theologies, ending up with postmodern essayists, locating power in discourses, there is hardly any hint why this theme became so prevalent.  Apart from power as means of survival, every discussion discloses an excess of power beyond any need for survival.  An emperor, possessing everything in excess – everything in his empire, including his subjects, why does he send armies to appropriate all? What is the purpose, apart from such an irrational inscription: “I came, I saw, I conquered”. The text addresses this question at many levels, leading to the issue of “emptiness”. Many texts, both worldly and theological reveal a peculiar “desire:” emperors, gods, conquerors want to be worshiped. The subjects must pray to their Lords, must celebrate their victories, must kneel before them, thank them for life and “gifts”, beg for protection and forgiveness. The desire for worship is regarded as universal and hence power is used to extend the domain of the Lord across the universe. With every conquest more slaves are brought to worship the Lord. The mere mentioning of his name evokes fear a worship. But then the question must be answered: what such worship gets the Lord? (Lord here can be anyone: God of Gods, King with divine rights, dictator, famous name). First level: arbitrariness; he need not obey any rules since every uttered wish is the rule.  Second, the wish is to be a possessor of all females as his. One famous variant: harem which includes convents whose inhabitants are married to some heavenly Lord. The disruption of this possession is the power of eros which cannot be reduced to possession. The text, then, opens to the personality types “hungry” for power. Their make-up is resentment, narcissism, populism, hypocrisy (usually using religion), cynicism, dramatic insecurity, and search for populist affirmation.  

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Cosmic and Social Power

Chapter 2. Political Theology: For the Love of God

Chapter 3. The Hidden Power: Kama/Eros

Chapter 4. Eros and Mythos

Chapter 5. Eros, Autopoiesis, and Transformation

Chapter 6. Erotic Machinery, Desire, Perversity, and Tyranny

Chapter 7. Self-Created Being

Chapter 8. Identity and Populism: Telling the Code

Chapter 9.Skin Culture

Chapter 10. Ressentiment, Narcissism, and Trump: The Omnipotent Victim


About the Authors



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