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Notion Espace et échange: to what extent are counter powers a necessary balance?

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NOTION: Locations and forms of powers

DEFINITION: In politics and social science, power is the ability to influence people's behavior In order to live together: members of a community accept rules, regulations, laws. This helps to create social cohesion but can also lead to conflicts and tensions. Even when authority seems absolute, there are often counter-powers. Counter power is when you don’t agree with what your government do and you act, do something to change that.

PROBLEMATIQUE: To what extent are counter powers a necessary balance?


I.  In books

1.  no counter power

2.  counter power

II. In real life

I. In books.

1. no counter power

--> 1984 by George Orwell (extract from a book)

          - Georges Orwell + in 1949 + dystopia novel

          - take place in Great-Britain in 1950, 30 years after a nuclear war between the

East and the West. Dictatorship is the political regime that is why people

don’t have any freedom: no freedom of Speech, no freedom of Thought and

the government can control that because it spy people.

- in this extract, we see that government spy people thanks to the telescreen

and the Police of Thought. Nobody seems to be upset by this political regime

because nobody does anything to change the fact they don’t have any

freedom anymore.

          - goal of this book is to denounce the dictatorship and the privation of freedom

          - 1984 shows then in a book what can happen in a country when there is no

counter power. The government take advantage of the fact that nobody react

to terrorize even more people in order to have more power.

I-> What happen in books when there is a counter power?

2.  counter power

We’ve just seen previously that counter-power is when people do things to change something about the government. And it is what is happening in Hunger Games

--> Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (trilogy)

           - Suzanne Collins + trilogy released in 2008, 2009 and 2010 + dystopia books


           - Katniss Everdeen is a young girl who lives in dictatorship. Every years, the

government named Panem, organize the Hunger Games that is games in

which 24 persons will have to fight to death. At the end of the game, there

will be only one winner.

- All along the books, Katniss will try to blow up the government. And this is

what she will do and she will even the symbol of the rebellion.

           - no main goal except entertain people.

           - We now know what happen in books when there is counter power. Indeed,

freedom is more powerful than the dictatorship and good will always defeat

the bad

   I-> We've just seen what happen in books when there is and when

there is no counter power. but what happen in real life?

II. In real life

If counter power is a necessary balance in books, it’s the same thing in real life and the movie “Citizenfour” will explain why.

--> "Citizenfour" by Laura Poitras (interview de Laura Poitras)

           - Laura Poitras + in 2014 + won many awards for the best documentary film

           - in 2013, the british newspaper The Guardians release secret information

about the fact that the US government spied people. The newspaper had

those documents thanks to the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

           - Edward Snowden is the man who worked for the NSA and who stole those

secrets documents before contacting Laura Poitras to leak those documents.

           - This movie show then to people what did Laura Poitras and Edward

Snowden to release those informations and why they did it.

           - If some people are somehow now happy to know the truth, this is not the

case of others who even pressed charges against Snowden because he

release secret documents.

           - We now know that counter-power can be the synonym of truth. Weapons are

not always necessary according to the situation.

RESUME DU DEVELOPPEMENT: We've just seen thanks to 1984 by G. Orwell, Hunger Games by S. Collins and "Citizenfour" by L. Poitras, what happen when the government control EVERYTHING. Even if 1984 and Hunger Games re "only" books, these kind of dictatorship can exist in real life.

REPONSE A LA PROBLEMATIQUE: That is why counter powers are a necessary balance: if people want to live together in "peace" and be free, it must has to be a "balance" between the government's power and people's freedom, people has to apply the government's laws that let people has their freedom, their privacy. If there is no balance between


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