>Watching trees

What about these words of Dee Hock?

True power is never used. If you use power you never really have it.

The words stand relatively unconnected in a box on page 140 of Birth of the Chaordic Age as a mini maxim.
Half an hour later I am confronted with Jotham’s Parable of the Trees from Judges 9 who uses his tree watching to reflect on the political power struggle which saw Abimelech wanting to snatch power. The trees refused to be made king. The olive tree, the fig tree and the vine didn’t want to give up the goodness of what they were producing. It was the bramble who accepted the invitation with the words “If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.”
I speak from bitter experience that brambles take over gardens. The invitation to seek shelter is an invitation to be throttled – and the threat of fire just clears the ground for the bramble to spread. (One test of the character of a man is to see how he treats those who disagree with him. If his only desire is to destroy those who disagree, then he is much like the bramble – plenty of good points, but no real substance for good.[from David Guzik])
So “Bramble King” is how Jotham thought of his brother. He was violent as was the rule of many of Israel’s kings. The experience of monarchy was not good. People looked back with nostalgia to a time when “there was no king in Israel, when all the people did what was right in their own eyes.” and I look forward to Dee Hock’s mini-maxim:

True power is never used. If you use power you never really have it.
and then I think of Robert Mugabe and the dictators who cause so much suffering because of their clinging to power. Is that what defines a dictator – “someone who clings to power”?

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