Power Forms and Their Practice in Dunatopia. Service-Power and Domination-Power. Judicial Power

  • Angelo FusariEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Sociology book series (BRIEFSSOCY)


This chapter discusses the forms of power within societies, the particular modes of which strongly influence the character and behavior of domination forms and the ethical substance of social orders. It is made clear why it is imperative that the treatment of this delicate topic is based on the organizational point of view. The chapter also shows both the absurdity of the observational view in the social sciences and the reason why such absurdity persists, which is related to its implicit and supine acceptance of the hegemony of the dominant social classes. The need for a smooth passage from the bureaucratic and centralized or autocratic organization of the almost stationary old empire to a social organization that is able to develop steadily, and without succumbing to the explosive voraciousness of neighboring particularistic communities, obliges us to engage in an accurate meditation on the power forms prevailing in both cases. History shows that whatever the character of the organizational forms of societies, they have always been governed by domination-power, that is, a form of power that feeds subjection, arrogance and dejection. To reverse this situation, we oppose to domination-power the notion of service-power, that is, a power to which correspond functions clearly defined and severely subjected to well defined responsibility criteria for decisions taken and their results. Service-power entails that the discretionary power, which is inevitable in a world troubled by incessant changes, neither implies nor legitimates free will. It is of great importance that social organization rests on the basic notions of responsibility and service. In fact, the notion of service stimulates the sentiment of duty, while responsibility ensures motivation and satisfaction for what an individual does. Service-power is a primary vehicle of morality, efficiency and satisfaction, while domination-power is a main cause of acrimony, discontent and depravity. We underline the abuse of power that afflicts the administration of justice, with a consequent injury of the proclaimed principle of the equality of all before the law. We also demonstrate the falsity of the defense of the free will of judges as essential to their independence and show that the contrary is true: independence in decisions both implies and generates responsibility for decisions taken, thereby avoiding degeneration in the use of command power. Finally, we highlight that success of the fulfilled functions, as a counterpart of the attribution of responsibility, does not imply technocratic degeneration; in fact, political functions do not properly need technical competence, for they concern ends (i.e. ethical-ideological options) not means, to which technical competence refers.


Forms of power Domination-power Service-power Responsibility criteria Free will Judicial order (independence of judges versus their free will) Technocracy 


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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RomeItaly

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