THE PSYCHOLOGY OF POWER by R.V. Sampson

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF POWER

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Dr. Sampson is a British lecturer in political science (Progress in the Age of Reason) and it is impossible to encapsulate this study 'in a paragraph since it not only combines several disciplines-- ethics, philosophy and psychology-- at some range but also in some depth. The book when it appeared in England was originally and more relevantly entitled EquaLity and Power since it deals with both these forces as anti-thetical ones, equating power with evil and equality with love (or virtue). It has also been written with the premise that there cannot be a dichotomy in our private morality and public statecraft: a ""single unitary system of moral values"" must apply to both. His investigation proceeds from the former to the latter; from Freud who shaped the ""psychological assumptions of modern man"" but was limited-- his view of women mirrored the inequality of the sexes of the 19th century. A good part of the book is given to illustrations from life and literature-- Annie Besant, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, etc. demonstrating this. Inequality then is pursued to the collective view-- to society and its government and the practice of power politics.... The work is a substantial one written in the hope of achieving an egalitarian world; it is also a demanding one and so is the style which is not only formal but given to inverted statements.

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 1966
Publisher: Pantheon