The Real Power
In a room sit three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sell sword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two.
‘Do it,’ says the king, ‘for I am your lawful ruler.’
‘Do it,’ says the priest, ‘for I command you in the names of the gods.’
‘Do it,’ says the rich man, ‘and all this gold shall be yours.’
So tell me – who lives and who dies?” When one first saw/heard this quote his or her mind instantly would raced to the one thing the person itself want, it seems like more of a reflection of own biases and own time of one being than anything else.
The way one can also see it, it's that man of common birth who holds all the power in that situation. If he does not listen to the priest, or the king or the banker, then no one will die. And if no one else listens to them either, what power do they really have?
People in power only enjoy it at our (the people's) pleasure. King Louis’ power did not save his neck during the French Revolution. The Pope doesn’t own large swaths of Italy anymore. Not everyone can be bought for indecent sums of cash.