You're More Powerful than You Think

You're More Powerful than You Think

A Citizen's Guide to Making Change Happen

Eric Liu

The third and final dimension of adjusting the arena is depth: deciding whether to change the institutional parameters you’ve inherited—or to eradicate and replace them at the root. When you are working against an entrenched power structure or in a situation where an imbalance of power has been in place for a long time, it helps to be able to distinguish between deep power and shallow power—and it is vital to decide which one is going to be the focus of your energy. Shallow power is trying to get police departments to do better training in communities of color. Deep power is trying to disarm, defund, and demilitarize the police. Shallow power is fighting over whether the top rate of the federal income tax should be somewhat lower or higher. Deep power is fighting to abolish the federal income tax. Shallow power is pushing to make it less onerous to unionize non-union workplaces. Deep power is inventing brand-new non-union vehicles for organizing workers.

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