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The illusion of power that is assigned to the “winner” in a win/lose, dominator system, especially when such “power” is merely control backed by force or threats.

The dominator model is based on the false premise that power is a zero-sum game, which leads to the conclusion that one cannot have more power unless others have less power.

This notion is nonsensical to any human being raised in a partnership environment where a profound sense of connectedness leads to the conclusion that more power to one is more power to all.

Thus, the illusion of power scarcity goes hand in hand with the illusion of separation from one’s fellow human beings, from nature, and from Spirit.

When these premises and illusions are entrenched, the natural human drive towards self-empowerment is misdirected as pseudo-power and sought through a variety of dysfunctional strategies like...

  • Making others feel less powerful through shame, punishment, exclusion, etc.
  • Creating rules, laws, customs, and social structures that essentially turn life into a collection of power struggles and win/lose games
  • Excessive controlling and possessiveness
  • Being “right”
  • Deception

In pseudo-power structures, many people grow to prefer NOT having power because it makes them a target: in order for someone else to rise, they must fall. Such people sometimes parlay their apparent lack of power into a “victim act,” which is a common pseudo-power ploy in dominator cultures where compassion is valued but distorted by dominator thinking.

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