Power-over, or domination, is the power we’re all familiar with, the power of a small group to control the resources or to limit the choices of others. Ultimately, it stems from violence and force and is generally backed by the police and military power of the state.

But the word “power” itself comes from a root that means “ability.” We each have a different kind of power: the power that comes from within; our ability to dare, to do, and to dream; our creativity. Power from within is unlimited. If I have the power to write, it doesn’t diminish your power: in fact, my writing might inspire you or illuminate your thinking.

Power-over seems invincible, but ultimately it rests upon the compliance of those it controls. No system of power can afford to use force to enforce its every decree. Instead, the fear of that force causes us to repress and police ourselves. If we refuse to comply, if we call the legitimacy of the system itself into question, ultimately the system cannot stand.

Power from within is akin to what many cultures call "spirit." The global justice movement challenges the greatest amassing of police, military, political and economic power the world has ever seen. To do so requires great courage, and the faith that ultimately creativity must triumph over violence.