While a Star Wars quote, there is so much here. This is a truth seen everywhere, through history, and in our daily lives. This is a truth of the One True Story that is the story of the world.
Last year, when teaching Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and my students were asking why the Senator’s hated Caesar so much, and why Caesar was getting so paranoid, I actually said “Remember, all who gain power are afraid to lose it. Even the Je…. Romans…” (BTW one student called me out on quoting Palpatine. I was very proud).
After that accidental quoting, I have started seeing this theme EVERYWHERE.
I have actually made this a theme for the class I teach this year (I teach Freshman English). It is amazing how many times this concept comes up. We just finished “Of Mice and Men” and it is a constant in there. All the characters (who have very little real power, being on the lowest rung of society), are constantly exerting what little power over each other. The only time any of these characters are happy is when they relinquish the power they have over each other and share in George and Lenny’s dream. But ultimately they just can’t bring themselves to do it, because they won’t give up the power they have.
We are about to start “A Raisin in the Sun”, and this theme is prevalent in that play as well. Beneatha is struggling to gain and hold onto her power that education gives her. Yet at the same time, she is afraid along the way she will lose the power that comes from her African heritage and roots.
The white homeowners are afraid that letting the Franklin family will somehow diminish the power of privilege that they have.
This is just a start from the novels we are reading in class.
If you want to know why people treat other people terribly, it is very likely this is at the root.