Concept of the Month -- October 2002

Power and Control -- Legitimate or Not?

During speaking engagements, I have been asked about my statements regarding the criminal's pursuit of power and control.  The question runs something like this. "To be successful in a capitalistic society requires the pursuit of power and control. What determines whether a person will be a successful businessman or a criminal?"   There is a fundamental misconception on the part of a person who holds that a successful businessman and a criminal are similar in that they both pursue power and control.  The issue is the means by which one pursues power and control and how power and control are utilized.  The criminal pursues power and control for their own sake and then misuses them..  He builds himself up by tearing others down, not caring who gets hurt.  A person can succeed in business by providing a better product or service than his competitors.  He can honestly represent his product, charge a fair price and treat customers/clients well.  He will reap rewards honestly sown.  This is far different from saying that one must be something of a criminal to succeed because success demands trampling over others in order to emerge on top.

Stanton E. Samenow, Ph.D.

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