Under The Radar - 5 Levels of Building Power


By Francis White

I want you to remember this for as long as you can; just because someone gives you something does not make them your friend.

There’s been a lot said about politicians who play or pay both sides of the fence. “How can a republican donate money to a democrat, or how can a democrat donate money to a republican? Isn’t that a conflict of interest?” Some might say. To me it isn’t a conflict of interest; it’s how the game is played.

Dr. Claude Anderson a well-known African American economist and lecturer explains the game, and makes it simpler than probably anyone I’ve ever heard. He’s been talking about the “5 levels to Control” or the “5 Levels to Build Power” for many years. You may not agree with everything he says, but I think it’s worth sharing.

They go something like this:

Level 1. Economy –This is often the most underrated but most important one, for without this, it is hard if not impossible to successfully reach, or maximize the use of the 4 other levels.

Level 2. Politics – Politics works best for those who have money. I didn’t say it wouldn’t work at all, but it works the best for the economically secure. This is a fact that is hard to accept but none the less true.

Level 3. Courts and Police system – The courts and police as many of us have recently seen work best for the economically secure.

Level 4. Media – The media works best for the economically secure as many of us know.

Level 5. Schools/Education – This works best for the economically secure.

When you’re trying to build power in marginalized communities, it’s a good idea to learn about the game you are playing, that is the game of building power. You may not like everything you learn, but that’s beside the point. The system of oppression you’re fighting is much older than you and therefore has developed a certain air of arrogance about it. It’s more experienced than you, is coldly calculating, and it will chew you up and spit you out before you realize what happened to you. The people in power who you are fighting have one thing in common besides being your adversary – they all think a certain way. They got to where they are by way of a process and strategy. If you want to beat or put a major dent in their oppression of you, you better learn what that process and strategy is.