A brief sketch of a hypothetical non-fiction magnum opus: a book about how power works in the 21st century.
A survey of the different types of power bases, and how they interact. Governments, extra-governmental corporations, profit-motivated groups, ideologically motivated groups, and unconscious psychosocial movements. Because power does not always rest in human hands, natural phenomena would have to be treated as power bases as well; they would be integrated into the theoretical interactions of human power bases.
A survey of many countries and a more focused analysis of how power works on the national level. Inclusion of a charting system developed to measure the distribution of power in each country; such a chart would place national, regional, local, private, and hidden power in relation to one another by contact points and weight.
Regional and Local Power
Clubs, Families, and Individuals
How power works in small groups, and how individuals change this.
True Power vs. Power in Name Only
A definition of actual power bases. For example, if two countries are better understood as one in terms of power, I would explain why. If one country can actually be broken into multiple true countries, either geographically or psychographically, I would address this as well.
A survey of common and interesting types of patriotism, and an assessment of the influence of patriotism in each geographical region.
A discussion on how different cultures allow power to distribute itself and to what degree it exercises itself. I would trace the cultural customs and values back as far as relevance allows, in search of an explanation for why power becomes what it becomes.
Gangs, Cartels, Shadow Governments
A survey and portrait of how semi-hidden power bases influence world affairs and the lives of everyday people, as well as their real power relative to official power.
A discussion of various political systems (democracy, communism, monarchy, etc.) and why they don’t matter very much.
Language and Art
A discussion of how language and art affect power.
A discussion of how technology changes the nature of power.
Conclusion: How To Change Power
How to change, redistribute, reduce, or eradicate power. A discussion on fleeting change vs. real change. The key message here will be that real change takes many generations, and that even the most spectacular of world events do not actually change things as much as people think they do. Change must be initiated at the cultural level.