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News Link • Corruption

The Ring of Impunity


In Lord of the Rings, the plot centers around the "One Ring," which is supreme among all the "Rings of Power" crafted by the villain Sauron. Some fans have been underwhelmed by the power it grants its wearer: mere invisibility. This would seem to pale in comparison to, say, the super-hero Green Lantern's power ring, which can create just about anything its wearer imagines. What's the big deal about invisibility, and why would such a ring be so corrupting to its wearers, as it especially was to Gollum?

Invisibility as Impunity, and Impunity as Power

J.R.R. Tolkien made the One Ring special far beyond this one power. But invisibility is actually the one fantasy "super power" that perhaps best represents state power.

What, after all, is power? Is it simply the capacity to exert unjust force?

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