What is the moral foundation of power?.It depends on the kind of power . However, whether it is economic, politic,cultural or religous power it all come down to the way it gets through to both what it is focused on or , to what it stands for.
Political power is based upon voters preference, as much as economic power it is based upon the economic value added to the economic activity by business groups .Thus, those who have voters preferences have the moral sustain to hold power positions on their behalf. By the same token, those who have both the higher proportion or contribution of economic value added, have the moral sustain for its influence on public affairs.
From this point of view ,Business man in politics it is not unusual,as much as they create wealth, jobs opportunities, and increase value added, because of their business.While politicians get their legitimacy by their link with voters´s preferences and their expectations,business man get their legitimacy , by their abilities to create wealth also for the benefit of the comunnity .-
It follow that democracy whether either political or economic one, it is the main source of moral sustain for power, as much as it does provide opportunities for everyone to get so. Quite on the contrary is the case for cultural power.The Beatles have cultural power on its own , as much as the Rolling Stones also do, or for this matter, some time ago Frank Sinatra or actually any singer of global coverage, aside from all the variety sources of cultural activities. Religious power is even a more complex issue, as long as it comes from divinity.It is not but for e few selected people, to be able to act on behalf of God.
What about force as a source of power?.Very popular in then XX century in Latin America, but there are a lot of problems with this approach to power.
a.- It does not have a natural link with those who are supossed to be, the main focus of the one who held the power. Besides, Force as a source of power get rid of expectations and hope, because it applies a deterministic rule of decisions, missing the feedback to reinforce itself as long as it is based on fear. So, sooner or later this kind of power gets the entropy status.-
b.- Whether voters would have the chance of answering , the question about how they would prefer to be ruled by their authorities , it is highly feasible they would reject force as the key source of the social contract with Government.
c.- The monopoly of force is part of a social contract, based on the need of effectiveness only in case of external .-
d.- The dicentralized nature of comunications and information in this century, make force less effective than before to hold political power. Conectivity become a powerful grid, capable to overthrown those who depend on force to stay in power.
Latin America has a long tradition of political power based on the use of force. Democracy, is a rather new experience in the majority of Latin American countries. The political instability of many of these countries in the XX century ,was the main reason for solutions based on force.In all cases, the outcome was not the expected one.Instead , it arose new and more complex problems, such as human rights abuses,nationalims as a threath of peace, and econoic stagnation which boosted poverty and inequality. It looked like one step forward, were matched by two step backs.-
So, power has a moral sustain, when it deals with the ones who can not work solutions by themselves out (voters).Instead, politicians take the responsibility to act on their behalf up to the limit of their ability to really provide solutions, otherwise it is better to try new approaches. such as to check voters preferences out throughout new elections.
Probably the founding fathers of Latin America independent countries, thought about force as the last resource in case of external threath, but not as tool against their own free citizens.-
Besides, Latin America is actually moving toward democracy models based on the complementary role of institutions, the rule of law, transparency and efficiency of public policy, such that one step of progress it is followed by two step forward the well being of the community.