These images of social and political power depict some of my ideas about how power operates in society. They were constructed from clip art, photos, found images, drawings and other detritus. Feel free to use this art on your social media posts and web pages to illustrate, entertain, protest, propagandize or agitate. The pictures are all free—licensed under Creative Commons for noncommercial purposes (see bottom of page for details).

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One man with crowd of protesters instead of a face

The Power of One
“…a single, seemingly powerless person who dares to cry out the word of truth & to stand behind it with all his person & all his life, ready to pay a high price, has, surprisingly, greater power, though formally disfranchised, than do thousands of anonymous voters.”
Václav Havel

Wheel of life under captialism: “Why do I want more money? Because it gives me more power. Why do I want more power? Because it gives me more money.”

The richest 1% of US families hold 40% of the wealth.

President Donald Trump as a clown with clown hat, red nose and red hair

Laughing at Authority
The high and mighty—political leaders, governments, big corporations—hate being laughed at. That’s because the perception of authority they work so hard to foster is fragile and easily undermined by ridicule.

Couple hypnotized by the power of TV: Man: “I have a sudden urge to give up control of my life to a higher power.” Woman: “You already have.”

Power seeps into our heads at work, at play, when we sleep. Its methods are subtle; its influence can be greatest when we think we are most in control of our lives. Our most personal thoughts come from Power’s diary, our most original ideas from Power’s brain, our most rebellious deeds from Power’s playbook.

Raised fists in front of Chilean flag in defiance of powerful leaders

Chile Solidarity
Orlando Letelier was assassinated in Washington, D.C. by the secret police of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. “Suddenly a clenched fist went up in the air, then another. Then there were hundreds of raised fists, a salute of defiance to those in high places who acknowledged no limits to their power.”

Lightning over city illustrating the power of nature

Power of Nature
We may think we can dominate the natural world with our powerful technology, but in fact we are like small children, dependent on Mama for our every need.

Abstract face illustrating fear

Those in power use fear to manipulate and control us. Fear makes us the instruments of Power. When we are afraid, we obey. When we are afraid, we will do anything to feel safer.

Kids playing on beach illustrating the Situationist assertion: “Every moment of authentic play is a blow against hierarchic power.”

The Situationist International understood the inherently subversive nature of creativity and play.

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Creative Commons License
All the images of social and political power on this page by James L. VanHise licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The Creative Commons license type is BY-NC, which means you can remix, tweak, and build upon this art non-commercially. Although your new art must also credit me and be non-commercial, you don’t have to license your derivative works on the same terms.

However, as a courtesy, please contact me to let me know where and how you plan to use these pictures. I can usually provide higher resolution files if you need them. Also, if you are a for-profit business and you want to use any of the graphics on this page, please contact me for clearance.

James L. VanHise –

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