History has been dominated by powerful institutions: empires and states, economies and corporations, churches and ideologies. People have suffered as a result. Yet institutions are made up of people. They are only people. The extent to which we do not understand this, the extent to which we view institutions as separate from ourselves, is the measure of our alienation. We fail to identify with and take responsibility for the power of institutions, the power of working together, the power of ourselves.
Consider sheer numbers. If power is disproportionately held by the wealthiest 1% (or, really, the .05% or even .01%), that leaves 99% (or more) of us on the other side. Are we really so helpless to make our voices heard, to effect social change? We have power; we just need to organize it.
What we need is cooperative power.