Joined: Oct. 2009
Now, this is thinking out loud here, so bear with me.
On Going Galt: There would be nothing that would prevent a singleton or small group from 'selling out' back into the world. However, that presupposes two things 1) that the rest of the world would be interested in buying and 2) that there are not significantly limited resources in the enclave (i.e. if you sell these, then we all starve or run out of O2) How exactly would that be bad?
Anyway, the point behind an enclave as envisioned by Rand would be no contact mainly because such contact is intellectually impossible. It wasn't so much dealing with stupidity that caused them to leave, it was the stupidity of the rules. Taxing the people who work to provide for the people who don't. Taking innovation and distributing it to everyone for the sake of 'fairness'. etc.
OK back to power:
To me: Power is the ability to get something done. (In science that would be work, but politicians don't do 'work'.) The thing you want done is immaterial (unlike Hobbes). If you have money, you can pay to have something done. If you have political power, there are lots of ways to get something done. If you have some percieved authority, you can command it be done.
Well, in your example, each of the players has power. Only the engineer can fix the ship, but he has been 'trained' to accept the authority of the captain. This can apply in almost any condition.
To everyone it's obvious that the engineer has the power... except to the engineer.
In terms of creationism, the few true zealots have spent decades indoctrinating people to accept the power that they assume for themselves as 'the chosen of god' or whatever. They use fear of hell and moral rightesnous to cement their power. Believe me, nothing motivates the populace to go vote like a preacher saying that they ought to vote a certain way.
Because people have granted them a small amount of power (much like politicians), then they begin a campaign to cemet that power. Then, sometimes under the highest of ideals, they (religious and political leaders) begin to increase their power.
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.