Power. It is the exchange of this ethereal concept that moves everything — people, places, things, events — all the bustling energy that makes up our world. It is in the foray of the Haves and the Have Nots, the giving and taking of power in all forms that makes it such a sought-after commodity and allows for this very list — So, who are the most powerful people so far in 2018? Here are the top five power-wielders in our world today:
#5. Jeff Bezos, Chief Executive Officer of Amazon
If we were to measure power solely in terms of reach and breadth, maybe even procurement, the CEO of Amazon rivals the many. No one can deny Amazon as the leading force in online books and merchandise. From the advent of Kindle to the online company’s streaming services and original content in both film and television to the more recent purchasing of Whole Foods, Amazon is a foundational cog and leading producer in a world that is quickly showing no limits when it comes to the free market, or any kind of market.
Jeff Bezos is the brainchild of this — a Princeton University graduate, entrepreneur, and investor — among other ventures. In March 2018, Forbes designated Bezo as the wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of 112 billion.
#4. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
Power and politics seem to go hand-in-hand, and for the politician in Germany serving as Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel clearly holds both within the palms of her hands. Merkel has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005.
She is considered by many to be a very powerful woman and a good leader, and maybe rightfully so, as she mediated and managed the European financial crisis at an international level and also being a leader in strengthening the Transatlantic Economic Relations. Merkel is regarded as the decider for her stark stance and roles within government, politics, and international relations.
She is the longest-serving head of government incumbent within the EU has been at the forefront of handling a bevy of policies and problems including health care reform. There’s no doubt that she is a stabilizer of power throughout the continent of Europe.
#3. Donald Trump, 45th U.S. President
The 45th President of United States of America. No one can argue that this savvy businessman and celebrity doesn’t sit in arguably the most powerful seat and role in the world as the POTUS.
Donald Trump was born and raised in the New York City borough of Queens and carries an economic degree that unfettered his path to becoming the head of his family’s real estate. From there, well, let’s just say its history — that eventually became reality as his booming personality and pockets spurred him into television while amassing more and more real estate, developments, and wealth.
As the POTUS, Donald seems to be at the center of attention, a place that the businessman doesn’t mind being and clearly thrives in. With only a little over a year into his presidency, President Trump has already been a part of major national and international events that deal with race, economics, immigration and foreign policy, all which has seen him wield just how powerful of a personality he is true.
#2. Vladimir Putin, Russian President
He is the reigning ruler of Russia as the country’s serving President. Vladimir Putin is a perennial politician and subsequently, also president. His incumbency into leadership in 1999 as the Prime Minister of Russia paved the way for a stellar and immovable career that ultimately saw him as president beginning in 2000 when Boris Yeltsin resigned, making Putin Acting President.
From 2000 to 2008 he served as Acting President and then again as Prime Minister between 2008–2012 where he was the chairman of the ruling United Russia party. Putin has been consistent and formidable as a politician and leader, and after consecutive terms of presidency went on for a third term.
Over and over again, Vladimir Putin has been tasked to lead Russia and each time he has done so with vigilance — arguably his influenced has shaped Russia domestically and culturally, given his long stint as leader, and has placed Russia as a significantly powerful player in global affairs. Putin indubitably is the driving force behind Russia and all the nation’s endeavors.
#1. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
Xi Jinping III officially has the title of “core leader” amongst his party and it is not without its due. Xi is the General Security of the Communist Party of China, President of the People’s Republic of China, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission — all of which means that Xi holds the top offices of the party, the state, and the military — unequivocally making him the most powerful man in China.
However, his positions and roles of governing make him a centrifugal force of power. Xi has centralized power and subsequently, has steered economic and social reforms in addition to total military restructuring. Xi’s political thoughts are so well respected and revered that they have been put into the party constitution and at the state level there’s been an amendment to abolish terms of presidency. Xi is admired and is considered by many as one of the greatest leaders of the time because of his political prowess and immense fan base in his country.
Forbes has even recognized him as the most powerful leader in the world, dethroning Vladimir Putin who held the position for several consecutive years. One must concede that the adoration of many often propels the thralls of true power — Xi Jinping III seems to very much within those thralls and on a global scale.
It’s hard to believe that we are almost already half of the way through 2018 — it truly has been an eventful and exciting six months, filled with the imagery and pathos that makes us who we are as human beings.
In looking at the last six months, and chronicling the arrival of 2018 and the time that we have already spent in this year, the importance of responsibility with great power cannot and should not be underestimated or understated — especially not with the five most powerful people mentioned above.