Have you ever tried one of the demonstrations for internal power? If not, try this: Stand with feet side by side, shoulder width apart. Have someone push straight back on your chest. You can even have them start with a little push and then an all out shove for all they are worth. Were you able to stand there while they turned red in the face?
That's one of the ones I have and on-off love-hate relationship with. I can do it to a degree but its difficult and I'm not too good at it at present, I keep having issues with the force getting directed towards my shoulders from time to time which is not the place it should go really, I need to be able to do it for my next aikido grading (one of our sandan tests involves a tester striking the chest before pushing against it while you stand with feet shoulder width apart, my understanding is that this is a common early to mid dan grade level ki soc test but I may be wrong), so time to start practicing!
Also, as I've noted elsewhere for the Ki Society people. The exercises for internal work actually are training to accomplish Tohei's four principles. They are exercises which have a side benefit of getting one to relax completely (show me an aikido exercise that actually develops this), keep weight underside, keep one point, and extend ki. Actual exercises that elicit these principles.
Perhaps I'm misinterpreting this but I'm of the impression here that you're saying Ki Society exercises do not teach relaxtion except as a side effect. My own personal expereince has been that this is absolutely not the case. Teaching the relaxation you speak of and using various exercises to accomplish this is at the very heart of ki training in ki-aikido (quick caveat that I'm not nor have I ever been a member of the ki society but we've always been independent ki aikido).
I'd therefore interpret your post above as having limited experience of ki aikido, or possibly lots of experience of bad ki aikido
or perhaps I've missed the essence of what you were saying.
In any case the original question was:
"Whenever a discussion on internal power comes up it turns into a fight about personalities.
Why do people seek internal power? Are we trying to beat each other up in a new way?"
For me, I used to do Tai Chi, then tried aikido and found that the aikido teacher was far better at this stuff and better at explaining it than my Tai Chi teachers, I also liked the philosophy of aikido more, so off I went to aikido.