As I was working on one my Steampunk/magic concept story, I began to realize this would be something I would have to consider as I build the world. While the question may seem like a paradox in the making, there are ways to work around it. Making everyone have innate magic capabilities, but their natural potential for it differs. Allowing me to do two things that contrast and complement each other.
The first being a symbolic/rune-based magic with everyday machines. Creating objects with an internal charge, that can be activated with a specific phrase.Forcing the notion that magic is a common idea, that a world can be built around both it as the technology of the world changes.
Yet at the same time allowing the creation of extremely personalized weapons, and other items that work on the principal of a genetic/magical signature. That can be used with or without a phrase. Which complements and contrasts vastly with the notion of magic being commonplace.
Given how oddly well those two ideas seem to work together, the issue now becomes about potency. However, that seems to be the reason these two ideas work together. Those that have a higher potency for magic will get more training and tutoring in learning how to use their magical capabilities. While those that have lower potentials, get the basic knowledge they can use in their everyday lives. Creating a system that forces both to cooperate with each other to keep their civilization working.
Does anyone else agree with me, on this notion? Should it work despite the contrasts? Please comment if you have anything to say.