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#025 Scale of Power

posted 1 Apr 2018, 02:41 by Aaron Brownlee   [ updated 1 Apr 2018, 02:48 ]
"Absolute power corrupts absolutely." - John Acton

The above quote is one of the best known quotes in history. It is saying that anyone given power will slowly go mad with it, and the more power someone has, the more they will be corrupted by the urge to misuse it. It definitely makes sense anyway, the more you have the ability to control people, the more you will want to control them. I think the simple answer for why this happens is that humans are not designed to work in an advanced society. They were designed to all work together to hunt, farm and survive. The sudden evolution of society in the last few hundred years means we live in a world we were never meant to be in. A leader of a tribe would never need to be corrupt, because society was close and simple, and even if they wanted to, everyone would see what they were doing. They couldn't sneak off and bribe an official,  or secretly work with the Russians, because there was no technology to allow them to do that. And in a simple society, this would work. Everyone knew what everyone else was doing, and there was no way to be corrupted by power. 

In  today's society though, the government is separate and far above the people. No normal person knows what is happening in the government, so they can do whatever they want with little restriction. The other half of the quote is "Great men are almost always bad men". So from this rule, the more powerful someone becomes, the more likely it is that they're corrupted and secretly working for their own benefit. But there are examples of great leaders who definitely weren't corrupt and were working for the country, and that's where i think the "almost always" comes in. For example, Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United states. He is widely seen as a great leader and there weren't any real accusations of corruption during his presidency. I think the reason for that may be how hard he worked to get to where he was, the fact that he was the first black president of the USA meant that many people who were corrupt themselves stood against him. Perhaps that's what helps someone fight back against the urge to misuse power, the vision of what it would turn them into, every corrupt person who's ever stood against them, giving them the strength to overcome corruption from power. Anyway, Thought Over,

- Aaron