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Corruption of Power

Posted Sep 30, '12 at 7:45pm

Cambyses

Cambyses

139 posts

I'm not sure if anyone has already posted about this, but recently in my history class, we had a conversation about power. If an individual was given absolute power, would he eventually beoome corrupted by it? (Basically, the question of the Ring from Lord of the Rings). Or are there individuals out in the world who would use their power for good?

 

Posted Sep 30, '12 at 7:53pm

wflag10

wflag10

1,221 posts

The saying "power corrupts, but absolute power, absolutely corrupts" awnsers this. :P

 

Posted Sep 30, '12 at 7:55pm

Skeleton_Pilot

Skeleton_Pilot

1,180 posts

Or are there individuals out in the world who would use their power for good?

Even if they do use it for good, power is going to corrupt anybody who its given to one way or another! Nobody in the world is purely good or purely evil!

 

Posted Sep 30, '12 at 8:17pm

thepunisher93

thepunisher93

1,858 posts

Any man can handle adversity. If you truly want to know a man's character, give him power.” - Abraham Lincoln.
There is something rotten in human nature.
As human beings, we are more inclined towards sin than virtue.
Through out history, this has been shown by countless kings and dictators.
Hitler, stalin, bashar alasad, Hafiz asad, Moa tse tsung all held absolute power and have killed millions.
While reading biographies of many Pakistani dictators it occurred to me that they all came to power as reformers and they did many things beneficial for country. Gradually, they turned corrupt and power hungry.
So, you decide.

 

Posted Sep 30, '12 at 8:34pm

thebluerabbit

thebluerabbit

2,840 posts

i think that even if there was a person with power who didnt get corrupt it would be too boring to mention in history. i believe there are some people who wouldnt get corrupt. most people dont really care about such stories though

 

Posted Sep 30, '12 at 10:36pm

Zoom2

Zoom2

10 posts

The US has grown into a very inefficient national government structure, but that is pretty much the point of its elaborate system of checks and balances to make sure abuses of power are limited whether for good or evil. Corruption has a firmly negative connotation, but abuses of power can end up getting used for both good and evil. Furthermore, 'evil' and 'good' vary by individual perspective and history plays a large role in how matters are viewed by later generations. Andrew Jackson ignored a Supreme Court decision to commit the terrible atrocity against Native Americans known as the 'trail of tears'. FDR attempted to pack the Supreme Court with extra judges to help get some of his New Deal proposals through to fight the Great Depression.
Power is never evil, it is only what it gets used for (or not used for) that we can morally judge.

 

Posted Oct 1, '12 at 12:11am

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

8,020 posts

Stanford Prison Experiment...that shall be my input (for now at least)

 

Posted Oct 1, '12 at 10:28am

Skyla

Skyla

297 posts

The saying "power corrupts, but absolute power, absolutely corrupts" awnsers this. :P

I love that quote :)

There is something rotten in human nature.
As human beings, we are more inclined towards sin than virtue.

This raises an interesting idea. Does power really corrupt? Or does power just facilitate the fulfillment of our inborn egotistical tendencies?

 

Posted Oct 2, '12 at 12:14pm

jeol

jeol

3,565 posts

Singly, most likely. If we are held accountable by our beliefs, like the three branches of split power of the US government was supposed to do, it is much harder to corrupt the state, even with all that power.

If you have good intentions in the beginning and predict your greed, you may as well prevent yourself from causing harm, though preparation enough would have to be long-term, and that doesn't mean that someone else might come along and continue to corrupt your anti-corrupt measures.

This raises an interesting idea. Does power really corrupt? Or does power just facilitate the fulfillment of our inborn egotistical tendencies?

Probably more of the latter. Power is a catalyst of our corruption, though in itself stems from ourselves.

Considering, though, was this corruption wholly within us the entire time? Are poor people justified in their desire for more money, but rich people greedy when they ask for more when they have more than someone else? Some people are simply unhappy no matter how much they have - they just want more. More power just presents the means to do more, and thus corrupt more.

 

Posted Oct 6, '12 at 11:22pm

fireangle

fireangle

133 posts

I beleive those who seek power are destined to abuse it

 
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