Does Absolute Power Corrupt Absolutely

Power Tends To Corrupt and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely - Philosophy Dispelled!

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Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely....

Welcome reader,

Absolute power corrupts absolutely is an ideology, that was put forth many generations ago and I find myself asking myself, is that actually true? Someone, anyone, who achieves absolute power will be corrupted absolutely, all the way down to their inner core of being. Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?

This hub was inspired by another Hub Writer and Friend, Shadebreath. You might know him, as one of Hubpages prolific comics, funny men and solid student of philosophy. He is presently on his Shameless Self Promotion and promoting his novel via blogs. To give you an idea of how I came across this in conversation with Shadebreath, you can see his comment below.

Shadesbreath quote "I love this concept!!! I hope you pull it off. How are you going to navigate the "absolute power corrupts absolutely" thing though? I'm not saying you can't, but humanity is such a feeble animal... and, if you can do what you aspire to, influence becomes power and wealth at some point. You will find yourself suddenly in a place that few have experienced, and that many of those who have discovered that the new perspective changed things.

Nice work for our contest too... very, very deep to pull off in that span of time. I'm totally impressed. " This comment was left, because I had just taken part in a 30 minute challenge and the Hub "How Greed Can Lead To Selfless Purpose" was written. *note: the article referenced is no longer published.

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely?

This has weighed on my mind, ever since Shadesbreath said that statement. It was the first time I had ever heard the statement. I had read somewhere before, about "absolute power" corrupting absolutely, but I find myself hard pressed to apply it to myself. Thus, being corrupted. Some will say I am delusional, simply because I do not know for certain, what I would do IF I had absolute power. I am of no ambition for power.

I guess, absolute power is something that must be recognized, before it could be actually seen. Kinda like one's own ego. Absolute power would also have to be defined, down to a specific detail. So, what is "absolute power"? For the sake of arguing, define it as "being able to do anything without question". The "without question", will avoid consequence or accountability. Meaning, you could freely commit a crime and be untouchable. This would ultimately define "absolute power".

Absolute Power Corrupts?

Absolute power corrupts? I find that to be quite negative. If absolute power corrupts, then every individual on the planet is corrupted. Why? Because, they have absolute power over their own existence, which is required living. Unless you commit suicide and end your life. You must have absolute power and control over yourself. You must be able to consciously focus thoughts, just to function properly each and every day. Some are heavily medicated and some are not.

Corruption is bad and/or considered evil. Any level of corruption will present a danger to someone else. To be corrupted? Completely? Would be unadulterated evil. Which presents a danger to the individual, but also to the survival of the human species and that would be a problem. Which would be dealt with by whatever means necessary, so as to protect and ensure, the survival of the human species.

How Good Do You Know Self?

The above question, I guess comes down to determining, how you figure "self"? As in meaning. Do you completely understand your potential and capabilities? Are you aware that you can be your biggest obstacle? Are you honest enough to admit ignorance, even when it goes against something you believe?

To know self, is to demonstrate clear thoughts, foresight and be able to communicate, all of it to others, so they can understand how to do it. It is understood that living life requires some sort of faith. For the simple fact that you must have faith in yourself, before you can do anything successfully. This also means that you have to believe in yourself as well. The faith you have about yourself is in the department of decision making.

You will have faith in your ability to make decisions, because you will have learned the knowledge required for understanding. How you learned it? Well, I will leave you to think about it. Why? Because, it is something you have to discover about yourself and cannot be told or taught. Why cannot it be told or taught? Because, it's an experience to be had. Finding the answer on your own requires a conscious mind. A Conscious Mind is always open-minded, it's able to discern truth when recognized or seen.

Corruption...

Corruption can be recognized easily by a Conscious Mind. The boundary line where corruption starts can be seen. It's an obstacle, only because it's based on choice. Any action is a choice. Even if you take no action, it is still taking action and a choice. You either choose to interact with others or you do not. You choose to be selective about who you interact with? Again, it's a choice.

All actions are based on morals. So, actions are either good or bad. This is part of living in a duality based world. Any action that harms other people is deemed bad. Any action that benefits other people is deemed good. Some people open a gray area, deeming actions less damaging, as if it matters because the damage comes in two parts. The gray area people play with is about lying. They say it is okay to lie to someone who is dying. However, lying is lying.

Corruption begins in the smallest form. You will be willing to do this, for that reason, will become what you will continue to do, even with other things in your life. It will spread from one thing and spill over into other areas. Next thing you know, you've been corrupted in so many aspects of your life, you'll begin to wonder who you are? To prevent corruption, is to be completely honest with yourself about being honest with yourself. You must understand that morals are absolutes and in doing so, you can gain the foresight to build your future. A Good deed can be seen by others, just as a Bad deed can be seen by consequences of what happens.

Power and Wealth Derived From Influence?

Shadesbreath said, in the comment above "influence becomes power and wealth at some point". Now, power and wealth derived from influence is something I hadn't thought about, with regards to this hub. However, having influence only matters and depends on how you influence others. I mean, good or bad. Living in duality always has two perspectives. You have truth or lie. If you lie to people, so as to influence them to do something and they follow-thru as you influenced them, then you have obtained power.

Power is usually and generally accompanied by wealth. The two go together, just like your left and right hand. I can understand what Shadesbreath said, but I am still unsure of why he said it to begin with. People will tell you greed is bad, but that actually depends on the character of the person.

Thank you for your time.

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Comment Section 63 comments

American Romance profile image

American Romance 5 years ago from America

Jon Huntsman is a super wealthy man that invented the styrofoam that McDonalds uses in their cups! He owns oil plants all over the country! He gives millions to charities, churches and hospitals! Loves his family and his country! This man is a wonderful and powerful man! many more just like him!


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you American Romance for stopping by, reading and leaving a comment. Nice to see you. :)


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Nothing is absolute!

In reality everything has its constraints which makes everything relative. Nature has no gods and knows no good or bad. These are individual human perspectives based on ones undestanding of self-interest.

Living in the real world provides every living thing with some powers. They can and will never be absolute.

Some societies, organizations and individuals will be seen to be more corrupt than others. The spirit of graeter equality and social justice favours less corruption than a predatory capitalist mentality!


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you f_hruz for reading and commenting. It appears that you continues to have the same stance that nothing is absolute and everything is relative. Good to know. ;) Much appreciated. :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

Your hub certainly gives one something to ponder. When I read absolute power corrupts I immediately thought of politicians, but what about a famous movie or sport star that is rich and influential, are they necessarily corrupt?

Also, on an individual level I have met some people that are very influential in a particular setting who aren't rich or even powerful; but more influential or inspirational as in teaching for an example. I agree that an individual making choices has absolute power, good or evil.

Thanks for a great read and I'll be thinking about this article some more.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

You're welcome Pamela. Thank you very much for reading and commenting. I think what you originally thought the hub would be about, would probably be the same as others. LOL! I have been pondering "Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely!", ever since Shadesbreath mentioned it. Like the hub states, I heard about it, but never given it any serious thought until now. Are movie or sport stars corrupt? It depends, as corruption has many levels, some levels hurt one or two people, then greater levels would hurt massive numbers of people.

I have no doubt that you have met some influential people who were not rich and I will tell that they are the example many should follow. Everything we do, boils down to choice and choices seen. You might have a choice you do not see. When we make a choice, the action that follows is going to be good or bad, and not gray. The action either benefits someone other than self or it hurts them. The action, if it is influence, and as I said, others follow that influence, then it's automatically power. Power by itself doesn't corrupt, a person who understands themselves. Again, I am glad I had impact on you and given you something to continue thinking about. It's always a pleasure to see you. Thank you again. :)


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 5 years ago from Texas

Great hub full of wisdom and awareness as usual Cags!

I especially like, “Corruption can be recognized easily by a Conscious Mind.” Well said! Unfortunately, individuals lose their conscious mind when they begin to allow “ego” to step in and make pertinent decisions.

This is what happens within large businesses or for that matter any individual that people have deemed to be in a powerful position. Man or woman’s ego takes over and tells that individual they can do anything to anyone and get away with it because they have “made it” and are bigger and better than the competition. “Ego” convinces them they have “absolute power;” but, this is only deception of reality because for every positive or negative action there is an equal and greater reaction that is catapulted by one’s conscious or unconscious decisions. Namaste’


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you very much Money Glitch. Long time no see and it's a pleasure to see you. I appreciate your kind words and am glad that you enjoyed the hub. :)


Quilligrapher profile image

Quilligrapher 5 years ago from New York

Hi Cagsil,

You’ve hit upon another interesting topic. Nice going.

To discuss “absolute power” without considering the full quotation is to exclude most its impact. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad man,” was lifted from a letter written by Lord Action in 1887. Having power may at times lead to corruption. Having absolute power makes corruption inevitable. Thanks for an interesting read. Q.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Hey Quilligrapher, I do try to write about interesting topics. I appreciate the fact that you came to read and comment. Thank you kindly. However, I will disagree. One doesn't have to be bad, to be great. You should know that. It is actually, as stated, based solely on the character of the individual. "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely", again, has been disputed in this hub and dismissed solely on the premise that one individual who remains honest with themselves, about being honest with themselves, will remain at a level of integrity, where corruption can be recognized and managed(staved off). But, again Thank you. :) I appreciate your kind words as well. :)


Quilligrapher profile image

Quilligrapher 5 years ago from New York

You may be right, Cagsil. The person about whom you speak may indeed exist, somewhere. Good hub. Q.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

I appreciate you coming back and commenting again. :) I appreciate the compliment too. :)


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago

Cagsil, As I age I'm afraid that I have come to believe that yes, absolute power corrupts . And in you're words ,"than every individual on earth has to be " and in truth almost all people are, Labor unions, public servants , politics , religious leaders , attorneys, judges ......Yes , Im afraid it does my friend. However , every once in awhile you see an individual who isn't corrupted. most of the greatest people on earththough , have no power other than that of their choice of life style.! Great hub for thought. You are good at that that.:-}


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you ahorseback for stopping by, reading and leaving a comment. However, you are talking about groups of people that have corrupt individuals, so that means not all of the people who are participating in them are corrupt. I will have to disagree, because most people I have met are not actually corrupt, but then again, they refuse to see the power they themselves have, so being corrupt isn't likely in them. I have lived for while(43 years) and have seen my share too. Thank you for the compliment and I'll see what the future has to bring for more interesting food for thought. :) Thank you again :)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

Hiya Cags. Glad to see you are still wrestling with this topic.

I think Quilligrapher did some service pointing out that the point of the "absolute power corrupts" thing is the "absolute" part. American Romance made a good observation in the comments up there about the McDonalds styrofoam guy being a nice guy despite being rich. Obviously that dude has power. But he does not have absolute power. He surely pays taxes somewhere, and if he breaks laws he will be punished. However, he may work some gray areas of tax law, and he may have the ability to skirt punishment for offenses with fancy lawyers he can afford if it comes up (for himself or for his family). Etc. With power comes the opportunity for rule bending. However, that is not absolute power.

Absolute power means you do what you want. Period. Nobody can stop you. With that level of power, the only ramifications are the impact your actions have on your conscience and your physical well being (injury or death). At that point, you can decide what you can live with and what you can't. Additionally, you have a "lofty perch" upon which to sit and understand the human condition. Your access is so vast your perspective changes. You can make decisions that impact millions, at which point, you are doing "right" by some and "wrong" by others and, well, opposition rises, at which point you have enemies. This forces you to either compromise and accommodate or not. You might want to compromise on things morally, but that means you can't make anyone happy; you'll have two sets of enemies, or at least some happy folks in the "center" and enemies from the traditional right and left wings. Why would you do that when you have absolute power. Why would you make enemies, when you can eliminate them. You wouldn't (not after a few attempts on your life, some murders, genocide something).

So, you get to pick outcomes. BAM, you are corrupted. What constitutes "corruption" is not how you see yourself (although it may include that), but how others see you, some call you benevolent dictator, others villainous tyrant. You will be corrupt in the eyes of millions, even billions, whether you think you are or not. In fact, you will probably be certain you are not corrupt, because from your perspective (which no other person shares, and therefore, how can they understand the way you do) you know you are doing the right thing. If you are doing anything other than what you know is the right thing, then you are corrupt by your own definition.

See how that works? (At least, as I see it and can rattle it off quickly).


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you kindly Shadesbreath. I appreciate your vast knowledge on the topic and your understanding of it. Always a pleasure to hear your thoughts and see you. :) I guess, I'll have to think on it more and possibly write, yet another hub on the thought process. I'm grateful. :)


SpanStar profile image

SpanStar 5 years ago

No doubt a hub needs to be created regarding this subject but I'll just present some highlights as to how "absolute power has already been demonstrated a number of times of being corrupt." That is not to say I'm putting a blanket statement down that every time "absolute power is utilized that it corrupts all the time."

I take it most of us can remember King Herod.

King Herod

4 BCE– Young disciples smashed the golden eagle over the main entrance of the Temple of Jerusalem after the Pharisee teachers claimed it was an idolatrous Roman symbol. Herod arrested them, brought them to court, and sentenced them. Augustus approved the death penalty for Antipater. Herod then executed his son, and again changed his will

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_the_Great

This king like other kings was so afraid of losing his position and power with the emergence of Jesus that in his quest to kill baby Jesus he heartlessly and shamelessly killed a number of innocent babies.

How about Moses against Pharaoh? The idea that Pharaoh would loose to Moses and or God sent him chasing after the slaves and Moses only to have a significant amount of his army killed in an attempt to demonstrate his power.

The ultimate "absolute power corrupts absolutely" is when placed in a high position the biblical story of Lucifer not satisfied with his wealth and fame he decided to go to war in an effort to gain absolute power which he would take by force from God.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you very much SpanStar for reading and commenting on my hub. Quoted from your comment- "That is not to say I'm putting a blanket statement down that every time "absolute power is utilized that it corrupts all the time."

But, in essence, that is what the "absolute power corrupts absolutely" is indeed saying, because "power corrupts". I am saying that "power doesn't always corrupt". It is solely based on the character of the individual. If "power corrupts", then "absolute power corrupts absolutely". Shadesbreath's comment took my thoughts in another direction, which is why I said it would be in another hub. Shadesbreath is a student of philosophy and I am not. Thank you again. Much appreciated.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Quilligrapher's was a needed comment on the origin & author who in broad-strokes probably meant it to apply to someone like Stalin. Your one of the brightest minds on this site and its a neural pathway creating read contemplating your breakdown on this quote. One question though; you place a good deal of emphasis on the conscious mind in your conclusions and rightly so; what, if any, role do you see for say, Jung's collective unconscious in this? Thank you Cagsil for writing this and any reply you may give.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you very much Alastar Packer for reading and commenting. I appreciate your compliment too. I am not a student of philosophy and never studied it at all. I came across many forms of it, while I did study a few other subjects. However, I am not familiar with Jung or the collective unconscious. So, I cannot comment on something I've never read thoroughly. I focus on the conscious mind a lot because we have to be consciously active about the things we do. Being consciously active allows us to always introspect, before acting, by evaluating ourselves before anything else. But, if you would like to explain some of what you mean? Maybe, just from your explanation, I might be able to answer without having to dig up massive numbers of websites, that might not actually get me what I need to answer your question. Again, thank you so much. :)


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago

Cagsil, But then again , perhaps groups of people are only made up from and reflect the individuals within them? Collectively reflecting the all corrupable individual ! America today and all of it's issues are perhaps an indivually corruped cover-up- conspiracy? You are corrupt and so am I ? Greed , graft , unacountable acts of selfishness creating all these problems. Show me an uncorrupt lawyer , political "leader" , cop , minister or priest . Corruption is a personality flaw with each of us! I'm afraid . Great hub!


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you Ahorseback for coming back and attempting to clear up your original response. However, people are not actually corrupt. If I could show you one of those particular people and them not be corrupt, would take years of investigation. I don't know if you're corrupted, but I know I am not corrupted. And, btw- greed is not actual corruption, the hub I wrote, where Shadesbreath wrote the comment this hub is about is why I say that. :) Again, I appreciate your comment. Thank you. :)


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Here's one example of what was meant. If the sub-conscious mind is a repository for all human experience and one takes your statement "Corruption can be recognized easily by a Conscious Mind" would it stand to reason that the collective unconscious is where the 'Conscious Mind' though unaware, might initially draw its knowledge for said statement to begin with? I only know of Jung's theories in passing and am not trying to wave a flag over anything I say. I merely thought it might be interesting to see if you

thought there could be any co-relation. On reflection, perhaps it was a pompous and stupid question.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Okay, I think I understand and let me see if I can actually use "language" to convey the message I'd like to get across. The Conscious Mind vs the Unconscious Mind- the unconscious works with the Conscious Mind. It is based on our perception of our self and how we handle the knowledge we have collected. There is a reason many people claim to not know what they know. They understand that there are things we automatically take for granted, but retain. Example: If you were outside, you see with your eyes, but do not focus on everything, because you cannot, but whatever you see is collected, even if you don't know you collected it.

It comes down to how well you handle the information(knowledge) through the Conscious Mind. If you did see something, but don't notice it, then you would not be consciously active in your own life.(this isn't technically directed at you, just explaining)

Is that the co-relation you were looking for? Because, they have to be linked, regardless, simply because it's part and parcel, of human consciousness. I hope I was able to explain my thinking on it. Thank you so kindly for explaining what you meant. Much appreciated. :)


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Superb reply Cagsil, and I agree with your breakdown on the question. That was a poor day for me and I do thank you for taking the time with this one. :)


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

You're quite welcome Alastar Packer. It was a good question, which you asked and I'm glad I was able to provide a good answer, even though I'm not a student of any particular philosophy(philosopher). It was my pleasure. Thank you very much. :) Always a pleasure. :)


SpanStar profile image

SpanStar 5 years ago

Cagsil,

Perhaps the following information will shed a bit more light on understanding the meaning of powering corrupting:

Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely

Meaning

Literal meaning.

Origin

This arose as a quotation by John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902). The historian and moralist, who was otherwise known simply as Lord Acton, expressed this opinion in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887:

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Another English politician with no shortage of names - William Pitt, the Elder, The Earl of Chatham and British Prime Minister from 1766 to 1778, is sometimes wrongly attributed as the source. He did say something similar, in a speech to the UK House of Lords in 1770:

"Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it"

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/absolute-power-...

---------------------------------------------

POWER: The ability to make our fellow humans squirm, sweat and stammer on command. Often regarded as an aphrodisiac; actually a potent laxative that, whenever ingested by people in high places, causes everyone below to run for cover.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Power

---------------------------------------------

Power Corrupts

by Ben Moreell, August 1997

When a person gains power over other persons — the political power to force other persons to do his bidding when they do not believe it right to do so — it seems inevitable that a moral weakness develops in the person who exercises that power. It may take time for this weakness to become visible. In fact, its full extent is frequently left to the historians to record, but we eventually learn of it. It was Lord Acton, the British historian, who said: "All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Please do not misunderstand me. These persons who are corrupted by the process of ruling over their fellow men are not innately evil. They begin as honest men. Their motives for wanting to direct the actions of others may be purely patriotic and altruistic. Indeed, they may wish only "to do good for the people." But, apparently, the only way they can think of to do this "good" is to impose more restrictive laws.

http://www.fff.org/freedom/0897f.asp


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you SpanStar. I appreciate your explanation and it still points back to the character of each individual who happens to gain power. Since power TENDS to corrupt, then it would be possible for someone who is of good character, to not be corrupted, which was my entire point. The original point of the hub was to show the falsehood of the original statement- Power Corrupts, Then Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely. Nothing more, nothing less. Again, I appreciate the links you provided also. Thank you. :)


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 5 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

I agree with what has been said here.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you Sandyspider. I appreciate you coming by, reading and commenting. :) Always nice to see you. :)


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

The original statement by Lord Acton was made some 4-6 generations ago depending on whether a generation is 20 or 30 years.

He said, "All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

I like his word "tends" in this sentence. He also said, "Great men are almost always bad men." He uses the words "almost always."

I like what you said about the fact that we have absolute power over our own existence. I believe that entirely. Also, I like what you said about knowing yourself. That is so critical.

There are many examples in our history of people having some form of extreme power and perhaps abusing it in some form. Take Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan. They each wielded a great amount of power and a lot of people died because of it.

I remember seeing a 1930's movie about absolute power. Some parts of the film were a bit quirky, but the premise was interesting. The gods bestowed upon one simple man the power of creation. That one man used that power for some selfish purposes, but then started getting more involved with the affairs of humanity when he saw things being handled poorly. Each of his attempts to "fix" things resulted in more problems, largely because he didn't fully understand the problems he was attempting to fix. In the end, he ordered the world to stop, because he had had enough of the craziness. He didn't realize this would result in everything on the world spinning off into space because of inertia. His last wish was to put it all back the way it was before the power came his way.

Most of the problem, as I see it, is in the essence of ego. You like definitions? So do I. For me, ego is the sense of the need to be right (and sometimes to have others be wrong). Ego is a sense of entitlement and of self-importance. Ego is the need to appear worthy in the eyes of others. Ego covers a wide range of dichotomies -- good-bad, right-wrong, generous-selfish, wisdom-stupidity, compassion-indifference, victim-perpetrator and many others.

Ego presents itself when it does good deeds in public so that others are impressed. Ego is subdued or even eliminated when good deeds are done anonymously. Ego rears its ugly head when it bullies others and abuses them, because "I'm right, and you're not!" Ego presents itself when the suicide victim takes their own life -- this is full of self-importance. Ego is subdued when the hero risks himself for his friends or fellow man.

The antidote for ego is humility. With such humility, all manner of things can be learned. With hubris, one might approach a subject having already judged it, and thus unable to learn anything.

These are some of the dynamics behind any corruption from power. Power need not corrupt, and I agree -- self-awareness is a key to this.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you very much lone77star for reading and commenting on my hub. I appreciate you taking the time to explain what you think on the topic, and in detail. I wrote a hub on The Human Ego and How To See Past It, if you're interested. As your last statement says- self-awareness is a key, which the hub touches on because one's ego must be recognized, before one can deal with it to see past it. Since, you liked this hub, you might like that one as well. Again, Thank you. :)


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I'll check it out. Thanks!


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

You're quite welcome. :) :D


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

Hmm, interesting points to ponder. My husband was always telling our children...it didn't matter how much good a person did, one bad deed would wipe the slate. Those are the things people remembered...

Great and thought provoking hub! Thanks!


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you tlpoague for reading and commenting. What your husband said is partially true. People do have a tendency to hold onto the negative aspect of some people's actions, regardless of what they do otherwise. And, that is just a fault of the individual, who is unable to weigh the greater good. Doing one bad action doesn't actually wipe out everything one does that is good. But, it does put a damper on their character. However, the likelihood one would do something bad and be completely unaware of their actions? Is slim for one who is consciously active and has learn it's importance. Thank you again. :)


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

To me there is only one absolute power and He allows corruption from freedom to all (for now) but aside from that and coming from that, it would depend on the person. Power usually does corrupt but we have some good examples where it does not so it would have to be an open question forever I think...it all depends on the person, not the power. In a word, power that does not corrupt is in Love.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you Jackie for reading and leaving a comment. I'm not going to get into the beginning of your comment. This hub isn't about a higher power or god of some sort. This hub is about power, corruption and individual character.

It is not dispute that power corrupts. I am expressing why it does. But, I do appreciate you reading the hub. Thank you again.


manthy profile image

manthy 5 years ago from Alabama,USA

I think so.

I can be proven (historically)


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you Manthy for checking out this hub. The only thing I will concede in your comment, which can be proven, is the lack of character in the individuals who did(historically) show that "power tends to corrupt" and those individuals, since lacking any true character, were probably corrupted absolutely. :) I'm grateful. :)


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

This is amongst the Best Hubs I have ever read, and reminds me of some impressive teachings I have had in my school life. Very few people ever truly understand the true nature of power and absolute power. Character has a lot to do with it, on all sides.

And thankfully you managed to leave religion out of it and keep to the main subject. I am very impressed, Raymond. I will certainly vote this up. Cheers! :)


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you very much Cheeky Girl. Again, I'm grateful for your compliment. I'm also honored and humbled by it. To me, character of a person is everything, because it's the basis for living and remain good. I appreciate the voted up too. :)


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

Hello,

This was a very interesting and thought provoking hub. My husband has used this quote before, normally when discussing people in history or politics who exploited or killed people to get their own way, in extreme situations. I think it has much to do with large egos, but is certainly worth more pondering.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 4 years ago from USA or America Author

Hey Jean Bakula, nice to see you again and I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. I'm very glad you found it interesting and thought provoking as well. Your husband would be pointing out those who were corrupted by power, which would prove power tends to corrupt. I would also agree with you that it would have something to do with large egos. Ego defeats good character. It always has and always will. :)


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

To Cagsil: You have presented a thought provoking and excellent premise. Power is neutral alone. Whether or not absolute power corrupts is only dependent upon how evolved a person is when he/she obtains power. People who have a low consciousness tend to believe that they are the alpha and the omega and will tend to use power in an egregious manner. While people who are highly evolved will use power for the betterment of humankind. A case in point, Adolf Hitler had a low and satanic consciousness and he used power to destroy humankind while Franklin Roosevelt was a highly evolved person- he used power to make America more properous by instituting humanistic social programs. Another sterling example of the positive use of power is Oprah Winfrey, she has risen from impoverished beginning to a billionaire media mogul. She is using her power for the betterment of humanity e.g. charitable contributions and instituting academies.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 4 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you very much Gmwilliams for reading and commenting. You're correct in your comment. I also appreciate the compliment. :)


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

Excellent hub. One single word can make a world of difference.Words are very powerful.I guess people interpret words differently. Power+honesty+kind hearted+generous+sharing+caring+friendly+philanthropic+ many + points would be the best. Am sure there are a few people out there who fit this description in this world. Have to keep looking. Tough finding one. We will keep looking till time permits. Great hub, once again.Voted up.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 4 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you vellur for reading and commenting. Yes, one word can make a big difference. I'm positive that there are some people who live up to what is described here, however, they are far from normal everyday people. And live above average lives. I appreciate the compliment also. I'm grateful for the vote up. :)


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 4 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

Interesting Hub - I've given this a lot of thought myself over the years. Personally I like what Sri Chinomy said - "When the Power of Love replaces the Love Of Power - man will have a new name: GOD"


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 4 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you very much Neil for reading and commenting. I understand that quote. Thank you for sharing it. :)


tsmog 4 years ago

I'm going to read this again after I get back from work Cagsil. I agree in many perspectives especially the positive - negative part regarding greed. Why else do churches have bingo - smile gambling is gambling no matter how you spell it - smile.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 4 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you tsmog for reading and commenting. You're welcome to read it as much as you like. I appreciate any discussion on the topic. And, yes gambling is still gambling, even if it's bingo. :) I'm grateful for your time. :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

I do agree, the statement 'Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely' is too harsh. Absolute Power could corrupt Self and consequently others. But not necessarily. A mother has absolute power over her baby and children up to a certain age - power she may or may not share with the father. Now really, how many mothers are corrupt, corrupting their children? I agree, it depends on the individual. I once knew a corrupted individual with power - not absolute, although to a certain extend, and his actions corrupted the entire system as well as the involved individuals. Interesting topic.

Did you read my latest hub and would you like to make a contribution to the topic. You'll find all detail in there...


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 4 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you Martie for reading and commenting. It's always a pleasure to see and hear from you. I too have met a few corrupted individuals and while I could, I would do everything in my power to prevent him from misusing his power. I did have some success because corrupted individuals blur lines or cross lines they no longer see. I'm glad you found the subject interesting.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Cagsil, I have indeed done everything in my power to get him out of his chair. From trying to rectify his doings to direct motherly talks to grievances and reports submitted to authorities. My mission was successful. As long as I live I will NOT look the other way while corrupted power corrupts people in my personal environment. With the latter I mean the area where I have a power of influence. Take care, and thank you for reading my take on happiness. I thought you might have something in your repertoire of hubs to contribute. You know I hold your perceptive on social issues in high esteem :)


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 4 years ago from USA or America Author

Hey Martie, I'm glad you were able to be successful and have the ability to confront corrupted people who don't see how power has corrupted them. I appreciate your kind words and am grateful. A lot of the articles I have written here on HubPages are directly related. Each are just a small piece of everything one needs to find peace of mind and peace within their surroundings. The most important aspect is to be aware and gain knowledge from the right sources, so wisdom comes forth throughout all of our actions. :) And, you're welcome.


Susan Recipes profile image

Susan Recipes 2 years ago from India

A very well written hub, worth giving a thought.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 2 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you very much Susan. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. I'm grateful for the compliment as well.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

Thank you, Cagsgil-- I was surprised to see your response on one of my comments but glad to see that you are still looking in.

As to the absolute power/corruption idea-- it is obviously true in many cases. I guess the best illustration is in the history of Roman Emperors. Claudius-- though he had his faults-- may have been one exception.

The benevolent dictator is a nice idea-- but his son may be a devil.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 2 years ago from USA or America Author

You're welcome Rochelle. :) Yeah, I check in from time to time, just to see what's happening. I don't go to the forums, just to my feed. The hub itself was addressing the statements. I'm pretty sure it's true in many cases, but what I was driving at was more about the character of the individual. Attention, needs to be brought upon that area, in order to stop it from happening. Power does tend to corrupt and we see it everywhere. But why? It corrupts only those who don't understand character. Those who fail to realize that their individual character is on display every time they act, do more damage to themselves and the people around them, than they create value among the rest of the species. I'm not much for stupidity in motion, never have been. Thank you for commenting. I'm grateful. :)


BakerRambles profile image

BakerRambles 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

Quite Excellent my Friend. Very much enjoyed the article.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 2 years ago from USA or America Author

Thank you Mark. I'm glad you enjoyed the article.


BakerRambles profile image

BakerRambles 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

:) definitely did.

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