It is an old saying – power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I was wondering on the saying and the recent news. I thought to understand how ‘power’ has morphed in different forms, starting from the prehistoric muscle power to money, economy and authority.
For a long time power was defined as muscle power of individual. When humans created concept of ‘money’ slowly economy took precedence over muscle power. European countries colonized more than half of the world and economic superiority took precedence worldwide. Until now economic power has been the major factor influencing force. So, countries having economic influence changed the world (for good or bad is disputed), such as oil crisis of 1970s, slow down of 1980s and recession of the last decade (which still continues and perhaps result in double dip).
Then I started looking at ‘authority’ as power. Recent news about Egypt and arrest of Indian politician triggered this thought in my mind that authority is one major factor to prove the saying – “…absolute power corrupts absolutely”. We have debated enough on democracy and dictatorship, which one is good? There is no debate over this – authority given in either case corrupts.
We see that power corrupts but who gives the freedom to others to exercise those ‘right’ to influence? Are we not equally responsible for the state we are in? Should not we take charge of ourselves and – rather than being spectators – act to bring the change?