Sunday, February 26, 2012

There's a good reason why they say power corrupts.

I'm sure you have heard the phrase: "power corrupts" which is usually followed by: "and absolute power corrupts absolutely". There is a reason why this rings so true. The fact is power can be addictive for most people and that addition can lead to setting no limits in gaining more power. The more powerful a person become, the more power they want to achieve. But when it comes to groups or organizations, that thrust for power tends to grow beyond the people behind it and can become a force in itself. The longer this force is allowed to grow the less control an organization has over its reach. In the end the organization becomes more powerful than its members.

I believe a good example of this can be found in the former religious entertainment and television organization of the PTL Club. It started originally by what I believe to be a naive country bred young couple as an outreach christian ministry. It turned into a power monster that needed to be constantly fed. The reason I understand this situation better than most is because in the 80s I actually lived on the PTL property and worked for the construction company Jim Baker had hired to build his empire. I saw then that those closest to the leadership stood by and watched as the focus changed and the organization's morals were corrupted by the greed of the powerful machine they had built. It had become more important to keep the machine fed than to fulfill the intended purpose the christian organization had been created for in the first place. It was now more important to keep the organization alive than any other goal. The good of the people had been abandoned for to the good of the organization.

In contemplating world politics, it is also a rather sad commentary on the state of our world's governments when a majority of citizens want peace but governments continue to wage war supposedly on their behalf. It really emphasizes the fact that most governments as a form of organization have also grown to become so large and powerful that they believe the opinions of those they represent do not really matter anymore. Whether or not a government represents and serves it citizens no longer matters. What matters is that the government must be fed and maintained. That goal becomes the prime focus of the government and all other goals become secondary. The problem is once this direction has been given some headway, it becomes very difficult to change that direction. The only way I know to change this direction is for one person at a time to stand up and point out the the injustice they have experienced so that together we can take back control of our lives.

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