It Is Not the Power but Fear of Loosing That Power Which Corrupts

Topics: Great Purge, Joseph Stalin, NKVD Pages: 5 (1670 words) Published: November 23, 2012
“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it”. (Aung San Suu Kyi’s speech on Freedom from Fear) “Power has only one duty --to secure the social welfare of the people” Disraeli Benjamin. However, the reality is somewhat different. History has led us to conclusions where those in power dominated over the weaker ones and used their supremacy to carry out immoral actions. Keeping such views under consideration, the norm that power, the authority to rule over and influence a group, tends to corrupt an individual as power brings an individual closer to his desires and grants him unquestionable authority. What is of more significance in corrupting a person is the fear of losing the power, the influence that one holds because fear takes away the ability to discriminate between right and wrong which results in immorality of actions. Humans act close to the theory of opportunism, and are motivated by self-interests without considering the values of their actions. Therefore, it is obvious that when one attains power, the person is attracted towards material necessities since being in power brings a person, closer to the fulfillment of his desires. The influence of being powerful allows people to manipulate the circumstances to suit their own needs. It is important to relate to William Jefferson in this scenario. W. Jefferson is a former American congressman who has been included in CREW’S report 2006 (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that describes itself as "dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials – regardless of party affiliation – who sacrifice the common good to special interests) as being a corrupt politician. Jefferson has been accused for getting involved in attaining financial benefits through illegal means. For instance, Jefferson accepted bribes from multiple firms in exchange, introduced the firm to Congressmen and other business officials and used his influence as a member of congress to support those firms in their corporate goals. The bribe received was used to finance Jefferson family business. However, members of the congress as Jefferson may fear the time mandate since they are appointed for a definite period of time after which they might not remain in power. Such a fear makes an individual to think about would the person have enough with themselves once they do not hold power to live a good life. Thus, a person based on the concept of opportunism, would try to make as much wealth as possible within the time span, keeping in consideration that once out of power, the opportunity to accumulate wealth would no longer be available. The word “power” is often interpreted in terms of a person, having unquestionable authority. The person who holds power may not be answerable to anyone and therefore may enjoy supremacy. Such individual creates a cult of personality and thus earn themselves, honorable titles to further exaggerate their influence. Within this notion of supremacy and unquestionable authority, individuals tend to waiver towards the path of corruption in order to maintain their influence. There are countless examples where leaders such as Stalin have been criticized for killing thousands of innocent people and pursuing other actions that by no means justify themselves. Stalin ruled as a dictator, with absolute power. Was it the unquestionable authority acting behind the misdeeds of Stalin? What is important here to consider is the force acting behind Stalin, the force which historians titled as insecurity? People had started to question his authority and showed criticism towards his five years plan that was developed to enhance economic potential. Further, members from his own party started to criticize Stalin’s leadership. Considering the rising oppositions, Stalin...
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