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Examples Of Power Corrupts

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Many would say that power corrupts. The phrase penned by John Dalberg, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” has become a cliché idiom thrown about when discussing power. Does it really though? Does power really corrupt every man it touches? Power is merely a tool, neither inherently good nor bad. Power, similar to “magic”, is subject to the one who wields it. If something wicked wields power, the power will lead to wicked things. However, power in the hands of good will lead to good things – it is a reflection of the heart. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s book The Fellowship of the Ring his characters exhibit different reactions to power. Some crave it, others lust for it, and one in particular shuns it. Power is a tool;…show more content…
In the opening of the first book The Fellowship of the Ring Tolkien puts a poem which begins, “Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, Seven for Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne…” (Tolkien 49). The men were doomed to die. Similarly, in our world men are doomed to die without the salvation of Jesus, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24) This is why men in Tolkien’s books have such a hard time handling power. For example the “nine mortal men” give in to the temptation to abuse their power and consequently they turn into wraiths, undying slaves of Sauron. Man’s heart is corrupt in Middle Earth same as it is corrupt in our world, and this is why it appears that power always corrupts when it is really just the corruption of man brought to light by the influence of power. The great “sin” here is lust. The lust for power, or money, or women, or gold (Thorin Oakenshield) is the great downfall of man. Each thing individually is not evil, but it is the lust that is, and it is the lust that
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