Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

1475 WordsJan 16, 20136 Pages
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Over the centuries, this famous saying voiced by Lord Action has been analyzed and dissected numerous times by historians and philosophers. Some individuals say that power does not corrupt, it only attracts the corruptible. However, to judge fairly, past and current events accurately depict the ideology that power corrupts absolutely, and has convinced me, that its meaning holds true. Ivan the Terrible of Russia, Louis XIV of France, Henry the Second of the Roman Empire, Katherine the Great, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler – these names all frame some of the most dictating and ruthless leaders in history whom have reigned with tyranny. These individuals all have one simple…show more content…
One last example of socialized power turning into personalized power is the Catholic Church during the Medieval/Renaissance times. During the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance, the Church had an over-brimming amount of power matched (if not more) with European Monarchs. The Church had great power over almost all Europeans, and became corrupt because of it. “Religion was created to free the oppressed; but now it has become the oppressed.” In ancient times, the Church cared for its followers, but as time passed and its power grew, the Church began to sell indulgences, practice nepotism, and generally became immoral. Spain and England also consistently persecuted and massacred people in great numbers due to their religion preferences. Another reason of why leaders become corrupt are because power licenses individuals to impose their will and commands without have properly engaged and processed through the reality at hand. It licenses them to be able to unreflectively, unilaterally do whatever they want with apathy. These individuals lose track of their rationality of what their limits are, and delude themselves into thinking that they have the right to rule above all others. This is when reality seeps through the cracks of their hands and gets washes away by their erroneous ego. These people begin committing atrocious acts as a way to exercise their power, and also just because they can do it. Adolf Hitler was
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