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  1. #11
    Senior Member developer's Avatar
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    Since all the smart things have already been said, I will go with the "personal experience" part:

    What many people do not realize, is, that the more power you have the more pressure you are under. Strange and counterintuitive as it may seem, high levels of power go hand in hand with significant restraints on what you can and cannot do. As a consequence, a need (and maybe even a perverted sense of entitlement) for compensation results. It takes quite a strong moral compass, not to slip into incorrect behaviour under these circumstances, and many fail.

  2. #12
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by developer View Post
    Since all the smart things have already been said, I will go with the "personal experience" part:

    What many people do not realize, is, that the more power you have the more pressure you are under. Strange and counterintuitive as it may seem, high levels of power go hand in hand with significant restraints on what you can and cannot do. As a consequence, a need (and maybe even a perverted sense of entitlement) for compensation results. It takes quite a strong moral compass, not to slip into incorrect behaviour under these circumstances, and many fail.
    I say the more power you have the less pressure you are under.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    I say the more power you have the less pressure you are under.
    haha, are all INTP's fearless... so why do presidents have bodyguards?

  4. #14
    Senior Member developer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    I say the more power you have the less pressure you are under.
    That is what everybody thinks - before they come into a position of power.

    The reality is quite different, but rarely spoken about.

  5. #15
    Junior Member Alfa Prime's Avatar
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    It does not corrupt, rather it shows and magnifies what a man is made of, internally. The more mature and the better self-concept, the less corrupted.


    Quote Originally Posted by developer View Post
    That is what everybody thinks - before they come into a position of power.

    The reality is quite different, but rarely spoken about.
    Agreed.
    "Fortune favours the bold."

  6. #16
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by developer View Post
    Since all the smart things have already been said, I will go with the "personal experience" part:

    What many people do not realize, is, that the more power you have the more pressure you are under. Strange and counterintuitive as it may seem, high levels of power go hand in hand with significant restraints on what you can and cannot do...
    A wise woman once wrote:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ursula K. LeGuin, A Wizard of Earthsea
    "You thought, as a boy, that a mage is one who can do anything. So I thought, once. So did we all. And the truth is that as a man's real power grows and his knowledge widens, ever the way he can follow grows narrower: until at least he chooses nothing, but does only and wholly what he must do."
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    How 'bout it?
    Yes. Absolutely.

  8. #18
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    I think that only a very little percentage of people have moral standards that are internalized enough to keep them when in power. This percent is probably the same as the one that is ready to refuse to obey authority in situations such as this...
    Well put! I take the definition broader -- many people who refuse and resist, the subversives, tree hugging (SUV blowing up) vegan eating hippies, the pacifists, basically outliers who are anti-authoritarian and anti-establishment but with a humane alternative -- these people I think generally have strongly internalized and externalized beliefs grounded in morality and would NOT become corrupted once in power.

    HOWEVER, usually these people by virtue of being anti-authoritarian and often skeptical of the mainstream, are very very unlikely to come to power.

    You know what, I take it back.

    A lot of people who get corrupted have no idea they are corrupt or making poor decisions. Or really thought they had a 'strong moral system' but really it was a dislike of being controlled and flip and become super authoritarian controllers because they can't stand the fact that the little ants in their kingdom might disobey them.

    I agree a lot of people are spoonfed values and have have them tested. And suddenly having no one to be accountable to -- that is a HUGE first test. Plus put onto it being surrounded by a bunch of sycophants or even puppeteers egging you on, and you have become enfant terrible.

    So I think it's a combination of not only having strongly internalized and externalized values, but also having proven your convictions repeatedly and being used to standing against popular sentiment.

    I think this is also a common argument against having CAREER politicians. Everyone conceivably should have a turn at running a city or a country, and that would definitely prevent disenfranchisement and corruption.

  9. #19
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by developer View Post
    That is what everybody thinks - before they come into a position of power.

    The reality is quite different, but rarely spoken about.
    I should have been more exact.

    Social pressure.
    A kind of pressure we may find difficult to cope with.

    When you have power you are free of the boundary brought about by social pressure.

    Read Foucault. Or Beauvourt.

  10. #20
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    This platitude came up in some random thread online and I started thinking about it. It seems that power provides opportunity for a person to be whatever they are most naturally. It is the removal of constraints on behavior. One reason I wanted to examine the psychology of power is because a loss of power has capacity to corrupt as well. Those who have been made to feel powerless are brought to a cross-roads where they choose to (1) regain their power through inner strength, changing what they can, and finding the ability to let go of what is beyond personal control or (2) they regain their sense of power by extracting it from others, by making others to feel powerless.

    What intrigues me is that while power may be a means by which people are corrupted, so is powerlessness. This is of course a complex issue, but could make for an interesting discussion? References to outside sources (philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, etc.) are always welcomed in addition to personal insight.

    How 'bout it?
    The truth is the antinomy of a platitude.

    The ring of the bell is not the bell.
    It is only a ring.

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