Does Power Corrupt or Is Power Corrupted?
The Personal Weblog of Edward W. Farrell   
Does Power Corrupt or Is Power Corrupted? Monday, March 18, 2002
Power does not itself corrupt, but rather serves to reveal and empower existing corruption (pride, lust, avarice, vindictiveness, etc.). People generally keep these things well under wraps, not the least to themselves, and do not reveal them out of fear, desire to please, or the real belief that these "corruptions" (when they appear in their behavior) are temporary aberations born of  storm and stress. Power is indeed a sort of "aphrodisiac of corruption" here that removes the inhibition of fear (and even the desire to please when this desire is merely a reflection of fear).

The old adage that power is best given to those who don't want it reflects this principle. If power itself bestowed corruption, it wouldn't matter who it was given to: all would be corrupted in the measure of power given (e.g., "absolute power corrupts absolutely").

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