“Power corrupts and absolute power absolutely corrupts.”
It’s an interesting statement but is it accurate?
If you think about human nature we all have a tendency to gravitate towards inflating our sense of self, and avoiding situations that devalue it.
Evidence of this is all around us in everyday life. Arguments are engaged in to uphold ones sense of self. For instance, think about the reasons why you last argued, were you protecting something important to you? Something you’d invested yourself in. When you prefix “my…” to anything, such as“my idea”, “my thoughts”, “my opinion”, “my possessions”, “my kids” you make it part of your self-worth.
The mind believes, the more you HAVE the more you ARE, but the flip side of having more and being more, is that you also have more to lose.
When individuals gain more money, more power, more stature, it becomes more difficult to face loosing it, and so self interest and self preservation become even more important.
Those in power have more to lose by rocking the boat, by fighting again the very system they are benefiting from, so what do they do, they fight to preserve the status quo, because it serves them and after all, we are all designed to protect ourselves, it’s our survival instinct doing it’s job.
If you understand this trait of human nature, you come to realise that anyone in power is open to corruption, and is not going to drive through change that could potentially put them at risk.
You can’t defy human nature, we are what we are, but you can manage it, so that society is better for it, and so that those in power, serve society rather than themselves.
So how do we, the ordinary people, deal with the fact that people are self serving and power only increases this instinct?
Well, we start to actually hold politicians, businesses and powerful individuals to account, we make sure they deliver on the promises they benefited on the back of, and if they don’t they should know they have a great deal to lose.