Absolute Power -- Good or bad

I just posted a response along these lines on another topic, but I thought it might be worthy of its own thread (My first, by the way. Be gentle.)

There is, of course, the old saw that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Since absolute power is not even theoretically attainable outside of a closed system, it’s a rhetorical question, but I think a valid one: Is that saying correct?

My take is that power corrupts because it leads the person who has it to want more, creating a vicious circle. I think with absolute power that circle would be closed. There would be nothing left to tempt someone with; therefore they could exercise that power for either well or ill, depending on their individual makeup and assuming any of their core personality remained after everything they had to do to achieve their absolute status.


My take is that absolute power corrupts for the following reason; as the power one wields increases, they exploit that to achieve goals they never dreamed possible. Of course, they’ll eventually hit the limits of their power, and once again it’s that feeling of frustration. The only solution? More power! And so on, until absolute power is (theoretically) achieved.

I think the corruption comes in the obtaining and keeping of the power, not in the weilding of it.

Say you do manage to obtain absolute power. Now, everyone beneath you is jealous and is scheming to get your power. So, in defense, you must lie cheat and steal to keep your power. Does this make sense? It does in my brain.