Absolute power corrupts absolutely, would you agree or disagree?

Specifically relating to world governments or leaders, once a party or individual rises to the top of the power structure will they predictably abuse that power?

Furthermore, if the party or leader attains power but doesn't use it in a way that helps the most people possible, does that constitute corruption in your mind?

In party politics, does political gridlock constitute a failure of leadership akin to corruption?

What do you think?

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No.

I would not be corrupted by absolute power, and I know I'm no special snowflake. Following that, I can reasonably deduce that not everyone would be corrupted by power.

@Mike_Hawk No. I would not be corrupted by absolute power, and I know I'm no special snowflake. Following that, I can...

Hard to predict. If someone had absolute power then they really have no choice but to use the "my way or the highway" approach to problems, because if they didn't then their power would not be "absolute". That is why even in legends about "gods" and whatnot, they end up doing totally fucked up things. like killing everyone with floods, or fire and brimstone, or creating eternal torture chambers and such.

@VicZinc Hard to predict. If someone had absolute power then they really have no choice but to use the "my way or the...

That's not necessarily corrupt. One doesn't need to make it difficult for people to abide by "your way". Having absolute power also affords you the option of letting people do whatever they want. I don't exert control over people who are physically weaker than me, but that doesn't mean I can't. I don't because that would be bad.

I think I can predict that I wouldn't become corrupt based on the fact that I'm not corrupt now. I'm a relatively strong and smart individual who is heavily armed. That may not afford me much political power, but I do have a lot of potential power over the people in my surroundings. I could get away with all sorts of crime, but choose not to because that would be bad.

Even on a more basic level, I could be an asshole at the expense of others in order to have a more convenient life, but I don't.

I don't do those things not because I fear some sort of repercussion, but because I would feel bad about doing them. The only people who would be corrupt by power are the people who act civilized out of fear of repercussions.

@Mike_Hawk That's not necessarily corrupt. One doesn't need to make it difficult for people to abide by "your way". Having...

I'll buy that. For the most part.

Except I will ask you to grant that, unless you believe in an omnipotent being, no one has ever (or will ever) experience "absolute power"; as such it would be untenable to predict with absolute certainty that it would not corrupt. I mean logically it cannot be predicted because it would never happen.

I will grant that some people (you included) can have considerable (even a massive amount of) power and not be corrupt.

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