What are the consequences of power?

Most would argue that too much power in the hands of one individual is a bad thing. The word dictator has negative connotations attached to it in our language today. But all this is based off the assumption that the one who has the power intends to use it for his benefit and not societies.

If a leader is truly concerned with the well being of others, wouldn’t absolute power be a good thing in his hands? That way this individual would not have to share the power with those who intend to use it selfishly. This is assuming the hypothetical leader both lives up to his word and truly knows what is best (the road to hell can be paved with good intentions).

The problem is that many people can be corrupted by power. How do we find those who long for power with good intentions and reject those who long for power with bad intentions? Power comes in many forms, be it political or influential, but in all it is power. This world is shaped by those who hold some form of power.

Power is also freedom. The more power one has the more he or she can act upon their desires. Because of this, certain people cannot be trusted with certain freedoms. This lands us in the heart of the human struggle. How do we know who can be trusted with freedom/power and who can’t? To deny an innocent person freedom is a moral crime, but so is to grant freedom to an evil person.

 

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  4 comments for “What are the consequences of power?

  1. July 9, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    What if the person has the best intentions, but their actions actually cause people harm? What one person thinks is best for others may not necessarily be best. Wouldn’t it be better to give the power to the person it affects, rather than give all power to one person?

    • July 9, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      I do not know. Power being good or bad is very situational.

      Sometimes people do not actually know what is best for others, just like sometimes people do not know what is best for themselves. So who can be trusted with power?

      It’s all situational and I think an important conversation

      • July 9, 2014 at 9:24 pm

        I agree. I think the best way to ensure that nobody can abuse their power would be to ensure everybody has the same power, but, at the same time, some people are better with power than others. Those people can do better things with more power, and some people will never do anything with their power. It is an interesting thought experiment.

      • July 9, 2014 at 9:34 pm

        Thank you for reading. You brought up some good points. I added a little to the 2nd paragraph since you brought up instances in which one wants what is best but doesn’t know what is best.

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