Do you think Power Corrupts, or Power attracts the corruptible?

Which one do you think is more true:

- Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, or;

- It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.

5 Answers

  • Favourite answer

    Both are true. To some extent even honest people can be tempted when they come to power. This is why the Constitution divided power; and had a "Bill of Rights." The "Bill of Rights" is the single most limiting document to Government power, the world has ever known.

  • 8 months ago

    The first one. They did an experiment (look up Stanford prison experiment) where they decided at random who would get power and who wouldn't -- those who were corruptible or were more attracted to power weren't more likely to get it. In addition, those who were most corruptible should have been excluded by the psychological screening and criminal background checks. Nevertheless, "corrupted" probably overstates what happened to them. Some became sadistic. (However, some of the more outrageous conduct appears to have been more playing along with the experiment than true corruption.) In spite of questionable methodology and ethics, the results were interesting, to say the least.

    Subsequent experiments gave different results, suggesting that power does not always corrupt. Also, it's possible that those willing to participate in a prison experiment tend to be corruptible. It doesn't prove as much as was originally reported, but it's still interesting.

  • 8 months ago

    I think some people crave power for its own sake. Others are always on the lookout for a shady deal and they find they can facilitate more such deals for themselves if they have power.

    So, a feedback situation is in play. The more corrupt you want to be the more power you need to make it possible and the more corrupt you become.

    That was the main point about getting a POTUS that was not part of "the system". He was free of the corruption that the long-time incumbents had become steeped in and so would have no problem trying to stamp it out.

  • yesmar
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    It's been my observation and contention that "power corrupts" whether the person is previously considered incorruptible or not.

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  • Anonymous
    8 months ago


    Also depends. Veterans like Pelosi don't seem effected.

    She has a strong sense of right and wrong.

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