Power Leads to Corruption Essay

1420 Words Apr 27th, 2012 6 Pages
“Power makes individuals corrupt”
“Corruption is when people in positions of entrusted power abuse their power for their own personal gains [or to fulfill the agendas of the group they represent]” (Transparency International). Lord Acton, a nineteenth century historian, argued that power is the root cause of corruption. The more power one has, the more corrupt one is likely to become ("Biography of Lord Acton."). Although some commentators argue that there is no correlation between power and corruption, however Lord Acton was right because power makes individuals egocentric, makes the powerful less sympathetic towards those who are inferior, and makes a person hypocrite.
First of all, power is such a tool that it makes individuals
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Hitler believed in theory of Charles Darwin and the notion of survival of the fittest. For him Jews were the mistake of the nature and through his massive genocide he was attempting to correct that mistake. Therefore, to conclude, power gives a person a sense of superiority over other individuals because of which the person does not give importance to what others think or believe. As a result powerful individuals use their power to force their decision upon people, even if people are against that decision, and hence powerful individual are not sympathetic towards others. On the other hand however, people deny the fact that power leads to corruption because they think that one’s moral and ethical standards determine whether the power one have will be abused or not. They argue that if a person has high moral and ethical standards then the extent of power does not matter as that power will always be used for the welfare of others and the person will not be motivated by personal motives. The example often quoted by such people is of Abraham Lincoln. They claim that Lincoln was a man with high moral standards because he was against slavery throughout his life and he used his power to abolish slavery. However they fail to recognize that ethical and moral standards are culturally defined. What is acceptable in one culture may not necessarily be acceptable in other

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