Jan 19, 2006

Yes Or No..?

Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely

An observation that a person’s sense of morality lessens as his or her power increases. The statement was made by Lord Acton, a British historian of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

13 Comments:

Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...

The answer is yes. "To test a man's character, give him power." Abraham Lincoln

3:37 PM  
Blogger SamuelAlito said...

Patrick:

Does this mean that now that you have the Power of the Grand Jury, you are less moral?

I can't wait for my upcoming power to corrupt me terribly.

Sam

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sam, I hope your upcoming confirmation will give you the power to have undo influence over your wife's wardrobe!

4:01 PM  
Anonymous eslye said...

Sam don't belive you mean that...

too many examples of the corrupt abound..

" no fear nor favor" my friend is a better way..

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope Judge Alito, if it truly is him, did not mean this seriously. The attitude that he is implying is exactly what the general public is upset about. The people who are in power just cannot seem to admit even the possiblity of mistakes or that anything they decide is wrong. Unfortunately, both sides of the isle spend so much time attacking each other that consequently, nothing is getting done for America. Also, I think his wife should be left out of the debate completely.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Karl said...

Fitz, you need to move to Canada or France!

5:20 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Lord Acton was right but it is always going to happen unless the person controls him/her self. As to Sam's comment well be carefull what you wish for, sometimes it destroys you. Sam your views of rights for women/African Americans are those from the old south. Remember Sam you will be judged by the Highest and you will have to answer those questions or else. Fitz desperate people do desperate things and make mistakes. Look for those mistakes now. You don't have to defend yourself just keep showing us thats what it takes. Like that show me state.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Moral" is doing that which should be done.

"Prudent" is not doing that which should not be done.

Power does not corrupt. It is indifference to all except power which corrupts.

7:41 PM  
Blogger GrandmaNuk said...

Well, I think you are all pulling our legs. If you are Sam Alito, you have a little lepracaun in you, Italian though you are. The image that I got from the hearings (trust me, not from ANY Senator) was that you are fair, not necessarily totally unbiased. You appear to be an honorable person. Since we have no choice in your confirmation, I am making the assumption that your lifetime appointment allows you freedoms that apparently the rest of us do not have. In your case, power is in this appointment. God go with you! Do not forget those of us who do not have your good fortune!

7:44 PM  
Blogger Kristie said...

Something to muse on...

POWER vs. FORCE - The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior
by David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.

President Bush and European Union leaders have been urging Iran to abandon its nuclear program. (AP)

All Options on the Table
In an interview with Israeli television, the president says the U.S. is working hard on a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear ambitions, but "we've used force in the recent past to secure our country."

Excerpts from the book...

Power accomplishes with ease what force, even with extreme effort, cannot.

Force is seductive because it emanates a certain glamour, whether that glamour is manifested in the guise of false patriotism, prestige, or dominance; conversely, true power is often quite unglamorous.

The weak are attracted to, and will even die for, the glamour of force. How else could something so outrageous as war even occur? Force often seizes the upper hand temporarily, and the weak are attracted by those who seem to have overcome weakness. How else could dictatorship be possible?

One characteristic of force is arrogance; power is characterized by humility. Force is pompous; it has all the answers. Power is unassuming. Stalin, who strutted military autocracy, has gone down in history as an arch-criminal. The humble Mikhail Gorbachev, who wore a plain suite and easily admitted to faults, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Many political systems and social movements begin with true power, but as time goes on, they become co-opted by self-seekers and end up relying increasingly on force until they finally fall in disgrace. The history of civilization demonstrates this repeatedly. It's easy to forget that the initial appeal of communism was idealistic humanitarianism, as was that of the union movement in the United States, until it became a refuge of petty politicians.

To fully comprehend the dichotomy we're discussing it's necessary to consider the difference between politicians and statesmen. Politicians, operating out of expediency, rule by force after gaining their position through the force of persuasion - often calibrating at a level less than 200. Statesmen represent true power, ruling by inspiration, teaching by example, and standing for self-evident principle. Statesmen invoke the nobility that resides within all men and unifies them through what can best be termed "the heart." Although the intellect is easily limited, the heart is unlimited; where the intellect is intrigued by the temporary, the heart is only concerned with the permanent.

Force often relies upon rhetoric, propaganda, and specious argument to garner support and disguise underlying motivations. One characteristic of truth, though, is that it needs no defense; it's self-evident. That "all men are created equal" requires no justification or rhetorical persuasion. That it's wrong to gas people to death in concentration camps is self-evident; it requires no argument. The principles that true power is based upon never require vindication, as force inevitably does -- there are always endless arguments about whether force is "justified" or not.

It's clear that power is associated with that which supports life, and force is associated with that which exploits life for the gain of an individual or an organization. Force is divisive and, through that divisiveness, weakens, whereas power unifies. Force polarizes. The jingoism that has such obvious appeal to a militaristic nation just as obviously alienates the rest of the world.

Power attracts, whereas force repels. Because power unifies, it has no true enemies, although its manifestations may be opposed by opportunists whose ends it doesn't serve. Power serves others, whereas force is self-serving. True statesmen serve the people, politicians exploit people to serve their own ambitions. Statesmen sacrifice themselves to serve others; politicians sacrifice others to serve themselves. Power appeals to our higher nature, force to our lower nature. Force is limited, whereas power is unlimited.

Through its insistence that the ends justify the means, force sells out freedom for expediency. Force offers quick, easy solutions. In power, the means and the ends are the same, but ends require greater maturity, discipline, and patience to be brought to fruition. Great leaders inspire us to have faith and confidence because of the power of their absolute integrity and alignment with inviolate principles. Such figures understand that you can't compromise principle and still retain your power. Winston Churchill never needed to use force with the British people, Gorbachev brought about total revolution in the largest political monolith in the world without firing a shot; Gandhi defeated the British Empire without raising a hand in anger.

If we examine the actions and statements of Lincoln himself during the trying years of the Civil War, we'll find, with absolute certainty , that he was devoid of all hatred. He had compassion, rather than malice, for the South -- for he understood better than anyone else that the battle was really between man's higher and lower natures. He therefore represented the "self-evident truths" he referred to, and personally mourned the price that he knew had to be paid.

Because we fail to differentiate principle from expediency, the average person lacks the discernment to understand the difference between patriotism and Patriotism, between americanisn and Americanism, between god and God, between freedom and Freedom, between liberty and Liberty. Thus, "Americanism" is used as justification by white supremacy groups (calibrated at 150) and lynch mobs, just as warmongering throughout history has been conducted in the name of "God." The misinterpretation of liberty as license tells us that many people don't know the difference between freedom and Freedom.

In the book Dr. Hawkins has a map of consciousness. It goes from the numbers of 20 all the way to 700-1000. 20 representing words such as despising, miserable, shame, humiliation, elimination, while 700-100 representing the self, is, enlightenment, ineffable, pure consciousness (very few attain).

Below 200 -indifferent, demanding, pride, scorn, inflation
150 - vengeful, antagonistic, anger, hate, aggression

Injury to man's "spiritual eye" has resulted in dimness of moral vision and blindness of truth -- which afflict 85 percent of the earth's population who linger below the level of integrity. The great issue that confronts mankind as a whole is the healing of this spiritual blindness. The more immediate "problem" of Right and Wrong that always diverts our societal focus only exists as a function of perception based at the lower levels of consciousness.

The initial effect of taking responsibility for the truth of one's life is to raise lower energy levels to 200, which is the critical level that power first appears and the stepping-stone to all of the higher levels. The Courage to face truth leads eventually to Acceptance, where greater power arises at the level of 350. Here, there's sufficient energy to solve the majority of man's social problems. This, in turn, leads to the yet greater power available at 500, the level of love. Knowing our own -- and everyone else's -- human foibles rise to forgiveness, and then to compassion. Compassion is the doorway to grace, to the final realization of who we are and why we're here, and to the ultimate source of all existence.

To become more conscious is the greatest gift anyone can give to the world; moreover, in a ripple effect, the gift comes back to its source.

In a social framework, we can certainly choose to refuse passive submission to any political system that falls below the level of 200; we should instead apply our newly developed faculties of examination and correction to it. It's now possible, for instance, to establish clear criteria for selecting holders of public office. Each office requires a specific minimum level of awareness in order to be effective; in general, any government official who falls below 200 won't solve problems but will create them.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anon1962 said...

I noticed Harry Reid is also quoting Lord Acton. Great minds think alike.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work
» » »

1:59 PM  
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7:39 PM  

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