For The Love Of Power

Peanuts Comic: April 5th 1961

Political Power, unlike money, is a zero sum game.

In order for one to gain and consolidate more of it, another must lose it through neglect and carelessness or bitter struggle.

At the same time, power is not necessarily directly correlated with size. A large organization can run fluidly and freely given good leadership and skilled and involved members. A power-grabbing entity does tend to bloat with those drawn to power and the ease of corruption.

It is not size that corrupts, but immoral people.

The presidential race should give us each an opportunity to see honestly and completely the morals, ethics, and skills of those who would lead us but which instead tends to show us carefully scripted appearances controlled by any number of variously corrupt entities.

The candidates themselves try to control their images. None of them have nothing to hide, and therefore, they dodge and obfuscate.

The media, with it’s control over what is shown in living rooms across the world, has a powerful ability to shape the discourse. If it doesn’t show up on the nightly news, it didn’t happen.

Charles Kessler, in a speech before Hillsdale College summarized in In Primis, speaks to the difference between size and power, and how size and corruption are not necessarily related.

Juan Gonzalez, in the New York Daily News, tells the sordid tale of pork and corruption which has birthed an amazingly idiotic tax hike in downtown New York:

No one could recall such a naked combination of arm-twisting and pork-barrel handouts to pressure City Council members to approve the huge tax increase known as congestion pricing.

The real problem is always complex and deep, but a significant part of the root is that we, the people, don’t really care.

Like Charlie Brown’s baseball team, we don’t want to be held accountable for our government. We pass the buck to the elected officials, who pass the buck on and on.

If we and a larger percentage of the population of America took responsibility for our government, there would not be a problem of usurpation of power and conglomeration of authority.

An aware and concerned citizenry is a powerful citizenry and the bane of corrupt politics everywhere.

2 thoughts on “For The Love Of Power”

  1. Good distinctions, especially about the zero sum topic. That is where most leftist economic policies fail – they assume it is a zero sum game.

  2. A sobering point about us not wanting to take responsibility for our government. So many people just pick the guy who seemed nicest in the commercials or don’t vote at all, then complain about them later. They are, after all, who we elected: what did we expect? (Did you expect anything?)

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