“Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
We have heard this so often, and we have repeated it so often – but have we ever thought about it?
Well, I hadn’t. Until I read Richard Flanagan’s “The Unknown Terrorist” (Grove Press, New York, 2006) where I came across this:
One night early in their friendship Wilder, given to discovering revelation in cliché, told the Doll that power corrupts people, and then paused, as if this were some profound new insight, before saying.
“I believe that, you know, I really do.”
But at the Chairman’s lounge, where she had been working for a short time by then, the Doll had already seen how people would do most anything for power and money. The Doll saw it was people who made these things, who thought these things mattered, who made these things important. And so she said:
“I dunno. Maybe it’s people who corrupt power.”
I agree. Absolutely. And I wonder: How come I had never thought about it?