Power Corrupts YKTTW Discussion
How having power is dangerous to you and everyone around you
- Rolled in examples and added some more related tropes.
Description"Nearly any man can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
- — Abraham Lincoln
- Death Note shows how having the power of life and death over others by means of the title artifact corrupted Light Yagami.
- The Prince by Machiavelli is the classic treatise on how to handle this from a pragmatic standpoint. Ie, how to avoid becoming too corrupt or let it interfere with the ability to rule.
- Chronicles of the Kencyrath by PC Hodgell has its characters constantly grappling with power both supernatural and mundane, if they aren't already corrupt.
- Animal Farm by George Orwell shows how the pigs gradually become no different from the humans.
- Used in the 1632 series by Eric Flint et al:
- In 1635: The Eastern Front and 1636: The Saxon Uprising this causes Prime Minister Wilhelm Wettin to lose track of his political goals and destroy the political opposition by force.
- In The Dreeson Incident, mayor Henry Dreeson was murdered by Huegenot fanatics, but initial public suspicion and outrage fell on the anti-Semitic groups in Germany. Mike Stearns was made aware of the truth, but instead turned over all the government files on anti-Semtic groups to the most militant elements in the Committees of Correspondence. Later discussed in 1635 - The Eastern Front:
To this day, he'd [Mike Stearns] never felt the slightest twinge of remorse over his actions after the Dreeson Incident. None.How many times could a man do something on the grounds that the end justifies the means before he rubs away his conscience altogether?Mike didn't know. What he did know was that today he was scraping away some more of it.