The temptation of power and influence


History is full of movements – political, religious, commercial and otherwise – that started of with “don’t be evil”. All too often, it didn’t stay that way.

“In the Year of Darkness, 2029, the rulers of the planet devised
the ultimate plan. They would reshape the future by changing
the past. The plan required something that felt no pity. No
pain. No fear. Something unstoppable.
They called it “The Terminator”.”
(The Terminator, 1984)

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Are primacy of self-aggrandizement, illusion of invulnerability and disregard of growing dissatisfaction automatic companions of leaders sooner or later?

Will we always be susceptible to the temptations of power and influence?

After reading Barbara Tuchman’s “The march of folly: From Troy to Vietnam”, one would be tempted to think so.

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
(The Who: “Won’t get fooled again” released in 1971)

Can we trust ourselves to stay humble?

Is large-scale altruism an illusion?

Would a sizable majority vote for a party of Samaritans?

Do we believe in real, reciprocal sharing?

Why can’t we just get along?

This, incidentally, does not depend on the number of people involved, just remember Cain and Abel.

What makes us kill others?

Not respect others?

Is it greed?

Is it fear?

Do we always want the whole cake regardless of its size?

Are we all monopolists at heart?

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