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Why government is so corrupt and why our leaders so much dislike us...

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posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 07:19 PM
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"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Lord Acton

I read this really interesting piece of psychological research on the causes of corruption called "the metamorphic effect of power". Not only does power corrupt, be even worse, having power changes the powerholder to have "contempt" for those they have power over. Once the powerholder has this contempt, the powerholder no longer sees their subordinates as people deserving any human respect. Instead, the powerholder sees their subordinates as worthless ants that can stepped on without any moral consequence. This idea of having power over others will change a person's psyche is very important. It's only by having awareness of it that its negative affects can be avoided.

Here's a really good analysis on the idea:
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"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." So said Lord Acton, and most anarchists would agree. Any hierarchical system provides positions of power which are sought by the worst sort of people, namely the ambitious, unscrupulous and ruthless. Furthermore, even if by some chance sensitive and honest individuals obtain positions of power, they can quickly become corrupted. This is the experience with governments, corporations, churches, political parties and other institutions.

But why does power corrupt? For the answer, it is worth consulting the excellent work by David Kipnis, a professor of psychology at Temple University. He has carried out numerous experiments showing just how power corrupts.

For a person to be autonomous is widely considered to be a good thing. It is a feature of being fully human. When a person exercises power over others, the powerholder gains the impression that the others do not control their own behaviour or, in other words, they are not autonomous. Hence, they are seen as less worthy. In short, a person who successfully exercises power over others is more likely to believe that they are less deserving of respect. They thus become good prospects to be exploited.

For example, Kipnis organised experiments in which a "boss" oversees the work of "subordinates" in a simulated situation. The experiment is contrived so that all subordinates do the same work. But the subordinate who is thought to be self-motivated is rated much more highly -- for exactly the same work -- than the subordinate who is thought to have done the work only under instruction. As well as laboratory studies, Kipnis examines the effects of power on the powerholder through studies of couples, managers and protagonists in Shakespeare's dramas. The results are always the same.

Kipnis follows through the implications of such evidence in a number of areas involving technology, including medical technology, workplace technology and the technology of repression. For example, technologies for surveillance or torture serve to control others: that is the obvious effect. But in addition, the psychology of the powerholder is changed when the technology promotes the reality or impression that others lack autonomy. Those
subject to the technology are treated as less worthy, and any prospects for equality are ruled out.

Kipnis rightly points out that few studies have looked at the effects of power on the powerholder. He has done an admirable job of redressing this imbalance.

As a result of his investigations, Kipnis is quite pessimistic about solving the problems of power and the technology that reinforces it, precisely because the usual prescriptions ignore the effects of power on the powerholder. It seems, though, that Kipnis is unaware of anarchism and the longstanding anarchist critique of all forms of hierarchy.

However, this gap need not detract from the value of Kipnis's studies for anarchists. Besides the points mentioned above, he deals with tactics of influence, use of rewards, inhibition of the exercise of power, motivations for power and other corruptions of power. This work bears close study by all who want to understand better the psychological dynamics of power."


edit on 29-10-2016 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 07:31 PM
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Put a couple of footnotes and a bibliography on there and you've got yourself a Freshman term paper. Good job! And astoundingly simplistic.



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 08:03 PM
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I got "people are just selfish" out of that.
I've been drinking wine though so....



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 08:43 PM
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We let our leaders have the power of corruption as long as they feed the dream of, "its not what you can do for your country, its what your country can do for you."



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 09:53 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

There is an old arguement against his statement and it goes like his,

It is not that power corrupt's but that the corrupt seek it out for themselves, in some hand's power does not corrupt but psychologically we all need our own restraint's and moral's be they religious or simply belief's and principles for which we would lay down our own live's, politicians for the most part though have non of the above as a prime example.



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 10:21 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

I have couple of Kipnis's books. You can still get them.



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 10:23 PM
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a reply to: In4ormant

Most people are not truly selfless. I know I'm not.



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 10:28 PM
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originally posted by: neutronflux
We let our leaders have the power of corruption as long as they feed the dream of, "its not what you can do for your country, its what your country can do for you."


The problem is government has a role in preventing or reversing the cartels and monopolies from pushing the middle class further down into poverty. Wealth inequality in this country is at all time highs. You can't possibly think government doesn't have role to play in adjusting some of the inequalities of laissez faire capitalism.

Maybe you just do not understand how bad the inequality is in this country.

Its actually much worse than you could ever imagine: www.youtube.com...



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 10:34 PM
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originally posted by: LABTECH767
a reply to: dfnj2015

There is an old arguement against his statement and it goes like his,

It is not that power corrupt's but that the corrupt seek it out for themselves, in some hand's power does not corrupt but psychologically we all need our own restraint's and moral's be they religious or simply belief's and principles for which we would lay down our own live's, politicians for the most part though have non of the above as a prime example.


Every person is corrupted by human nature. In Kipnis's studies, it's like 99.9% power corrupts. There's a very small percentage of people who are immune to the effects.

I think you are missing the whole point of the studies. The studies have shown people WITH good morals and principles are corrupted as well.
edit on 29-10-2016 by dfnj2015 because: typo



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 10:39 PM
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originally posted by: In4ormant
I got "people are just selfish" out of that.
I've been drinking wine though so....


yeah that's what i got out of it too.




posted on Oct, 30 2016 @ 03:16 AM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015
Why government is so corrupt and why our leaders so much dislike us...

I think that we just hit the epicenter of denial, folks!
Government is a mirror image of the electorate!!



posted on Oct, 30 2016 @ 03:18 AM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015
There's a very small percentage of people who are immune to the effects.

Those who are 'incorruptible' would never be in a position of 'power' in the first place!
Would not have the need to seek power!!
Would not accept it if thrust on him!
So...



posted on Oct, 30 2016 @ 03:39 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015
the founding fathers created three independent branches of government for the very reason posted. They did not create a central bank that could corrupt all three.



posted on Oct, 30 2016 @ 07:36 AM
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originally posted by: darkstar57
a reply to: dfnj2015
the founding fathers created three independent branches of government for the very reason posted. They did not create a central bank that could corrupt all three.



The central bank having fiat money with interest payment is huge yoke and anchor on the American people. The Federal Reserve money system may be the biggest problem facing our country in terms of perpetual poverty and lower standards of living.

The Citizen's United ruling allows the Federal Reserve to print any amount of money to make sure political candidates that are favorable to the Federal Reserve are guaranteed to be elected. I don't think this is what the founding fathers envisioned for our democracy.

I agree with you that our founding fathers were very skeptical of our better angels winning the battle over good moral behavior. I think what Kipnis has done is still very profound. I've been in charge of people. You can feel it in your language and when you speak to your subordinates. Something changes in the human psyche when a person is "in charge". And it's not a positive change. It is very easy to be callous and inhuman in the treatment of subordinates.



posted on Oct, 30 2016 @ 09:46 AM
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There is a name for their behavior
www.ideasforleaders.com...




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