Thursday, October 10, 2013

The aphrodisiac of power


A reader, in response to my post Tea Party anger and ending the government shutdown, sent me this comment:

I enjoy your musings quite often. Having recently preached a sermon in which I – perhaps in advisedly, as we live in a rather so-called conservative area – used the Koch brothers as the archetypal contemporary example of the dishonest steward, I was interested in your comment about why the Koch brothers behave the way they do. Upon reflection, it seems to me that power, and control, and the shaping the world to one's ideas, is much more of an aphrodisiac than the beach. It certainly wouldn't be to me, but then, I wonder what I would be like if I were of their ilk and had enormous amounts of money! Because, of course, I recognize in myself that I would love to change the opinions and attitudes of those around me to my own!

The commenter insightfully recognizes the potency of power and control as aphrodisiacs able to seduce one into false beliefs and immoral actions, something readily apparent in most politicians regardless of their persuasion as well as in many if not most persons who deem themselves successful and self-made.

To what extent can the aphrodisiacs of power and control fuel healthy ambitions? And, if these aphrodisiacs do fuel healthy ambition, do these unfaithful aphrodisiacs eventually corrupt, seductively yet subtly enticing a person to think more of self and less of others, justifying an ever-increasing need for control because nobody else can or will get things quite so right? I am reminded that the ancients thought that pride was the deadliest of all sins.

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