Friday, September 12, 2014

With Great Power Comes Great Insanity

"Power intoxicates and immunity corrupts" - me, if I remember correctly

"You can catch the devil but you can't hold him long"- the Twilight Zone

Maybe I read too much science fiction as a kid, or maybe it was the horror fiction (screw you, H.P. Lovecraft), but I learned very early about the dangers of power.

Let's put it this way: in comics or movies or whatever, when someone gains great power they tend to go berserk. The Hulk? Berserk. And he was a good guy.

Unfortunately, the weaker the person, the more berserk they become. The Greeks called this Koros to Hubris to Ate to Nemesis - the stability of a weak person, who goes insane when they gain power, and can't handle it, and so wreak Death and Destruction.

Fortunately, the stronger the person, the more they can handle the power.

One of the things that invariably drives someone nuts is invisibility. Think H.G. Welles' The Invisible Man. He went nuts just because he gained invisibility. He was sane before he gained that particular power.

Why? Because you can spy on people undetected and escape consequences.

Now apply these cartoony tropes to government.

Someone who seeks to become a politician has to be weak in the first place. Then when they get power they go nuts. The worst power is that of invisibility - think drones and cameras on the street. They're going to abuse this power, believe me. They're all going to go nuts, like Sauron and his Eyeball.

These loons get drunk on the Dark Side. I mean, come on! Anakin Skywalker was a pretty good guy until he got bent out of shape seeking power. To such people, evil feels good, because they've gone around the bend - nuts! Their Brains on Evil - corrupted, addicted, unable to stop!

Dostoevsky understood this when he wrote: "Blood and power intoxicate; coarseness and depravity are developed; the mind and the heart are tolerant of the most abnormal things, till at last they come to relish them. The man and the citizen is lost for ever in the tyrant, and the return to human dignity, to repentance and regeneration becomes almost impossible."

The Corrupted seem to think Evil is a Toy - and those they use it on, they seem to think they're Toys, too. And it gets to the point they can't even comprehend the Good, the True and the Beautiful.

I've heard this kind of power referred to as Sealed Evil in a Can. Then, of course, some moron, for whatever moronic reason, let's loose this power, and we get a World-Wrecking Wave or a Walking Wasteland (think Zombies, so popular today). Or World War for the first and Mad Max for the second.

You simply can't trust the government or politicians. They lie, the steal, they murder - and think these are good things because they are as bent and twisted as any Orc! These sonsofbitches have an Arsenal of Doom!

Hell, even cartoons and horror stories understand understand these things!

"Do not call up that which you can not put down" — H.P. Lovecraft, "The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward"

"And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."— The Bible, John 1:5


Jamie said...

Don't forget the killer robots and drones they got stashed away.
Fun times ahead

Anonymous said...

The reason great power results in great insanity is that it is unmerited or unearned power that is gained not from virtue or self-discipline but on a platter. If the person instead gains great power from merit or effort then that person has also likewise gained the corresponding will-power to handle that power.