Monday, March 6, 2017

“Great Men are Almost Always Bad Men”

Lord Acton said that. He’s was also the man who said, “Power corrupts and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely” (although I think it’s far more accurate to say, “Power intoxicates and immunity corrupts”).

This is the whole quote: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Bill Clinton was in some ways a great man. He came out of nowhere and became President. He was also a pretty bad man – corrupt in his lust for money, and a chronic liar, not to mention a sexual pervert (his wife is exactly the same way). And both think they should be immune from what they did. Don’t all politicians think they should be immune from their crimes?

Donald Trump has the potential to be a great President. He’s clearly a flawed man but in some ways is heroic with what he’s done so far – he’s done more in a month than Obama did in eight years.

A lot of people already think Trump (“He’s not my President!”) is a bad man – a liar and a con man who hates women. And a fascist! It’s leftists who always think these things. It’s why they were babbling about moving to Canada (but not Mexico – never Mexico). They were hallucinating about “Trump’s America” – which these people think comprises all those ignorant stupid inbred hillbillies in “Flyover Land.”

Even Hitler was a great man – half-genius, half-insane. He was also a very bad man. At first he was praised by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt (themselves both bad men), although that didn’t last long.

Throughout history men who’ve done great things – for good or bad – really have often been bad men. Why this is so I don’t really know, but I have ideas.

Ambition? Certainly. And what is ambition but the desire for power and attention and respect? Not just power, but domination and control. Over people. Who really aren’t human to those intoxicated by power and domination and control. Like children (whom they resemble in so many ways) they can’t handle any power.

The biggest problem is when these people want to do great things politically. Politics, when it turns into laws, are based on forcing people to do things they don’t necessarily want to do – though fraud and force (Dante, in his Inferno, put people used fraud in a lower level of Hell than people who used force – because politically you have to use fraud first before you use force).

In fact, the worst of men are notorious for using immense amounts of fraud and force against other people.

The Founding Fathers knew their history and understood – and wrote often – about what having power does to many people. It’s why they had the separation of powers and wanted a weak government.

Some great men are not bad men – Akbar the Great, Marcus Aurelius. But for every one of them there are twenty bad men who couldn’t handle power.

The good guys you can put into a thimble. The bad guys – an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

8 comments:

Roman Lance said...

Sometimes Great Men lie dormant and unbeknownst to world at large. In the lexicon of men I consider great, Father Leonard Feeney ranks high on my list.

Eduardo the Magnificent said...

Our opinions of great (and bad) men are often shaped by what we are told in school. Ask any schoolteacher and they'll tell you without blinking that FDR was a great man. Surprise! he was also an agent for big government, which, surprise! pay for and run the schools and teacher's colleges. Calvin Coolidge, on the other hand, did more for the American people (and less for the state) by simply sitting on his hands and doing nothing. We hear next to nothing of him. So it goes if yoyu want to be great, you need to Do Something (TM), preferably growing the state in the process.

If we don't somehow rid ourselves of the media, someday Obama will be talked about in the same breath as FDR, and he'll be yet another example of bad men in power that nobody will learn from.

Anonymous said...

"Ask any schoolteacher and they'll tell you without blinking that FDR was a great man."

That's not necessarily the case. In American history we compared FDR and Coolidge's policies and wrote an essay critically evaluating their effectiveness. That was a long time ago, but the point is there are teachers out there who look at things from a wide range of perspectives. Are you able to do that?

Glen Filthie said...

Bill Clinton? A great man?

Welp, let's just look at that, shall we? He set the stage for 911 with a weak foreign policy. He didn't lead, he took polls. This sat well with the ignorant, deplorable rubes that infested flyover country, whom were as morally and intellectually bankrupt as he was. He was married to a ruthless, grasping cankle blossom. In his youth, he was a cowardly, pot smoking draft dodger.

Dubya was a far better man all the way.

Joshua Sinistar said...

Bubba was a sleazeball. He's the trash they make you out to be. Its not bad men who are great, but men who don't take shit and don't care what the critics say. There's a right way and the way its done now. We all know what the problems are, and we all know the media supports the ones who profit from causing and prolonging these problems. Anyone seen as good by the media must be bad, and anyone said to be bad must have good in them. McCarthy, Lindbergh and yes, Hitler. Like Jesus Christ, the good men get the slings and arrows of these vile scum. Good men cannot be seen well by vermin. It hurts their little tender feelings, and portents the Doom that will soon fall on them. God's Wrath is swift and seldom merciful. Those who don't believe it have lived through the interregnum of his patience and have yet to see his Wrath unleashed.

Anonymous said...

So when are we going to see your wrath unleashed Josh? We've been waiting far too long. All show, no go on your part.

Philip Christensen said...

Your auto correct betrayed you. I think it's Lord Acton, not Action. Feel free to delete this comment. Big fan of your writing, BTW.

Bob Wallace said...

Fixed. Damn auto-correct!