Absolute Power Does Not Corrupt Absolutely

843 words - 3 pages

A man named Lord Actor once said, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." This means that giving a person some power can turn them into a bad person. However, giving someone absolute power will always corrupt some and that these people are always bad. Knowing what the quote means the question remains, is the quote true? The answer is no. "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." This is because nothing is always anything, a person’s bad deeds can be outdone by good deeds, and corruption is a matter of opinion.

Nothing in the world we live in is always anything. Even though there is what we call "facts," even those facts are sometimes disproven with other facts showing the falsity of that fact. This same idea can be applied to the idea that a person given absolute power will always be corrupted. Just as it does not always rain when it is supposed to, an absolute monarch is not always bad. If there is even one example that shows otherwise, you might come to the conclusion that the statement is false, and that example is Maria Theresa. When Maria Theresa came into power she deemed herself an "absolute monarch" in order to have more control over her people, but she used this absolute power to create many successful reforms such as making the feudal system fairer to the serfs and giving them rights. One of those rights was limiting the amount of time they could work per day. Maria thought this would improve productivity and living standards. Reforms such as these made her country prosperous during her rule. Phillip II, Louis XIV, and Fredrick II were all the same way, they may have shown some sign of corruption that may have sown badness, but all of them made contributions to their countries. Proving nothing is always anything.

Just as there are usually two sides to every story and two sides of a person, there are even sometimes two sides to someone’s actions. There is no disproving that there are bad leaders in existence, but you could say that even these rulers offered something that might outweigh their bad deeds. An example of this would be Fredrick I whom used his father’s methods of warfare as a means of gaining power. Of course since Fredrick II started wars, there are casualties of war which would make some modern...

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