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The Dual Nature Of Power Essay

772 words - 4 pages

“With great power comes great responsibility.” This phrase correctly assesses that the more power a being has, the greater capacity they have for both good and evil; for the creation of beautiful things or the destruction of that which is lovely. The possession of power does not necessarily mean that the power will be used honorably. In the timeless Lord of the Rings saga, the two wizards, Saruman and Gandalf, were both imbued with great power. Their reaction to the power, however, was very different. On one hand, Gandalf had a healthy respect for the seductive properties of power and managed to resist using and abusing it for his own ends. Conversely, Saruman gave in and attempted to set himself as a dominant ruler; ultimately failing and creating a colossal amount of ruin in the process. They were both given power, one used it properly and achieved many great feats; the other abused the power and lost everything. This concept applies to the human race as well. Some look at the horrors committed by human being in the past and conclude that we have degenerated far below the common animal. Others point to the great achievements off science and art, along with the selfless aid granted to the helpless, from American ghettos to war-torn countries, and insist that we are progressing toward a perfect utopia. What they both fail to see is that this power can be used to accomplish wonderful deeds or destroy all that truly matters.

The dark use of this power can be seen in all the wars, the crime, and the corruption that has plagued mankind since before recorded history. It can be seen in every Stalin, Capone, and Attila the Hun in history, who have not let the concept of morality to stand between them and supremacy. One particularly potent example is Hitler’s Holocaust, the near genocide of the Jews under his rule, resulting in nearly 6 million dead. The monstrosities committed during his regime shocked the world and have led to the infamy of his name and his Nazi party. Another case, in medieval times, came in the form of Genghis Khan; a man who united the tribes of Mongolia and led them raping and pillaging across central Asia. This resulted in the largest empire in history but at an enormous...

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