I’ve heard this kind of saying since childhood. It is certainly easy to believe; I mean, there is more corruption in politics and law than pretty much anywhere else. But does the corruption truly come from the power, or is it the other way around?
Personally, I am a comic book buff. I love my comic book heroes. They all have something the rest of us lack. Look at Superman. He is the epitome of honesty and integrity. He has powers that could set him up as a god on this planet, but does he use them in that manner? No, of course not. Why? Because he has that strength of character that the rest of us lack. He would much prefer to live along side us and use his powers to help and protect us than to have dominion over us. His character defines who he is and why he chooses to live that way.
Batman has taken his personal tragedy and turned it into motivation to change the world for the better. He defines determination and ingenuity. Every villain or bad guy that Batman has ever gone up against has lived to tell the tale. Batman captures his prey to deliver to the authorities; he does not kill. Why? Because of his strength of character. Could he kill the Joker, or Riddler or any of the dozens of other villains he goes against? Of course he could. Have you seen his arsenal? The guy has a military base under his mansion and a never ending budget! Will he? No, because killing is wrong. He will let the authorities decide what to do.
I have my own personal issues with Spiderman, I mean, in my opinion, he could achieve most of his personal goals along side his professional ones, but if he did that, his motto would not be so profound, now would it? “With great power comes great responsibility.”
That’s the issue, isn’t it? The people in power are not accountable, are they? They swoop into a powerful role for a short time, make outrageous decisions that affect large numbers of people for long periods of time, but their decisions are not accountable to them, because by the time those decisions take effect, that leader will be long gone. That gives these leaders the power to do just about anything without the fear of repercussion. The backlash of their decisions will fall on someone else.
With great power comes great responsibility. When we lack character, we no longer care about the true consequences of our actions, only about the consequences to us. Those in power use that power to further their own private agendas because they lack the character to concern themselves with the overall harm they are doing in the process. So is it the power that is corrupting the person, or the person that is corrupting the power?