Individual power and ethics: the conversation that never was
By Jon Rappoport
Its no accident that the concept of individual power is
surrounded by clouds of timidity and fear and cultural
People are warned that touching it produces a substantial
Me? Individual power? I never said I was in favor of it. Great
individual power? Dont pin that on me. Whos accusing me? Ill sue
them! Im for humility in all things.
Perhaps the most famous statement ever delivered on this subject
came from Lord Acton (1887): Power tends to corrupt and absolute
power corrupts absolutely.
For many, this closes the book on discussion.
But in fact, it is a wobbling prelude.
What about the creative power of the individual?
Especially, what about that power when it is deployed by a
person who has a personal code of ethics?
What if that code is summarized in the simple statement: I am
free to do what I want to, as long as I dont interfere with another
Were not talking about what happens when a king has a position
of ultimate authority. That throne, of course, carries with it an
implication of interfering with the freedom of the kings subjects.
The corruption is there from the start.
But the creative power of the individual, his goal to exert as
much power as possible to fulfill his desires in the world, to
launch and sustain an enterprise of his own choosing, to imagine
and extend the reaches of such an enterprisesuppose he possesses
ethicssuppose he refuses to interfere with, and override, the
freedom of another person.
Many people have a fear of their own creative power, of what
they would do if they removed the constraints on their own proper
place in the world. Therefore, because of that fear, they oppose
others having power.
Organized religion has always stuck its nose into the drama as
well. What a religion claims is the ultimate power, and where it
comes from, is inserted into the mix. A religion always assumes its
picture of the Deity is the correct one, AND IT OWNS THAT
The notion of unlimited individual power, backed up by personal
ethics, is anathema. It threatens the spiritual monopoly. So the
religion invents cautionary tales that pile up into the sky.
One of the tales, time-honored, and adopted in one form or
another by governments and humanitarian groups is: people are
inherently weak and greedy, so allowing them to exercise ANY kind
of power at all is madness. Instead, power must be managed by the
people, by those who care, by the needs of Mother Earth, by the
Universe, by socialists, by economic and politica...