Argumentative Essay On Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

991 Words4 Pages
Aryaman Gulati
December 16, 2014
World Studies
Final Exam Argumentative Essay

“Power Tends To Corrupt; Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.”

Ruthless Tyrants. Fictional Characters. Normal People. Power is seen everywhere and witnessed by everyone. Lord Acton, an English politician and writer, said,”All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” What Acton was really trying to say was, a persons sense of morality lessens as his/her power increases. This contention, “All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely,” has been seen in, current events (Saddam Hussein), literature (Lord of the Flies), historic situations (Mao Zedong), and is true when one leader or person is given an excessive or absolute amount
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“Saddam Hussein and his government systematically extracted billions of dollars from companies doing business in Iraq.” Acton’s ideology that absolute power corrupts absolutely is true when one leader is given excessive/ absolute power. Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s Fifth President, was a man who proved Acton’s ideology right. Hussein was involved in many scandals during his reign as Iraq’s president, majorly, the AWB Oil-For-Wheat scandal and also the Oil-For-Food scandal. AWB is an Australian government entity who had the ability to export Australian wheat alone which it paid a single price for. “In the mid-2000’s AWB was found to have been, through middlemen, paying kickbacks (an illicit payment) to the regime of Saddam Hussein, in exchange for wheat contracts”(Wikipedia AWB-Oil-For-Wheat). As a result AWB had secured, a full, 90% of Iraq’s wheat market. But, Saddam Hussein’s biggest wrongdoing came when he exploited the Oil-For Food scandal. “Hussein earned $1.7 Billion in surcharges and kickbacks and approximately $10.9 Billion through illegal oil smuggling,” according to a 2004 Central Intelligence Agency Investigation. Not only does this prove Acton right, but also demonstrates how, if one leader is given an excessive amount of power he/she, in this case, he, has the ability to use this absolute power to their own…show more content…
In the book, Lord of the Flies, Golding exhibits how absolute power corrupts absolutely. Ralph confronts Jack, in a fight for authority, claiming that Jack is a, “beast and a swine and a bloody, bloody thief” (Golding 177). The desire for power breaks the boys’ fragile civilization and causes strife between both leaders. The fight for power between leaders displays, not only, a loss of moral but also an inverse relationship. Another way that Golding proves the contention “absolute power corrupts absolutely” right, is the way he shows the corrupt tactics people and leaders use as a sly way to gain followers. “I gave you food,” said Jack, “and my hunters will protects you from the beast. Who will join my tribe” (Golding 150) Providing free gifts in turn for the boys allegiance shows how Jack is enhancing his power through the effects of bribery. After “providing” food to the boys and claiming that he (Jack) will guarantee protection for his tribe members, the recipients of the these rewards are obliged to join Jack’s tribe. Jack performs a corrupt act as a way to gain more followers and enhance his power. He proves that when you have “absolute power you are absolutely corrupt,” as he gains more and more power his sense of morality continues to lessen. Not only does he corrupt his tribe members (followers), he grows more corrupt in his
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