Change my mind, explore new ideas. In this case, I’m correcting myself on an old one.
In one of my earliest posts, power and responsibility, and the subsequent post, I tried to present and form a theory that authority and responsibility were the same thing. The post wasn’t written very well, and I fell prey to the No True Scotsman fallacy, I defined power and responsibility as the same thing ignoring the places where they weren’t.
Since then, I’ve put quite a lot of thought into the subject and when wanting to write a new post on the subject today I came across a big flaw in my theory, money. Money is power and while I could fit it into my theory in some ways it just didn’t fit and after finding such a glaring hole in my definitions and not being able to patch it up I decided I had to reconsider my belief in the theory. It was not easy for me to throw it away and here I am trying to salvage some of the conclusions I had that were reliant on the theory. This is by no way all-inclusive but I’ll do what I can so…
A few thing I learned (or understood I knew most of these in theory but…) from being wrong:
- I am far to attached to my theories and ideas – when there is something that doesn’t fit I move the goalposts change some definitions but I often lose the changes and while I can justify every exception the justifications do contradict at times.
- Sometimes in order to realize I’m wrong, I need super conflicting information, and even then, I only really change my opinions after sleeping on it. (I thought of my theory and how money fits in last night)
- I don’t actually learn quite as much from all my mistakes as I assume, but I can learn from my mistakes if I work on them and write things out.
Things I Can Learn From My Power Is Responsibility Theory
(I no longer accept them as the same thing and the truth and value of these will help me define where and when the theory is usable. I probably won’t be able to tell what of this is true until tomorrow morning as I am somewhat inhibited so this are the things that feel most true to me.)
- Power, in a social or political sense, is granted or assumed with responsibility. For example, government officials are granted power when they get elected to office in order to do their job and a smaller example will be the person in charge of cleaning gets the keys to the broom cabinet.
- We see seeking power as evil because most often people who do so claim positions of responsibility for the power but neglect the responsibility.
The idea that power corrupts manifests in a few ways in relation to this theory.
- When someone in a position of responsibility starts defining themselves by their position and take the powers they have as both granted and the actions they take as just.
- People have too much power for their responsibility, or in this case position, but still use it and overuse it to achieve their goals, this explains some government overreach. People also become narrow-minded and apply their power in order to achieve their goals or the goals of their position not being aware of other results of their actions
– (I wasn’t clear in my thought for half of this so I’ll be better)
- People become too far removed from the results of their actions as they reach a high point of a hierarchy of power and the power they have becomes undermined by all the people who get to get it done. In better words, people in high positions believe their power is absolute but their commands and requests go through may have different ideas. f your too high up it becomes a game of broken telephone.
I wanted to make ten but I’m already losing coherency so I’ll see If I can explain conclusions in other fields
- Being thought that power is evil or leads to that, especially when it isn’t explained how, leads to the people who are most likely to take the advice, to some of the best people to avoid positions of responsibility for fear of doing bad things.
Now I can do a whole thing about how power and responsibility lead to evil. And also the good that can come from ambition and seeking power with the right goals in mind, but it’s late and I’m losing coherence. So I’m stoping here.