The Power-Full and the Power-Less
There are several philosophies on what happens to a person when they are given power. Books such as All Quiet on the Western Front describe power in military and the suffering enacted by higher ranking officers onto lower ranking soldiers. In the first 3 chapters alone, the protagnist’s troubles are described with detail as he suffers at the hand of a commanding officer. Lord Acton’s famous quote “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, suggests that power is the sole cause of corruption and changes the character of people. David Brin suggests the contrary, which is that the corrupt aim to be powerful, “It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power”. In Plato’s Republic (Book 1), it is argued that people only go into positions of power if they are forced into it or if they receive a sort of payment.
Power affects the brain in several different ways. In an experiment conducted, it was found that people who were made to feel powerful made less effort to understand others and to be quicker in judging people (in other words, to be FULL of it), while others who were made to feel helpless behaved with more understanding and being slower to judge. There is also an idea of the “winner effect” (dubbed so by Ian H. Robertson), an effect of feeling powerful that causes a possibility of more success with power in the future.