Friday, July 21, 2006

Power Struggle

I have to thank Ouiser for this, because I think it was James Bond's Die Another Day in which I heard the quote "There is no such thing as good or evil; there is only power and how you wield it." And I wondered, is that true? Is being good just having the power to say no to bad things and do what's best for yourself and others? And then I wondered, does absolute power corrupt, absolutely? I mean, limitless power usually leads to evil doings, as history has shown us time and again.

I guess I don't think that power denotes whether we're good or evil, but it certainly does influence it. Haven't powerless people done good things? Even if it's something small, it can still be good. And there's always talk in movies and books of how one uses power; to quote another movie, "With great power comes great responsibility." I doubt that that originally came from Spiderman, but hey, it still works. If you want to look at it in the superhero genre, that's the gist of any comic book: two groups or beings have power and have to decide what to do with it. Do they save the world or try to destroy and manipulate it for their own gains? Do you use the Force or turn to the Dark Side? (I had to throw that in.)

With real people, it's a lot more tenuous. I suppose it has to do with who gets power in the first place. It goes right back to seventh grade and the popular kids wielding the power to make everyone's life around them great or hellish and continues for the rest of our lives. I'm not saying that my classmates were evil, but some of the things they did were. I know a lot of those kids haven't changed since then; it seems to me that those who were considered good but weak ended up gaining the most in the end...if they managed to realize that those seventh grade creeps had no power over them or who they were as people.

I didn't mean for this to get so cyclical but that's the nature of the question, I suppose. What do you think? Is it a question of power? Or just good and evil? Or a combination of both?

1 comment:

Ouiser said...

A major point that I've been turning over in my head that relates to this question...where does accountability come into play? Why can't life be as black and white as it was when we were four? It is WRONG to hit another kid, to lie, and to steal. Everything these days is a matter of perspective. The problem becomes who weilds the great accountability stick and what perspective do they see things from? My head is now spinning as I try to find which way is up in my brain. I'm not even sure this is a legitimate comment as much as thought vomit. Maybe I'll come up with something better...