Monday, May 12, 2008

The attraction of power

In his column in the Inquirer, Defending God, Conrado De Quiros hits upon an idea inadvertently already attributed to him:
But now that they mention running Tony Meloto for president in 2010,
why in God's name didn't I think of that? That is brilliant. I myself
have not been in election mode simply because I've never bought the
idea we'll have one in 2010-unless we remove the usurper first. But
granting we do, yes, by all means count me in, Meloto for President!
You can't have a better candidate, one who has head and heart, a wealth
of insight and a well of compassion. The only problem is that unlike
the leaders of CFC-FFL who will grab at any chance to aggrandize
themselves, Meloto will probably decline it.
And therein lies the problem of government, why it is one of the most pernicious institutions ever invented by man. We have invested it with too much power and would not hesitate to give it more because of our misguided belief that it is the solution to our problems. The problem is this: Power is more attractive to the evil man than it is to the good man. An evil man will actively seek it, a good man will shun it. Good men (and women) who are thrust into positions of power do so reluctantly, and would give it up as soon as they can. Evil men (and women) seek it, chase after it, and cling to it if allowed to do so by the people whom they govern; would cling to it if they could get away with it. And if they couldnt, would see to it that their ilk, their cronies, their relatives, their friends, their coterie of evil, would continue in their stead. We are more likely to have a bad government than a good one.

To quote Ronald Reagan, government isnt the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.

Update: Manuel L. Quezon III, quotes Confucius on good government, an increasingly oxymoronic premise in my opinion, and yet as his illustrious grandfather recognized, the preference of the the overwhelming majority: The Filipino prefers good government over self-government.
"Tz├╝ Kung asked for a definition of good government. The Master replied: It consists in providing enough food to eat, in keeping enough soldiers to guard the State, and in winning the confidence of the people. And if one of these three things had to be sacrificed, which should go first? The Master replied: Sacrifice the soldiers. And if of the two remaining things one had to be sacrificed, which should it be? The master said: Let it be the food. From the beginning, men have always had to die. But without the confidence of the people no government can stand at all."

1 comment:

grifter said...

tell that to countries who had dictatorships that lasted a day longer than they should.

we need ... Tony Stark!