Thursday, June 30, 2011


I am fairly sure that most of you are familiar with the famous line written by Lord Acton: "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." While I agree with this sentiment, I think a corollary is just as true. To wit, Impotence tends to corrupt; absolute impotence corrupts absolutely.

When the people feel powerless to impact the decisions of their leaders, a sense of utter hopelessness sets in.

When people search and search for jobs that don't exist in sufficient numbers, they begin to fall into deep depression and doubt their own worth as individuals.

When people become sick -- often through no direct fault of their own -- and they can't afford needed medical care and/or they go bankrupt in the effort to obtain some, frustration builds to the point that they feel they may implode.

When people face foreclosure of their homes and, try as they might, nothing they do to try to receive a loan modification works, they begin to feel as if the weight of the world is bearing down on their shoulders.

When all of these things and so much more start to pile up on citizen after citizen and resident after resident, the people begin to believe that nothing matters anymore. If nothing matters, then love, respect, civility and doing unto others as you would want them to do unto you loses its meaning.

People start to draw in and build artificial barriers around themselves. They look for scapegoats and many fall prey to the hateful rhetoric of demagogues. They lash out at their sisters and brothers as a way to try to assuage their own pain and abject powerlessness.

And, when people begin to feel absolutely impotent, the specter of indiscriminate violence isn't far behind.


  1. It's Lord ACTON...but I like the idea that impotence may be commented on by Lord ACTION.


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