Monday, January 30, 2012

Power corrupts …

Nick sent me a text that he just spent 15 minutes in Toronto getting reamed by a customs guy for not declaring a 40 cent package of curry sauce. Having flown back from a few weeks in the UK, one can easily imagine a package of curry sauce getting stuck in his bags at some point. The guy threatened him with a $1300 fine and, in Nick’s words, woudn’t STFU about this package of curry sauce.


Nick had to just stop talking after the guy continued screaming for a third trip around the circle when Nick had already explained it twice. He says that his rage at the injustice was approaching satanic levels. I can easily imagine this as mine gets close just hearing about it.

So this goes to show that those horrible stories about border guards and others who get a tiny smidgen of power over their fellow man and then abuse the shit out of it are real. I knew that already, because it has been proven more than once empirically.

By the way, the actual quotation is thus:

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902)

I would add that small men (in character) are just as likely to be bad men if they get a taste of power.