Is power intoxicating?

Hi Teachers and all the websitemates! :smiley:

Really, I would like all of you to share your opinions about “one topic”. Is power intoxicating?

Your ideas are appreciated!

I think power is intoxicating only to those who are prone to being intoxicated. Generally, people who appear to be intoxicated by power were really intoxicated by something else before they got the power. Then they proceed to wield the power as if they were intoxicated.

Think of a drunk driver: Did the car make him drunk, or was he drunk before he got into the car?

If you look through history, you can see lots of examples of people who were already intoxicated before they came into power: Pol Pot, Lenin, Stalin, Idi Amin, Yasser Arafat, and many others. Most of them were intoxicated by some unrealistic, dehumanizing political ideology, and when they were put in the seat of leadership, they drove the state like angry drunks. I think there are few examples of people who were mentally normal before they took power and then became drunk with power.


‘What can make you drunk, stronger than wine?
A woman, a horse, a power and a war…’

Yes, that’s right.

But also, many of much more ordinary people eagerly striving for power are just amenable to flattery and have morbid feeling of own ‘significance’. (Keyword : own).
Being strongly needed to get permanent ‘validation’ for their exaggerated and neurotized (neurotic) self-esteem from the outside.

That’s right, Tamara.

I think there’s also a different type of mentally ill person who constructs his own distorted version of reality and needs people to agree with it. You can recognize this person, because he will run around energetically practicing his lie on many, many people partly in order to convince them, and partly in order to get practice telling the lie and refine it so that it’s more believable. They shower affection on the person who is willing to believe the lie, and they punish or banish people who do not believe them. With this type of person also, it’s not enough just to be a friend. You also must hate the same people, or else you become an enemy too.

There are many ordinary people of this type who walk the streets and function at school or in jobs, although with quite a bit of self-created aggravation. Occasionally, however, someone like this gets a lot of power, and this is when you get dangerous dictators. They want to expand the number of people who accept their lie, and they imprison or kill people who don’t. I think Hitler and Saddam Hussein were this type of person, but you see that personality disorder in many people you meet from day to day. Some of them don’t get anywhere in life, but some become managers and reach other positions of “leadership”.

I think it’s normal if you behave differently if the situation changes. I don’t say it’s good, but it’s an action-reaction kind of thing. When all the people starting to look up to you, you have to have a really strong personality not to look down on them.
An avarage man would try to fulfill the expectations.
You just can’t be the “same person” to your father, your boss, to your son, and to your employees.
If you become responsible for people, or the boss of them, they’ll behave differently with you, therefore you’ll change.
If they don’t like the way you changed, they say you got drunk, if they like it, they say nothing.
Those “maniacs” Jamie mentioned are total different.
They don’t worry about people that much, they care only about their ideas, so power doesn’t effect them that much.
They would behave always the same, their strong personalitys the reason why they got the power, They were the same as a painter, or whatever.
I wouldn’t say about, for example Lenin that he was drunk by power.
He wasn’t worse than Colombus, or any of those heros in the history, it’s only his idea hasn’t proved to be right.
Jamie might think capitalism is better, but it’s only because it works out well for him.
If you ask a homless in the states, he migh like Lenin’s ideas better.
It’s always about luck, you’re crazy today, you might be considered as a genius ten years from now for the same reason.
Jamie call this guys drunk, but if he was a teacher in a communist country. what would he say about America?
If he accepts capitalism with no doubt, what would he say as a german soldier in the World War II ? :slight_smile:
Okay, it’s a bit harsh, but as a teacher you can’t be on any sides, you have to remain objective.
At this very moment people die for someone’s idea,and a thousand years from now we’ll might know if he was right, or he way crazy.

Hi Jamie

I agree.

I also think (as you pointed out in the first post) that Adolf Schicklgruber, as well as Ulyanov-Lenin, were above all romantics of the worst kind. Like all those other unbending revolutionists who always are ready to flood half-of-the-world by flows of people’s blood - for their ‘ideals’.

P.S. By the way, did you ever see Hitler’s painting? Quite good and romantic… … style=mine

Homeless people in the United States are often too mentally ill to have an opinion about these things. Some of them even refuse to live in nice places when the government provides them with an apartment. So for many of them it’s a lifestyle choice, and not something they had to do. Otherwise you couldn’t explain people like my former high school classmate who had a good husband, a nice, secure family situation, and chose to leave that and live in a refrigerator box in an alley in San Francisco.

Generally, those Americans who are most against capitalism and most in favor of Marxism-Leninism are intellectuals who are protected by their academic jobs and don’t need to deal with reality.

I would probably do what teachers in many communist countries did. I would believe in capitalism but give my students an approved communist text, have them memorize it, and then have them regurgitate it word for word. Then I would be safe, because I did not pass my real beliefs on to the students, and the students would be safe, because they did not have to think.

The National Socialist Party was the group that caused all that trouble in Europe. How would seeing a socialist party ruin a continent turn someone against capitalism?

Often being objective means you have to take a side. If I were to teach a class that Marxism-Leninism is the most effective basis for society, that it provides justice and equality for all, and that capitalism is evil, then I would not be objective. I would just be psycho. Being objective means that you learn from the lessons of history or your life, and you don’t blind yourself with your former beliefs.

Just because a friend of yours decided to be a homless, I can’t refuse the thought like there are still some homless people in America who just don’t want to be a homeless after all.
Anyway, to be objective you don’t HAVE TO be on any side,trust me. All the ideas have good points, and side effects, and you have to see them both.
If you can’t see the problems with capitalism, you couldn’t see the problems in the communism either, if you had been living in it.
You might think I like Lenin because of my writing, but I don’t care about this whole stuff at all.
I just wanted to show you that you blind yourself now about your country, and you would’ve blinded yourself the same in those countries as well.
I’m on no one’s side, or everyone’s side, and I’m only a cook.
A teacher should do this better than me.

Well, a lot of people don’t want to be homeless, but they also don’t want to do the things that are necessary not to be homeless. For example, they may not want to stop drinking too much, taking cocaine or heroin, gambling, or doing other damaging things. A few people become homeless because they didn’t control themselves, went into too much consumer debt, and never saved money. Just as I can tell you about a friend who chose to be homeless, I can tell you about people who went into debt buying too expensive a house, cars that were too nice, and every other little toy that caught their eye. Then maybe there was some problem with work, or with someone’s health, and they couldn’t continue the payments. A normal person would have seen what was coming, sold the expensive house, sold the cars, and lived a more modest life. Other people, however, have so much of their ego tied up in “owning” these things (they don’t really own them) that they don’t rescue themselves, and they wind up on the street. This is not a problem with capitalism, but with people. They could have had a good life on a smaller scale, but they refused to do what they had to. Then some of them refuse the help that is offered to them.

You can say that the capitalist system caused these people’s problems, but I don’t agree. Think of this: In the US there are some people who eat like crazy until they weigh more than 370 kilos. When they are taken to the hospital, the fire department has to knock down the wall of their bedrooms to get them out of the house. Frequently the people die from all this weight. Now, who caused this problem? Was it the food distribution system? Was it the supermarket? Was it the advertisers who made the food attractive? No! It was the guy himself. None of it could have happened if he hadn’t opened his cake hole and pushed all that food down it.

Sometimes being objective means not taking sides. Sometimes being objective means you HAVE to take sides. A person who never takes sides is not objective.

I know perfectly well what my country’s problems are. I have just reached different conclusions from you.

Jamie, tell me some of your country’s problems please.

(problems, which have no connection with capitalism)
(problems, which are not made by stupid people, who eat too much hamburgers, or drank up their house)

Well, one is that in most states, and in national elections, there are no run-off elections. This means that candidates are often elected by a plurality of the vote, and not by a majority. Bill Clinton, for example, never won a majority of the vote, so he became president even though he was the candidate most people didn’t want. For a few years my district had a representative in Congress who won with 27% of the vote, because there were so many other candidates. I even met a man who had run for mayor of his town as a joke. He won the election because the vote was split among so many candidates that his minority of the vote was bigger than anyone else’s. So the joker won the election.

Another problem is that, over the past 30 years, our public school systems have deteriorated to the point where the average 21-year-old walking down the street doesn’t possess a lot of completely basic knowledge, and he isn’t embarrassed that he doesn’t know really simple things. In some cities, the average high school graduate reads at the level of an 8-year-old.

Still another is that residential areas have stopped being built like towns, and in the new ones most things are accessible only by car. This means that kids are completely dependent on their parents until they are 16 and can drive a car. It also means there is no reason for them to go outside, so they stay inside, eat a lot and get fat.

One more problem is that the society is so prosperous that people lose their perspective. You’ll see “poor” people complaining that the government should give them more money, or help them get out of poverty, and when you talk to them you find out these “poor” people have individual apartments, cars, DVD players, plenty of food, and lots of money for alcohol and cigarettes. We also have decadent charities, like the “Make a Wish Foundation” that spend thousands of dollars sending sick children to Disneyworld or flying some star to their bedside. These children are already very fortunate, have loving families, excellent medical care, etc. The same money, if sent to Africa or India, could save hundreds of children from dying of simple illnesses, but Americans are so affluent and decadent that they think it’s really sad if one of our kids doesn’t make it to Disneyworld before he dies.

I could go on and on about more problems, but I don’t have time right now.

Jamie, what I would really like to know is:
Is there anyone who’s not exactly in the same station in life as they deserves in America?
Anyone who’s suffering not because of his own fault, but because of the system’s?
No one?

There are people who suffer temporary setbacks because their company folded or they were laid off. Some of these people think it’s a big catastrophe and just sit home and complain. Other people retrain themselves or do other things to get jobs that are as good or better than they had before. The former people are resisting labor market opportunities, and the latter people are using the capitalist system to move on.

You can point to the disaster some people had with losing their retirement savings at Enron, but this isn’t because of the capitalist system, but because Enron INTERFERED with he capitalist system. At most companies, retirement investments are handled by an outside firm, and the employee can choose among an assortment of diversified investments. At Enron, the company interfered with this and forced all employees to have their retirement savings only in Enron stock. When the company collapsed due to criminal management, the employees lost all of that. However, you could make the argument that someone with his eyes open would have known that a one-stock investment plan is foolish, and would not have taken the job. I still say this problem was not caused by capitalism, but by criminal activity. Note that Soviet communism collapsed and there are now hungry Russians on the street. Is that a failure of communism or of capitalism? Or both?

Once in a while there are people in the US who are put in prison because the judge or the court bureaucracy didn’t allow them to present their case effectively. These people can usually get new trials, but it can take a long time.

Sometimes a perfectly honest American can lose his job and money because someone sued him for some crazy thing. A doctor may have to fight a lawsuit from someone who says he should not have been born. A business owner who is not racist may spend years in court fighting a racism accusation from someone who just wants money.

Dear Jamie

Could you please shed some light on this one?

Prone + be or
Prone + being?


Hi Jamie!

Since you are that fighter for capitalism, I have some questions to you!

What is the aim of capitalism? To make money, perhaps? How can you make money, or better how can you increase the amount of money you have? I think there are two ways only: 1st you can take the money from the others or 2nd you can print some notes! :shock:

I mean as there is a certain amount of worth that can be distributed and everybody on the earth have got a certain amount of it (the one a bit more-the other a bit less), so how (and it is sure: some people do that) can you get the amount of the others to increase your own amount? What aim does that behaviour have and what sense does it make to have all the worth? Isn?t it worth nothing if one person or a small group of persons owns it all? What value does have the money-granary of Dagobert Duck? :roll:

I think, you?re right saying the UdSSR communism failed. As Lenin might had been an intellectual but wasn?t capable inserting Marx?s theory. There is a German saying from the time of USSR:
A: "What is the difference between “Marx” and “Murks” [size=75]?(Hope you know the expression “Murks”) [/size]
B: “Marx is the theory, Murks is the practice!” :wink:

Don?t you think it would be time to think through (just think through , at least and firstly) the current capitalistic situation? Since there is currently a war in Lebanon, since the war in Iraq, since Osama Bin Laden? Beside of religious reasons, as in the Middle Ages, when the knights tried to conquer the Middle East, fore-grounded the christian religion?


The adjective is prone, followed by the preposition to. Since to here is a preposition, it must be followed by a noun or gerund. You can say “prone to being/getting intoxicated” or “prone to intoxication”. It means someone has a tendency to get intoxicated.

you dropped very important name …

[color=red]George Boach

Do you mean the same situation about Mr.Boach when he beat and destroyed one of the greatest and most important country in the middle East area " Iraq" , because " Iraq punishes or banishes people who do not believe them. " !!! and because he wanted to publish his huge lies about the freedom in the world !!!
Boach said before war to the world that " Iraq has had a nuclear weapons , but you and I and all people have known that his talking wasn’t true , and Iraq has never had any nuclear weapons … and the " IAEA" deported all these lies… but he insisted on …

and now … you should know that " the average of killing operations in Iraq is 50 people dead and above 100 hurt people every day ??? can you tell me why !!!

Hey Jimai … our God creates two eyes to everybody to see the complete image … but I advise you when you want tell us any story … you should use your " both two eyes " … to tell the complete image


Michael, your view of economies as a zero sum game is part of the old pre-industrial agrarian way of viewing the world. A field would yield only a certain amout of produce, so the only way you could get richer was to steal or to plow a couple or rows into your neighbor’s field, which is also stealing. That concept isn’t valid anymore, and in a normal, well-governed capitalist society, nobody is poor just because someone else is rich.

Sure, people who advance economically do so by taking something from somebody else, but it’s not generally through stealing. People exchange money for something they want more. That’s generally a win-win situation, where each person is getting something he wants. Since the money changes hands again and again, everybody gets in on the act. When the economic activity starts to increase so much that it puts a strain on the money supply, the central bank releases more money.

I’m not stealing food from the mouths of starving children in Africa. In fact, my country gives billions in food aid to them, but if the totalitarian dictator of their country doesn’t let the food get to them, that’s not the fault of capitalism.

First off, Hercules, I have never heard of anyone named George Boach, so I can’t answer any of your questions about him.

This is a very interesting situation, because almost all Iraqis I have ever talked to – both Christian and Muslim – WANTED the US to invade their country. They had suffered under a genocidal dictator for decades, and most recently he had killed 1.5 million of their people with poison gas. When I saw Arabs who were angry and complaining about the invasion of Iraq, they were always from other Arab countries, and almost never from Iraq. You might say those people aren’t telling me their real feelings because I’m American, but I know they’re speaking truthfully. But if you want to, you can go right ahead and say Arabs are liars. I just won’t agree with you.

Who is this Boach guy?

You don’t read the news very much, and you don’t read it very well. Iraq had both a nuclear weapons program that had not produced a bomb yet, and they had chemical weapons programs. Since the invasion, authorities have been led to parts of the program that have been buried in various places. The people who led them to the equipment do not know where all the parts are, and the people who know may already be dead, or they could be in exile. Saddam also had mobile chemical and biological weapons labs that could be moved around the country, and one or two of those have been found. In addition, he had moved from large, permanent sites to smaller, movable sites that were working on smaller weapons. For example, they were working on efficient ways to poison food produced in factories, or to fill subway stations and other places with poison gases. Hans Blix and the UN people could not find these, because since the 1990s Saddam had paid spies on the UN inspection teams. There were none of those “surprise inspections” you heard about in the news, because there were no surprises. Agents would alert the staff of the weapons facility, and they would move the equipment and materials before the inspection team got there. Now they are finding documents from Saddam’s government that indicate a lot of his weapons and equipment were moved to Syria before the invasion. He had plenty of time, because the US spent half a year playing games at the United Nations. We’ll know later how much he had and what was moved.

Besides, the weapons were not the only, or even the most important reason given for the invasion. Right from the beginning, the reason that was given was that Saddam’s government ran training camps for terrorists who had been attacking the US and its allies. He was also financing them in various ways and giving money to the families of suicide bombers. There were plenty of good reasons to take him out, and the Iraqi people wanted him out. It seems mainly to be the Lebanese, Syrians and others who wanted the Iraqis to live under a dictator.

I can’t tell you why, and since Mr. al-Zarqawi is dead now, you can’t ask him why either. The best you can do is look at who is doing most of the killing and listen to the reasons they give. Last I looked, most of the killing was being done by Muslim terrorists who are backed by Iran, Syria and al-Quaeda. Let’s start with the time a few weeks ago when they killed the Iraqi men’s tennis team. They explained why they did that: They said the men deserved to die because they were wearing shorts. They have similar explanations for the other things they do. Why do they bomb schools or kids gathering to get candy? Why do they bomb hospitals? Ask them. I guarantee you that if they stopped it, the war would be over.

You need to read something besides the Arabic media. I read both.

But let’s move on to another subject.

[color=orange]Have a happy day. :lol:

Jamie, you can not be serious!!! Why did you offend me that way??? :twisted: I asked you about the sense i.e. the aims of capitalism and you weren?t capable an answer.

I?m not a professor of a language or something else, in particular not in economy but having a look at what happens here in Europe, particularly in Germany I only can figure out that the system the US American (although it brought some development) don?t really work. All the common richness is disappearing, since the German/Europian politicians follow the US way only and aren?t capable of having own ideas. What does that depend on? Money? Print your money and be happy!!!

About your gifts to poor African children! Your armee is that powerful conquering every nation in the world. Why don?t you use it to bring the food you mentioned to that poor children? Doesn?t it make profit for the US President? Or is that possibly democratic to give it to totalitarian dictators? Why don?t you care for the correct way of distribution?

Now, all this questions come across me when I see that your representatives talk about democracy?