Monday, April 30, 2012

Power is Addictive

The Daily Mail reports that political power is literally addicting:
‎Cocaine works in a similar way, which can have varied effects from increasing alertness, confidence, energy, feelings of well-being and euphoria, but also anxiety, paranoia and restlessness.

Power has almost identical effects to cocaine and too much of it can produce too much dopamine leading to more negative effects such as arrogance and impatience.
Power also makes one more aggressive and sexually active (sex scandals, anyone?). But look at this list. Do we really want people in power who are anxious and paranoid? But, as it turns out, getting political power is what makes you anxious and paranoid. If you are confident to the point of arrogance and paranoid, that seems the perfect cocktail for centralizing power. It is perhaps no wonder people with power try to centralize it around them.


Only by decentralizing power, distributing it as widely as possible, can we overcome these deeply primitive drives. If you want to know what politicians are really like, learn about primate dominance behaviors. Power is primitive, it is atavistic. Politics is the least human(e) form of organization.
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