The dangers of power without care

This “On This Day” reminder of what I’d posted two years ago caught my eye this morning, on two levels.

Firstly, its echoes of other politics of leadership, stewardship, process, transparency, fairness, holding accountability, trust, and moral decency currently unfolding all over the world, including Singapore. We also passed by a Venezuela demonstration yesterday on the way to the Science Museum.

Secondly, its echo of the fact that Boris Johnson’s contentious pro-hard-Brexit article was published in this same newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, two days ago:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/sep/16/may-too-weak-fire-johnson-say-furious-tories

Which is also about political leadership, stewardship, process, transparency, fairness, holding accountability, trust, and moral decency (or the lack thereof), albeit on a pretty staggering scale, for someone who spends the majority of my life here.

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” – Lord Acton, writing to Bishop Creighton, 1887.

How, liddat? The next post I have to share is on the Dalai Lama (akan datang), which brings me to last year’s Power and Care, which proffers an answer – maybe, the only answer there ever has been to the fearful wielding of power.

“One of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites, polar opposites… power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” – Martin Luther King Jr, Aug 16th, 1967

Power AND Care. They must go together. In our post-retreat correspondence Alan and I have started discussing our common conviction that ethics must return to the heart of education and scientific endeavour. I’d add everyday civic life – not to mention business and politics.

These are universal ethics I am after. And I don’t mean lip service implementation, either. I mean introduction, exploration, investigation, inhabitation, ownership, integration.

As the selfish silo wielding of power grows ever more toxic without the grounding of care, with wide-ranging consequences for all not just some, I grow increasingly convinced that there is no other solution than for those of us who care to translate that care into action.

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