We tend to demonize the word “power” in our culture. But of itself, power is simply the capacity to act, a kind of energy to accomplish what must be done. Power in this sense can lead to magnificent and creative solutions to difficulties, wonderful breakthroughs and great progress.
God gives us all a certain degree of power to act. We have capacities, abilities, talents and charisms. And these powers, these capacities interact with our will and freedom. It is here that power can bring about great good or go terribly wrong.
Power gone wrong leads us to dominate and impose our self on others in a self-serving way. And power used in this way can lead to unimaginable human suffering and misery and the wars, conflicts, genocides, killing fields and high death tolls of the last century show. As many as 100 million people were put to death in that bloody century in the name of many secular ideologies, of ushering in secular “utopias” and the quest for raw and dominating power.
In the video below we see power gone wrong. A man comes to apply for the job of “superhero” and he is put through certain tests to discern if he has the temperament to handle power for good.
The first few tests seem to go well. But suddenly his use of power goes to his head and he gratuitously kills someone he is supposed to protect. Things go off the rails quickly and the result is utter destruction.
How did this happen? As already stated his power has gone to his head. He has forgotten that he has power for others, not for himself.
It frequently happens in history that those who stage revolutions for the “good of the people” or to end injustice, rise to power and then usher in their own reign of terror. Secular utopian notions of the last Century and their leaders while claiming to be “for the people” often created worse oppression and dictatorships than they claimed to replace. Iron curtains fell and a loss of freedom ensued, as killing on a mass scale was ushered in all “for the sake of the people.” Hitler killed millions, as did Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and others.
There is a subtlety to the video as to how the power goes to his head. For on the face of it his turn to darkness is quite sudden. But I would suggest it is not and that we could see it coming.
How? In the fact that our “hero” uses deadly violence to solve every problem presented in his test sequence. It is not enough for him to rescue the victim, he must destroy the threat. Finally a threat sees his prepared response and back down. He has won without destroying. But by now he has a lust to kill. He must get the kill! But the kill has evaded him by retreat. Thus he turns his lust for power, his lust for the kill on the one he is supposed to protect. From there it is all downhill. No one will limit his power, tell him what to do or keep his blood lust in check. Power has corrupted him. He is addicted to it and must use it.
Here is power gone wrong in miniature, in a cartoon that well illustrates the dark side of power. Power is not wrong, but power can go wrong when it interacts with our sinful nature and its use is no longer measured, or its object is no longer helping others but merely serving the self.
9 Replies to “Power Gone Wrong – As seen in a Superhero Cartoon Clip”
Thomas Jefferson – “When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.”
Such is the nature of those who ignore and break the law or attempt to place themselves above the law through deceptive means. The Bible and history is full of such as you can well attest. It is ignorance of the law that is one’s downfall and the down fall of a nation is the ignorance of it’s citizens who allow the abuse of power and the loss of their freedoms be they God given or constututionally protected. This is an ignorant and corrupt generation and as such will reap what it sows..
Not all people who fail the super hero school qualify as super villains, but that guy did.
I have been around many years, but, this is the first time I have witnessed an Arch-Diocese descend into the realm of cartoons!
I guess the Catholic Church in Washington, D C. has gone LOONIE-Tunes
Absolute power, corrupts absolutely in the hands of men. But the Omnipotent Power offered Love absolutely, immeasurably, totally, encompassing and irrevocably for eternity and for all. Glory and Praise to Our GOD.
This video could be the theme for Alinsky Community Organizers. The idea of getting people together, from different religions and backgrounds, different races and cities, to accomplish “justice” and good things for people like jobs, housing, healthcare, transportation–IT ALL SOUNDS WONDERFUL. Until you see the connections to people like George Soros, to see that we are working side by side with Unitarians on Tuesday for Transportation, while on Wednesday the Unitarians are wearing their pink shirts and demanding we let them make decisions for their wombs and WE Catholics pay for their ABORTIONS, and WE Catholics have to Marry the homosexuals. The do-gooders are wonderful as long as you control what good is being done, and really, when we melt everyone together–the others don’t buy into the Catholic beliefs; more likely you’ll get some Catholics who are weak in their formation to start believing Catholics are too harsh and join the less-harsh religion. Transportation improvement sounds great until you see HOW MANY MILLIONS are dedicated to changes that affect a very small # of people. Healthcare sounds great until you see abortions must be paid for by those who believe abortion is murder (it is). Housing is great until you see the MILLIONS that help the poor build their own homes are exclusively contracted by UNIONS WHO GIVE MILLIONS TO THE POLITICANS WHO VOTE FOR ABORTIONS AND HEALTHCARE THAT SUPPORT ABORTIONS AND TRANSPORTATION THAT HELPS ONLY A FEW. Then we find the jobs programs, MILLIONS to help people find LIVING WAGE jobs which forces a higher wage on small businesses that can’t afford to pay entry level, low-skilled labor at UNION WAGES. I could go on, but I’m sure you understand. If not, check out http://www.johntwo24-25.net. Thanks, Father for a great post. And don’t forget the motto of Ernesto Cortes, one of the IAF’s lead organizers: POWER BEFORE PROGRAM.
Fear the gov or the gov fears us. The problem with this statement is that it belongs in a time when the lines were clear. This is not the case now. How does one distinguish between gov and the people now a days? Gov is so massive and entrenched into everything we do that it is hard to draw that line. Every other of neighbor works or depends on gov. Both sides right and left have caused this with the best of intentions. On one side you have those that want more gov to help the people as with Obama care. How can one say to another, no we don’t want you to see a doctor you cannot afford and just die already. Obamacareu will cause an unholy union between private and gov systems. On the other side you have those that will not think twice in using gov to oppress a minority as with implementing the death penalty. Both sides give government more power for different reasons. How do I, a common man try to limit that power without offending one or the other and risking retaliation? Answer that question and you will be labeled as a libertarian crackpot. It seems to me that in an age were we face so many perils we need big gov. I just don’t know how to balance this, or is there is such a thing as balance in gov. Where is that balance? What is the difference between right and left in this age. They both seem to have morphed into one huge gov. The answer is staring at us. In all of this we forget that we must put ourselves in God’s hands. Let the Holy Spirit guide us and let us try to follow our Lord Jesus in everything we do, He is the answer. He is wisdom for mankind. Without him we have nothing and get easily lost as sheep without a shepherd. This Sunday. Pray that our elected leaders are guided by the Holy Spirit.
God has given each one of us the ability to use “power” in positive or negative ways. Since the “fall” all humans have tendencies toward pride. The only way for humans to avoid this “power that can go awry” is to stay close to the heart of Christ through a sincere sacramental life. When power leads to selfish pride then humans hurt others in order to fulfill that selfishness. We are called to love selflessly; this is very difficult to do without the manifestation of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.
These toons give the dark side the spotlight sometimes, heh. The villain here reminds me of MegaMind.
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