Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Power Theory

I just heard an outrageous statement, and I am still reeling from it. A classmate of mine just commented on Zimbardo's Mock Prison experiment - a study where two groups of people were assigned roles of guard and prisoner - claiming that anyone with a badge would abuse their power, or "flaunt it." Is this truly what we believe? Is there no longer any belief in a high calling or the good of those who are drawn to a life in civil service? Have we forgotten that some of these people - police officers, prison guards, military - deal with that which we would never desire to deal with? Why have people in power, if we believe they are ALL corrupt? Am I too much of an idealist?