Lord Acton was right

Here’s the latest in the annals of unsurprising science. Scientists have have devised a psychology experiment that supports the hypothesis that power corrupts.

What was a bit more surprising was a second finding: Power corrupts people who believe they deserve their power. Those who didn’t exhibited a strange phenomenon the scientists dubbed hypercrisy (i.e., the opposite of hypocrisy), in which they were harder on themselves than others.

I’m not sure how significant the second finding is in practical terms. Should we choose our leaders by lottery? There’s a certain appeal to that, but I doubt it would really work out well. Also, I think that people pretty quickly come to believe that they deserve their good fortune.

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