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NCJ Number: 65378 Find in a Library
Title: POWER, CORRUPTION, AND RECTITUDE
Author(s): A A ROGOW; H D LASSWELL
Date Published: 1963
Page Count: 143
Sponsoring Agency: Greenwood Publishing Group
Westport, CT 06881-5007
Sale Source: Greenwood Publishing Group
88 Post Road West
P.O. Box 5007
Westport, CT 06881-5007
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS BOOK EXAMINES LORD ACTON'S APHORISM, 'POWER TENDS TO CORRUPT AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY,' IN RELATION TO U.S. INSTITUTIONS AND LEADERS AS A FRAMEWORK FOR PREDICTING U.S. CORRUPTION'S FUTURE.
Abstract: ACTON'S APHORISM WAS PART OF THE INHERITANCE OF THE AMERICANS WHO DRAFTED THE CONSTITUTION. AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS WERE DESIGNED TO CURB PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ABUSES OF POWER. SUBSEQUENT POLITICAL EXPERIENCES SHOWS THAT THIS APPROACH HAS HAD ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES FOR THE BODY POLITIC AT HOME AND ABROAD. SUBJECTING THE ACTON PRINCIPLES TO TWO TESTS (BIOGRAPHICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL) POINTS STRONGLY TO THE VIEW THAT POWER HAS NO NECESSARY IMPACT ON RECTITUDE. NEXT, A THEORETICAL MODEL IS DEVELOPED TO SHOW THE VARYING CONTEXT IN WHICH POWER LEADS EITHER TO CORRUPTION OR TO ENNOBLEMENT. EVERY U.S. INSTITUTIONAL PROCESS IS CONSIDERED IN DEVELOPING THIS MODEL TO EXAMINE THE PROBABLE STRUCTURE OF COMING EVENTS. INSTITUTIONS EXAMINED INCLUDE THOSE OF WEALTH, ENLIGHTENMENT, SKILL, RESPECT, SAFETY, HEALTH, COMFORT, IDENTITY, AND RESPONSIBILITY. EXAMINATION OF THE U.S. IDEOLOGY BASED ON THE CONCEPT OF HUMAN DIGNITY FURTHER SHOWS THAT THIS IDEOLOGY IS BOTH ACTIVE AND A MAJOR FORCE IN THE U.S. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT (1) THE GROWTH OF PROPER STRATEGY FOR THE EXERCISE OF SHARED POWER IN AMERICA AND BY AMERICANS HAS BEEN HELD BACK AS A RESULT OF THE APPROACH TO POLITICS CRYSTALLIZED IN THE ACTON PRINCIPLE; (2) THE ACTON ASSERTION IS A GROSS OVERSIMPLICATION OF THE FACTS SINCE POWER ALSO ENNOBLES AND POWERLESSNESS CORRUPTS OR ENNOBLES; AND (3) THE METHOD OF POLITICAL THOUGHT EXEMPLIFIED BY ACTON IS EXCEEDINGLY INAPPROPRIATE TO THE EXAMINATION OF POLITICS. THE PROPER METHOD OF ANALYSIS IS THE CONTEXTUAL METHOD WHICH, IN THE CASE OF POWER AND RECTITUDE, REQUIRES GOALS TO BE RESPECIFIED THROUGH TIME. FOOTNOTES WHICH INCLUDE REFERENCES AND AN INDEX ARE PROVIDED. (CFW)
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Corruption of public officials; Critiques; Political influences; Separation of powers; Studies
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65378

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