What often separates us from all other creatures of the world is not an ability to do something, but an inability. We, as a race, are irresponsible in our inability to naturally put the long term betterment of the world before the short term betterment of our own lives. This is immediately visible in the Covid ridden world today (and if it’s not to you, then, congratulations, your’e likely a purveyor of the world’s current state) in the way in which people are unable to make sacrifices, albeit somewhat large ones, for the sake of the community at large. But where this sad failure of mankind is most dangerous is in its governments. Politicians use the powers we grant them to make the same self-destructive choices we ourselves inevitably make, albeit on a much larger scale. However, we have largely been unable to meet this corruption, instead allowing ourselves to be plagued by its corrosion of our societies since the dawn of our governance. And this failure, as with many of our race’s great failures, is in large part the result of misconception, two misconceptions in particular.
The first misconception is that power corrupts, but this isn’t necessarily true. We, as previously stated, are all corrupt, power simply amplifies our own natural corruption in the ways in which it allows it to be acted upon. The second is that governmental corruption cannot be fought without limiting governmental power, a falsehood largely derived from the basis of the first misconception. Essentially, our problems here are the result of our inability to decouple power from corruption, not that they are unrelated, but one can be restricted without doing the same to the other. But how do you do that? It centers on balancing the ability to use power to do bad with the ability for it to do good, both of which we all know power to already inherently have. And if corruption is the motivation to harness a power’s ability to do bad, then what is the motivation to harness its ability to do good? The answer is will.
In order to sufficiently fight corruption within our governments without restricting their power and ability to effectively act as governing bodies of our society, you have to make will as powerful as corruption in politics. You have to make being a politician miserable. You have to make it so that average people would never think twice about trying to become a politician. Being a governor, senator, or even a member of your local board of education should never be glamorous or enviable. Instead, we should be able to look at politicians as we look at garbage disposal workers or sewage maintenance teams. Instead of raking in as much money as a corporate executive, politicians should live the life of their most disadvantaged constituent. Giving them the incentive to better the lives of all of the members of their larger community. To relate it to the business world, running for a government position should be like building a startup, you don’t do it for the money or power, that would be idiotic in the case of a startup, but because you have a vision, a way you think you could make the world a better place in a way that you and only you could ever execute it.