Pinky, Brain, Power and Corruption

Pinky, Brain, Power and CorruptionThere have been numerous theories put forward as to why power corrupts, and why absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Most of these theories seem to go on the premise that a powerful person is inherently immoral, hence when he or she gets to wield this power there is a disregard of any sense of morality and total disrespect for others. This may be somewhat true; but a cursory glance would show us that most of the world’s powerful people are of similar background to rest of us - from all walks of life.

If we may, however, find the equivalence of power and addiction and understand what takes place in the brain we may really start to explain the true link between power and corruption. Our starting point will be one of the medically recognized criteria for addiction.

A person who gets addicted to a drug, or to habit such as gambling, hardly ever starts with the aim to become addicted. The drug is usually started because of its “good” effect. That is, it makes us feel calm, reduces pain, boosts confidence, decreases inhibitions or gives a sudden rush of, or sustained, energy.

As a result of the “good” effect we take the drug again. But each time the drug is taken the resultant effect becomes less, and hence we have to take more and more. That is because we have become tolerant - one of the key criteria for addiction.

But what does drug tolerance has to do with power?

When a person tastes power, he or she realises the benefits (personal and otherwise) that can be gained from that power. But more power is needed to gain the additional benefits sought or to maintain the benefits that have been already attained. Hence, there is a craving to get more power, the same way an addicted person craves more drugs.

In reality, though, there exist barriers between what we want to achieve and/or our ability to reach those goals. So addicted persons may lie, steal, kill, cheat, rape, beg, prostitute themselves, coerce, cajole, bribe, deny their consciences, and do all other manner of “evil” to maintain their drug supply line or even to get the next fix. The power craving person does just the same to gain power or the benefits (real or perceived) of that power.

Now one may conclude that these sound like the deeds of inherently bad people (and they may very well be). But if we remember that drugs of addiction tend to reduce inhibitions and impulse control, we would realise that a person drunk with power have these same tendencies. Therefore, powerful people tend to act without inhibitions or impulse control - the no one can touch me syndrome.

More than that, if powerful persons are in positions to change laws, rules, regulations, or norms to continue or get away with their mal behaviour, they will act without impunity or even fear of the same. Hence, it is not uncommon to see politicians make amendments to existing laws to suit themselves or their parties. Might I sight the recent changes to the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act here in Antigua & Barbuda?

Now this takes us to another addiction criteria - that is withdrawal. When persons are addicted to, or dependent on, a drug and you suddenly prevent them from taking the said drug, it is likely they will start to exhibit withdrawals. They may feel anxious, irritable, suicidal, experience pain and tremors, sweat profusely, pull out their hair, curse, get seizures, go into coma and even die. For “survival” sake, persons in that position may try to manipulate others to continue their drug habit.

Again, powerful persons do not readily care to give up power. They go into withdrawal. For some, it may mean losing their protection from the legal consequences of their action. Hence, politicians in power will manipulate any situation to remain in power. It may be done legally, even if unethically, or it may be done downright illegally.

Hence, we often see policy flip-flopping, boundary gerrymandering, voter intimidation, immigration intimidation, tax manipulation, cronyism, organised gang violence, worker harassment, and union busting. And do not think for one moment that this is limited to Antigua & Barbuda. Even the great USA, and some of its past and current politicians and business leaders have provided and are providing great examples.

So is there any cure for power corruption? Like addiction, a cure might be hard to find, but there is certainly treatment. Let us take the liberty of applying it to our political system.

We need to start by introducing term limits to political offices in this country_ finding a way to safely separate an addict from his drug. We need to embark on a decentralization of government. That is, having a stronger local government system with leaders having less power or less opportunity to the same.

Find an alternative to this archaic Westminster system that is riddled with inherent conflict of interest and posts that are heavily favoured towards political parties and not the people. Hence in addition to the Leader of Government Business and the Senate Minority Leader, we need to see a Leader of the People’s Business.

No more should senators or electoral officers be fired or demoted for defending the people’s rights or when they speak true to their consciences. This only has the goal of maintaining power for someone without regard for the interest of the populace.

I am sure that there are many more that readers may come up with. But there is one we the people can fix right away.

If you have seen the cartoon Pinky and the Brain, you would realise that the Brain feeds his ego off Pinky. An equivalence in addiction would be the person who willingly or unwilling enables the addict to continue his or her habit.

We have to stop enabling politicians in their addiction for power and all the perks that go with it. Call them out when they do foolishness, take them out of their comfort zones and vote them out when they attempt to trample our rights. Don’t play Pinky to any power-addicted Brain whose aim is to take over the world (or in our case fair Antigua and Barbuda).

Dr.Jerry Simon,a general physician, is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and Villa Clara (Cuba) Medical School. He has previously worked in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry. Presently he is Medical Director of the NSA Medical Surgical Rehab Centre and is a certified member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

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8 Comments In This Article   


@king clown

#8 Microwave chef » 2013-10-04 06:26

There was no teachable moment
king cort for you there will never be a teachable moment because from your writings it is clear you know everything about anything while saying absolutely nothing ( useful that is)
Hence the most we get from you are some comments never plans or suggestions.
clearly you are a text book case of "you can't fix stupid" but o do you love to run your mouth, try your brain instead because you are so addicted to the UPP tit you get to suck daily it is close to sick
people like you ar directly to blame for the mess Antigua finds it self in .Dr Simon on the other hand is not afraid to call a spade a spade and only a full time idiot like you king cort can see political bias in a obvious statement of fact . but you are forgiven because UPP addition is a hell of a disease , no hope of recovery for you FOOL .Don't worry it will prove terminal come the next election.

Microwave chef

A sell-out!

#7 King Court » 2013-10-02 16:09

There was no teachable moment, only downright political skulduggery and partisan politics. Why refer to the abuse of power only through the microscope of the Representation of the People Act. The start of the abuse of power goes back many decades, and the most formidable example was neglected, that of IHI. There are many who will be often used to serve the political elite, as a Doctor to resuscitate evil and denying past corruption is tantamount to a sell-out!

King Court

Waite John French II a one genious you be?

#6 Skyewill » 2013-10-02 14:57

Everyday I defend you nappy head pickney dem and tell the world of their genious but me? A dutty foot? be in the same sentence as the greats: Dr. Simon, & Rawlston Pompey, Dr. Isaac Newton, George Purcell, George-Skye Williams, Conrad Luke - members of a Caring Black Elite & Intelligetsia you got me blushing. I do have to say this article is absolutely on point and it's text book as they come. As you may know I have a degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Addiction and Dr. Simon's lecture today takes me back to class. This article is a classic to be studied and analyzed, chewed slowly and digested. I am not worthy. I finally know what I want to be when I grow up.


Disable & Throw Out The Money Changers!

#5 John French II » 2013-10-02 14:01

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! Dr. Simon, Welcome back. An excellent Learning Opportunity devoid of aggravating rancour. You & Rawlston Pompey, Dr. Isaac Newton, George Purcell, George-Skye Williams, Conrad Luke - members of a Caring Black Elite & Intelligetsia - bring Teachable Moments to this News Portal.
Would urge those who read this & other A&B web based News to visit Enoch - The Ethiopic - at this critical period in Nation Building.
This mere voice has been crying out to "Find an alternative to this archaic Westminster system".
With a "Bewildered & Bemused Electorate" of some 55K, all & sundry could, given todays technology, vote for every parliamentarian in less than 17 mins. Skye, this removes the need for parties & term limits allows anyone so willing to run for office. Let them be responsible for Legislation & Policy. No Ministries only a PM & Deputy. Let them appoint Qualified Executive Senior Administrators to manage the various departments, Creatively, Visionary & Strategically with Transparency & Accountability open to suffer the exigencies of succes or failure. Abolish the Senate & SJDC. Create Municipalities & Village Councils.

John French II


#4 Toronto Antiguan » 2013-10-02 11:23

@ ABLP INSIDER....Why American or Cuban system which operates differently. Take a look at the Canadian system which is also a commonwealth country like Antigua and operates in a similar fashion except for the size of course. When Canadian politicians for both government and opposition parties mess up, they have to resign either voluntarily or by force.. No man is above the law here and Antiguans need to start demanding that from all politicians and forget love of party because that is one of the reason why there is so much problems .

Toronto Antiguan

RE: Pinky, Brain, Power and Corruption

#3 Skyewill » 2013-10-02 09:56

Call them out when they do foolishness, take them out of their comfort zones and vote them out when they attempt to trample our rights. Yep, it's time to vote them out. Westminster needs to go and term limits needs to be installed. Why it someone clearly cannot do the job we (pinky) believe we still need them? Why after 10 years of proving they can't get it right and the people is not their priory the people feel we still need them? Is it lack of self-esteem like pinky? Do we love them more than we love ourselves, our children and families or our country like pinky?



#2 ABLP INSIDER » 2013-10-02 08:47

Dr. this describes our side very well!!!! Just check Asot, Robin, Lester, Molwyn and Gaston..and the Amendments of Acts of Parliament are a crucial part of our system....if not slavery would still be the law! ..by the way since our Westminster system is flawed which system do you recommend? the one that exists in the US? the one that just shut down the government and sent 700,000 people home? No time limit limits exists for Senators or Congressmen......onl y President. Or the one in Cuba?


RE: Pinky, Brain, Power and Corruption

#1 POLITRICKS » 2013-10-02 05:55

Your and spot on man. Tell me that you are talking about those UPP and ABLP folks?


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Dr. Jerry Simon

Dr.Jerry Simon,a general physician, is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and Villa Clara (Cuba) Medical School. He has previously worked in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry. Presently he is Medical Director of the NSA Medical Surgical Rehab Centre and is a certified member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

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