More than a hundred years after noted historian Baron John Acton coined the phrase ‘power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely’ scientists claim the saying is biologically true. The feeling of power has been found to have a similar effect on the brain to cocaine by increasing the levels of testosterone and its by-product 3-androstanediol in both men and women. This in turn leads to raised levels of dopamine, the brain’s reward system called the nucleus accumbens, which can be very addictive…
Power has almost identical effects to cocaine and too much of it can produce too much dopamine leading to more negative effects such as arrogance and impatience. The claims by Dr Ian Robertson may go some way to explain the outlandish and impulsive behaviour of city fatcats, tycoons and celebrities. Writing in the Daily Telegraph today, he said: ‘Baboons low down in the dominance hierarchy have lower levels of dopamine in key brain areas, but if they get ‘promoted’ to a higher position, then dopamine rises accordingly. This makes them more aggressive and sexually active, and in humans similar changes happen when people are given power’.
Understanding why power, money, and esteem addicts are so dangerous starts with a crash course on how dopamine manipulates behavior. Everything we do, we do to maintain dopamine flow…
To protect dopamine flow:
Drug and food addicts score and stash.
Safety addicts blame.
Power addicts collude.
Acceptance addicts fawn.
Esteem addicts feign.
Religion addicts pray.
Money addicts connive.
To trigger dopamine:
Drug and food addicts ingest, imbibe, inhale, and inject.
Safety addicts flock.
Power addicts dominate.
Acceptance addicts flatter.
Esteem addicts flaunt.
Religion addicts judge.
Money addicts work, work, work.
For example, esteem addicts are a lot like junkies — only less honest and more pathetic. Both scramble to score the same neurotransmitter, but while junkies tend to limit their destruction to themselves and a small circle of family, friends, and strangers, esteem addicts destroy environments, economies, and untold lives…
Esteem addiction combos are the most interesting and destructive because esteem addicts are extremely self-deceptive. Bolstered by unbridled self-deception, esteem addicts excel at sidestepping facts that threaten dopamine flow and fabricating dopamine-triggering rationalizations that justify despicable behavior…
Power/money/esteem addicts are, by far, the most destructive of all addicts because they will do anything to maintain dopamine flow. They abhor truth and ruthlessly lie, cheat, steal, bribe, corrupt, demean, persecute, attack, destroy, and/or crush. To make matters worse, their addictions provide them with the resources that make it possible to ignore, obfuscate, or eliminate any and all threats to their dopamine flow. It doesn’t help that insatiable dopamine cravings keep power/money/esteem addicts scrambling for the degrees, positions, and power that allow them to define legalities, moralities, and addictions…
This is Kiki. His owner says he’s really not fat, he just has a lot of hair. 🙂