First, remember that the founders of the Constitutional form of government, which we have perpetuated as we try to improve upon it over the years, believed the statement of their time that:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great [people] are almost always bad [people]."(About Toxins Of Power). They came up with a treatment for the problem.
That medicine is the United States Constitution, and it begins "We the people ...", and goes on to say they intended to form a more perfect nation with that constitution.
They limited the power to which anyone in government could be exposed to, by cutting it to 33 1/3%, making three branches of government into which power was distributed.
They had figured out that the king or ruler, who had been exposed to 100% power, had been driven crazy by that power in their view.
So they reasoned that they should limit the exposure, and should also do some other things, so as to limit the concentration of power an individual would experience who used power.
If you think about it a moment, you too may see this as a preventive measure in the sense that a vaccination, for instance, is an exposure to a small amount of a disease causing organism so the body can become immune to that organism by building antibodies to oppose it.
If you think about it, the framers of our constitution were making a macrocosm at a social level, which is in essence a vaccination to empower an immune system or an anti-body system, like our human bodies have for fighting things which could make us sick or kill us.
We call those things that could make us sick toxins, bugs, germs, viruses, and various other things, and medicine is used to prevent their toxic damage.
Dr. Judith Rich visited Dredd Blog and had some astute observations and made comments which inspired this post in some degree.
I want to be sure that readers know that I do not think power is a toxin itself, nor do I advance that notion.
Instead, I have framed a theoretical construct for discussion purposes, which says power has something in it that can corrupt, and I call that something "toxins", rather than saying power itself is inherently corrupt.
This is just a way of trying to form a cognitive construct for purposes of discussion and idea sharing, to be used like the language of mathematics.
We can't see power, gravity, or toxins anyway, but like gravity we can see the result of it being around us, and we can talk about it with mathematical symbols and ideas.
If we have a theoretical construct that deals with an entity which contains toxins like contaminated water does, and we conceive of antitoxins and the form of some medicine or other treatment, then we can formulate a social construct for dealing with those who become exposed.
We can fashion working diagnostic techniques and treatments at the micro or individual level like our forefathers and foremothers did at the macro or national level.
We have now set forth the theoretical construct, enhanced it, and then proposed an expansion of that theoretical construct to the notion of several forms of social power [the theoretical construct has been updated to include recent discoveries in the biological sciences: see Hypothesis: Microbes Generate Toxins of Power - 6].
Hey, isn't it worth a try to at least to figure out a way of talking about it, and eventually coming up with diagnosis and treatment at the individual level, just as the constitution deals with it at the national level?