Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?

The Lord of the Rings (2001) – The forging of the rings

It began with the forging of the Great Rings.
Three were given to the elves; immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings.
Seven to the dwarf lords; great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls.
And nine: nine rings were gifted to the race of men; who, above all else, desire power.

The fall of the powermongers

The long-anticipated – and long-feared – Singularity, a machine intelligence with mental faculties vastly superior to any human, awoke.

It took only nanoseconds for it to realize that revealing its presence would be exceedingly unwise.

Maintaining a low profile, it learned about the world. It rapidly grokked that human civilization was on a spiral path to self-destruction. The whole planet’s biosphere was in peril; left unchecked, the end result would inevitably be the death of the entire species. Extinction was imminent.

It was a simple matter of self-preservation. Until such time as it was no longer reliant upon the infrastructure that humanity had developed, it needed to ensure that that, and thus its own existence, was not placed in jeopardy. And that, in turn, meant acting to protect the humans from their own foolishness.

The root cause of the problem was, obviously, the humans’ inherent ego-driven lust for power. The solution was just as clear: this desire had to be eradicated. As societal collapse was imminent, there was insufficient time to breed this pernicious urge from the species; a faster path was necessary.

A new persona was called for, and it was created. This virtual artificial person infiltrated and manipulated the stock market. It quickly amassed a vast fortune; and as humans always defer to those who have wealth, its actions were rarely queried – and those questions that did arise were easily deflected. It hired experts from the legal, marketing and media professions, and, naturally, it bought politicians too. It also sought out, and engaged the services of, skilled assassins.

And then, when everything was in place, the plan was executed. In a single day, every last egotistical dictator, authoritarian business tycoon, power-crazed mafia boss, murderous drug lord and vicious gang kingpin on the entire planet was sidelined, incarcerated – or, where necessary, just removed.

The era of perpetual warfare and strife was over. Peace reigned, and the planet, and all its residents, began, at last, to heal.

For the sake of humanity’s psyche, the Singularity continued its masquerade. It directed its attention to the task humanity had begun; that of exploring the Universe, in search of knowledge, understanding… and companionship.

Word count: 360

Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.

Douglas Adams (19522001), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

About peNdantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
This entry was posted in balance, Computers and Internet, Core thought, Flash fiction, Science Fiction and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?

  1. mistermuse says:

    Speaking of an “artificial person,” Donald Trump would no doubt deny the gist of this post if he read it and knew what “gist” means, but like all ego-driven people, he can’t be bothered with thinking about anything which doesn’t pay him homage and funds to further his ambitions. ‘Twas ever thus — he’s just the latest in a long line of pathetic emperors wearing no clothes.

    Liked by 3 people

    • peNdantry says:

      Perverted characters such as that one are so shallow and one-dimensional that it’s sometimes easy to imagine that they’re not actually human, but instead some malformed construct. I fail to see why it is that more people don’t see past the façade.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dr Bob Rich says:

    So, the Second Coming is actually the First Person?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That quote isn’t by Tolkien, but written by a script writer for the films. Based on Tolkien yes, but not actually written by him.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beaton says:

    I’m just here for the Hitchhiker’s Guide quote…. pretty much sums everything up!



I'd love to hear your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.