Why are you against the politicians?
I am not against anybody. I have no grudge, no competition, no jealousy. Why should I be against the politicians? I am not a politician, but my statements can be misunderstood.
I am against the disease called will-to-power. This is the greatest disease, as far as man’s consciousness and its growth are concerned. It is just like cancer; it is the cancer of the soul. Will-to-power can express itself in many ways. The easiest is politics, because it does not need much intelligence. All that it needs is the capacity to create false hopes in the masses, hopes which have never been fulfilled, which were never meant to be fulfilled; their purpose was something else. And the masses are in suffering. They are poor, they are ignorant. They also need all the comforts of life, they also want to live like human beings, with dignity. The politician gives them the hope, and exploits the hope for his own purpose, because once he gets the power, once he becomes somebody – a prime minister, a president – then something in him feels at ease. It was his psychological need.
These people are basically, deep down, impotent – hence the urge to power. They feel their weakness and powerlessness; they know they are nobodies. But if they can convince the mediocre mob that they will be fulfilling their needs, then it is a mutual understanding, a bargain. Then the masses give them power. Once they have got the power, they forget all their promises; in fact, they never meant them; and once they have the power, then you see their real face.
Lord Acton was absolutely right when he said, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” But he was not aware of why power corrupts, how power can corrupt. The man must be carrying the seeds of corruption already but was incapable of doing anything; he needed power. Once he has the power, then slowly his mask starts falling away and you will see within him the egoist in its utter nudity. The politician is nothing but an egoist. Inside he feels empty – and afraid of that emptiness. He wants to be somebody so that he can forget his own emptiness. Power gives him the chance. He can see that millions of people are under his thumb. He can convince himself that he is not a nobody, he is somebody special. And he starts behaving that way. He starts misusing the power. Once he is in power, then he never wants to be out of it. Then he always wants to remain in power, because now he knows perfectly well, that out of power he will be more aware than ever of his emptiness and his impotence.