Power does not do things; people who have power do things. And whether the power is used properly or corruptly is up to the person. For example: Mothers have great power over their children, and teachers have power over their students. Does the power corrupt them? ... .. ..
There are countless examples of people in extreme power being corrupted by it. There's logic to back it up too. Do you think American senators would support a bill proposing term limits for senators? Probably not.
It's not universal at all, but there is a strong causal relationship that extreme power CAN twist a person. Nobody is suggesting cynicism towards the human race here, just the realist perspective that humans are fallible and imperfect.
When somebody is put in a position of great power over people, it changes their view of how they treat other people. Since human nature tends toward evil, the mind will change gradually toward evil as they continue to hold their power. This can be remedied by limiting the power of the ruler.
Throughout history, battles have been fought over power. Since the Normans invaded England in 1066, until William and Mary invaded, all of the kings and queens did what they wanted, when they wanted. They could absolve parliament if they wanted. They could close down monasteries if they wanted. They could even change the religion of the country if they wanted. And yet, when William and Mary invaded, and parliament gave them laws as to how they could act, England has never had a corrupt king or queen since.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men who have power and authority are almost always bad men. For example, Hitler, , look what he did, think of all those 6 millions of Jews that were killed after being forced to labour, be experimented on and be ripped and torn away from their families. Absolute power is dictatorship. Every dictator will fall in destruction due to their ‘bossing’ around. Humans cannot handle power without some degree of corruption, because they have sinful nature. There is no checks or balances to prevent abuse of power. Men natural take advantage of their power and authority and use it corruptly. This will always cause their downfall. They can never be trusted. This is why many people have fought and died for their country.
Any student of history has to acknowledge that absolute power corrupts, always. That's why limits on power have been a reform many have fought and died for throughout history. It is why the US Constitution guarantees a separation and limitation on powers. It is why we need to take power away from the presidency.
It is unfair to say that human nature strays naturally toward evil. You are saying we are all innately evil? Our own justice system is founded on a principle of innocent until proven guilty. Try to have a bit more faith in people. They may surprise you. Not to mention, life is not black and white. There will be good in evil and evil in good. There is no absolute anything.
I disagree with the resulting premise. For one, no man has ever attained ultimate power. Secondly, corruption is an issue of passion, not power. Leave it to the pridefulness of some to misunderstand the paradigm of power and to overstate the scope of one's authority realistically. Leadership when misapplied can spell corruption, but when understood that true power consists of upheld responsibility, good leadership can and does result however rare it may be.
No one person in history has ever had absolute power, nor will anyone ever. It is something that people strive towards, but can never reach. The person who does have much power, however, must have already fallen to corruption before he/she gets there. Take FDR, for example, he had much power within the government, but brought the country out of the depression using this power. He did, however, fill the judiciary branch with those who supported him. He knew before his presidency that the other branches of government would restrict his ability to make his domestic reforms.
Absolute power does not "corrupt" people, instead what absolute allows is increased personal freedom and a complete lack of consequences or accountability. If a person, upon receiving absolute power, decides to do something "immoral" or "corrupt", then it is not the case that power has changed that person, rather power has just revealed a new aspect of that person.
There is also a distinction with historical or real-world examples because there is no way to discount the possibility that "corrupt" people could seek positions of power more than those who are not "corrupt".