Power, evil and the web

While traveling through the German countryside recently I found myself yet again marveling at the way otherwise decent innocent people allowed themselves to fall under the spell of a much smaller group of deluded and evil individuals and allow inconceivable atrocities to take place.

As I watch the images of current events in Burma I find myself wondering the same thing.

At the same time I am being asked to support a large change programme in a major corporate which would mean easing power away from those who currently have it.

What is it about power that makes people give it away to others? No one has power over us unless at one level we give it to them. Once we have given it to them how do we get it back without being as bad as them? What, if anything, has the web to teach us about how we exercise our rights and responsibilities and how can we use this experience to make the abuse of power less likely or to make the re-distirbution of it more even.