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Timeless Words of Wisdom on Power: Life Lessons on Power from Attack on Titan

Updated: Nov 25, 2023


Timeless Words of Wisdom on Power: Life Lessons on Power from Attack on Titan

Timeless Words of Wisdom and Life Lessons on Power

Power and corruption are complex and interrelated themes that have fascinated humanity for centuries. From ancient Greek and Roman philosophers to modern-day leaders and thinkers, the impact of power and its potential for abuse have been explored in various forms of literature and media.


One such example is the popular anime series Attack on Titan, which provides a rich exploration of the themes of power and corruption. In this blog post, we'll examine some of the key lessons on power and its implications for individuals and society as highlighted in Attack on Titan.



Power corrupts

As Plato famously stated, power can be corrupting, leading individuals to act against their values. In Attack on Titan, numerous examples of characters in positions of power becoming corrupted can be observed. The Military Police Brigade, for instance, uses their power to maintain their status and privileges rather than serving and protecting humanity from Titans.

"The measure of a man is what he does with power." - Plato

Similarly, government officials manipulate information and use their power to maintain control. These examples highlight the dangers of power and how it can lead individuals to act against their better judgment.


The dangers of blind obedience

Blindly following orders without questioning them can lead to disastrous consequences, as warned by the ancient Roman philosopher Seneca. Characters in Attack on Titan who blindly follow orders often contribute to the abuse of power.

"He who blindly follows his leaders will be led to destruction." - Seneca

For example, members of the Military Police Brigade blindly follow their superiors' orders, even when those orders are in conflict with the greater good of humanity. This underscores the importance of questioning authority and critically examining orders.



The importance of checks and balances

As noted by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, having checks and balances in place can help prevent abuse when one group or individual has too much power.

"The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law." - Aristotle

In Attack on Titan, the Survey Corps serves as a check and balance to the government's power. They question the government's actions and motives and actively seek to uncover the truth about the Titans. This reminds us that when one group or individual has too much power, it can lead to abuse, and having checks and balances in place can help prevent this.


The role of accountability

As Roman philosopher Cicero stated, holding individuals accountable for their actions can prevent the abuse of power. In Attack on Titan, characters who are held accountable for their actions are less likely to abuse their power.

"The higher we are placed, the more accountable we become." - Cicero

For example, Captain Levi holds his squad accountable for their actions and makes it clear that he will not tolerate abuse of power. This underscores the importance of accountability in preventing the abuse of power.



The importance of self-reflection

As Greek philosopher Socrates famously declared, self-reflection is crucial. In Attack on Titan, characters who take the time to reflect on their own power and its impact on others are less likely to abuse it.

"The unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates

For example, Eren, the protagonist of the series, struggles with the power he possesses and its impact on his relationships and the world around him. This highlights the importance of self-reflection and its role in preventing the abuse of power.



The cost of power

As Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote, gaining power often involves sacrifices. In Attack on Titan, characters who gain power often sacrifice something important in exchange, whether it be their humanity or their relationships with others.

"The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way." - Marcus Aurelius

For example, the former Survey Corps member, Erwin Smith, sacrificed his life and the lives of his soldiers to further his goals of uncovering the truth about the Titans. This highlights the cost of power and the sacrifices that individuals must make to achieve it.


The impact of power on relationships

As Greek philosopher Aristotle stated, individuals in positions of power often struggle to maintain relationships with those who are not in power. In Attack on Titan, characters in positions of power often face difficulties maintaining personal connections.

"Power brings a man many luxuries, but it takes away the privilege of being loved." - Aristotle

For example, Eren's newfound power as a Titan puts a strain on his relationship with Mikasa, his childhood friend. This underscores the impact of power on relationships and the challenges that come with it.



Lessons on Power from Attack on Titan

In conclusion, Attack on Titan offers a thought-provoking exploration of power and corruption, highlighting the dangers of unchecked power, blind obedience, and the importance of accountability and self-reflection. The series serves as a reminder of the importance of examining power dynamics and the potential for abuse that comes with it. By exploring these themes, the series offers a compelling commentary on the human condition and the complexities of power and its impact on individuals and society.


 

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