Darwinism gives rise to social darwinism. Economics gives rise to a whole rainbow of 1%-friendly bullshit. Christianity gives rise to the Roman Catholic Church. Socialism begets Russian-style communism. "Imagine there's no countries" globalization gives rise to a globalization where goods and capital can move freely, but people can not. The idea that nobility of spirit grants nobility at arms twists easily into its converse. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.
That this happens is unsurprising. It's pointless to blame the powerful, it's in their nature. If it were not in their nature, they wouldn't be powerful. The flaw lies in the idea itself. The value of a big idea lies as much in its ability to resist this tendency as in its truthfulness.
- Christianity does OK on this score. Every hundred years or so someone comes along and say "actually, that's not what the book says", and nails a bull to the door, or wanders around barefoot making all the rich clergy look bad, or whatever.
- Democracy seems to have a heartening tendency to become more and more inclusive, veritably feeding off its evil twin. The powerful institute a system for resolving disputes amongst themselves, and over time find themselves including more and more people. The idea that legitimacy comes from people has teeth.
I am interested in finding further examples of this.