And yes, only function of those in power is to gather more power. I don't think it is news to anyone. I am just annoyed this truism is routinely ignored in spite of thousands of years of history.
I think what folks are trying to say is that it's not about ignoring it, but accepting that the truism is true, and working to minimize the harmful effects. You institute the best system possible to minimize the most harmful aspects of authority, but you have to accept that at some point you have to trust someone
with power. Blithely insisting that no one should have any power to do anything "bad" can only result in people actually deluding themselves about possible abuses of power. You're seeking an impossible standard, which can only appear to be met by those with power successfully lying to the population on a grand scale. And that's where power becomes really dangerous.
I'd rather we have a bunch of cynics that all know that our government spies on us, accepts this, but puts enough checks in place to ensure that the biggest harmful things aren't done (or aren't easily done), than one in which we're convinced that we're all secure in our freedom from intrusion on our privacy and thus make the mistake of thinking that's actually true. So when people say things like "yeah, of course our government collects data about us, but as long as they cant overtly use that data against us legally, and we're an open enough society that death camps aren't likely to start cropping up, I'm ok with that". In the grand scheme of "evil things our government could be doing", mass collecting meta data and social media is incredibly far down the list of things I worry about.
And I think most people, when they get over the initial outrage and think about the issue rationally, tend to arrive at the same conclusion.