I'm really impressed by your idea of it being the LACK of power corrupting - the toothlessness of any individual politician is screamingly obvious and so of course it's going to make them crave more power in the hope they'll get to a position of actual influence. Superb analysis and real truth there, Necro.
I remember @ the Manchester Airport second runway campaign having a shouted with a bailiff ourtside the tunnel I was locked in. He said we should join political parties and try to change stuff that way. The two of us talking to him had been on the campiagn for 2 months, and in that time had both made national TV documentaries where we got to say exactly what we wanted - when was the last time *any* politician went on TV and spent 10 minutes saying exactly what they thought? Let alone the fact that it had taken them years, decades of gaggedness to get there! As Leonard Cohen said, 'they sentenced me to 20 years of boredom for trying to change the system from within'.
But anyway. When I said 'have all the answers' I was exaggerating a tad. The fact remians that folks like the SWP run stuff by centralising power and have a ludicrously powerful central committee. When they talk of revolution and the need for strong leadership during and after it, who do we think they're picturing being those leaders?
Whilst you're right that blindly dismissing anything an SWPer has to say is nonsense, I don't see anything wrong with people consistently rejecting their hierarchy and power structure. Much as the SWP like to pretend it's all down to individuals (placards about 'Blair's War', 'Legalise It Jack Straw'), it is these power structures that are the problem.
(Incidentally, the politicians do that carttony thing too - the bombing of Belgrade was always called 'Bombing Milosovic', and now we need to 'Bomb Saddam' - just them, not the people in a blast radius of the cities in their country, you understand).
I think the vanguardist parties do it for the smae reason as the politicians - to say that huge concentrations of power ren't a problem, as long as it's ME at the top.
And yet the lesson is there to be learnt from every concentration of power: Animal Farm.
A lot of anarchists I know have extremely good historical knowledge of struggle, and it's mostlyc those with the best knowledge that are the most distrusting of vanguard parties. When the 'replace old leaders with us as the new ones' people work alongside the 'do away with leaders and work for ourselves', after the victory the 'do away with leaders' folks are usually the first people their comrades put against the wall.