„Power is not a material possession that can be given, it is the ability to act. Power must be taken, it is never given.“

—  William Powell (author), "Foreword".
William Powell (author)31
author of The Anarchist Cookbook 1949

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Gloria Steinem photo
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Richard Bach photo
François Duvalier photo

„God and the people are the source of all power. I have twice been given the power. I have taken it, and damn it, I will keep it forever.“

—  François Duvalier 40th President of the Republic of Haiti 1907 - 1971
Quoted in Elizabeth Abbott, Haiti: An insider's history of the rise and fall of the Duvaliers (1988), p. 112.

Colin Wilson photo
Samuel Johnson photo

„Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.“

—  Samuel Johnson English writer 1709 - 1784
Letter from Johnson to John Taylor, 18 August 1763. The Yale Book of Quotations edited by Fred R. Shapiro, pg 400.

Huey P. Newton photo

„To us power is, first of all, the ability to define phenomena, and secondly the ability to make these phenomena act in a desired manner.“

—  Huey P. Newton Co-founder of the Black Panther Party 1942 - 1989
Black Capitalism Re-analyzed I: June 5, 1971 in The Huey P. Newton Reader, p. 277

Aldous Huxley photo

„It is a principle universally agreed upon, that all powers not given are retained.“

—  George Nicholas American lawyer 1754 - 1799
Speech given at the Virginia Ratifying Convention (6-10-1788); per Elliot, Jonathan; The Debates, Resolutions, and Other Proceedings, in Convention, Vol 2; Page 196

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Ulysses S. Grant photo

„Suffrage once given can never be taken away, and all that remains for us now is to make good that gift by protecting those who have received it“

—  Ulysses S. Grant 18th President of the United States 1822 - 1885
Context: Looking back over the whole policy of reconstruction, it seems to me that the wisest thing would have been to have continued for some time the military rule. Sensible Southern men see now that there was no government so frugal, so just, and fair as what they had under our generals. That would have enabled the Southern people to pull themselves together and repair material losses. As to depriving them, even for a time, of suffrage, that was our right as a conqueror, and it was a mild penalty for the stupendous crime of treason. Military rule would have been just to all, to the negro who wanted freedom, the white man who wanted protection, the northern man who wanted Union. As state after state showed a willingness to come into the Union, not on their own terms but upon ours, I would have admitted them. This would have made universal suffrage unnecessary, and I think a mistake was made about suffrage. It was unjust to the negro to throw upon him the responsibilities of citizenship, and expect him to be on even terms with his white neighbor. It was unjust to the north. In giving the south negro suffrage, we have given the old slave-holders forty votes in the electoral college. They keep those votes, but disfranchise the negroes. That is one of the gravest mistakes in the policy of reconstruction. It looks like a political triumph for the south, but it is not. The southern people have nothing to dread more than the political triumph of the men who led them into secession. That triumph was fatal to them in 1860. It would be no less now. The trouble about military rule in the south was that our people did not like it. It was not in accordance with our institutions. I am clear now that it would have been better for the north to have postponed suffrage, reconstruction, state governments, for ten years, and held the south in a territorial condition. It was due to the north that the men who had made war upon us should be powerless in a political sense forever. It would have avoided the scandals of the state governments, saved money, and enabled the northern merchants, farmers, and laboring men to reorganize society in the south. But we made our scheme, and must do what we can with it. Suffrage once given can never be taken away, and all that remains for us now is to make good that gift by protecting those who have received it. In China, p. 362.

Robert E. Lee photo

„You see what a poor sinner I am, and how unworthy to possess what was given me; for that reason, it has been taken away.“

—  Robert E. Lee Confederate general in the Civil War 1807 - 1870
Letter to his daughter after losing Arlington http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/white-house-on-the-pamunkey/ (25 December 1861)

Tony Blair photo

„Powers that are constitutionally there can be used but the Scottish Labour Party is not planning to raise income tax and once the power is given it is like any parish council: it's got the right to exercise it.“

—  Tony Blair former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1953
The Scotsman, 4 April 1997. Asked whether he would intervene to prevent the Scottish Parliament from raising taxes.

Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka photo