— René Descartes French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist 1596 - 1650
„The success of a party means little except when the Nation is using that party for a large and definite purpose.“
— Woodrow Wilson American politician, 28th president of the United States (in office from 1913 to 1921) 1856 - 1924
First Inaugural Address http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=25831 (4 March 1913)
— William Brett, 1st Viscount Esher British lawyer, judge and politician 1815 - 1899
In re Ayhner; Ex parte Bischofishiem (1887), L. J. 57 Q. B. 168.
„You know, "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"? It's the same with powerlessness. Absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely. Einstein said everything had changed since the atom was split, except the way we think. We have to think anew.“
— Studs Terkel American author, historian and broadcaster 1912 - 2008
„The conservative aptitude for stressing the "individual responsibility" of all parties except themselves.“
— Christopher Hitchens British American author and journalist 1949 - 2011
"Not Funny Enough (2)" (1991).
„There is no repose for the mind except in the absolute; for feeling except in the infinite; for the soul except in the divine.“
— Henri-Frédéric Amiel Swiss philosopher and poet 1821 - 1881
Context: There is no repose for the mind except in the absolute; for feeling except in the infinite; for the soul except in the divine. Nothing finite is true, is interesting, is worthy to fix my attention. All that is particular is exclusive, and all that is exclusive repels me. There is nothing non-exclusive but the All; my end is communion with Being through the whole of Being.
— John Carroll Australian professor and author 1944
„That’s power, Mitch, absolute power. And you know the old saying. Power ennobles. Absolute power ennobles absolutely.“
— Frederik Pohl American science fiction writer and editor 1919 - 2013
Chapter 4 (p. 44)
— Václav Havel playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and 1st President of the Czech Republic 1936 - 2011
Context: The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all. He is not seeking power. He has no desire for office and does not gather votes. He does not attempt to charm the public, he offers nothing and promises nothing. He can offer, if anything, only his own skin — and he offers it solely because he has no other way of affirming the truth he stands for. His actions simply articulate his dignity as a citizen, regardless of the cost.
„Both absolute power and absolute faith are instruments of dehumanization. Hence absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.“
— Eric Hoffer American philosopher 1902 - 1983
Context: The Savior who wants to turn men into angels is as much a hater of human nature as the totalitarian despot who wants to turn them into puppets. There are similarities between absolute power and absolute faith: a demand for absolute obedience; a readiness to attempt the impossible; a bias for simple solutions — to cut the knot rather than unravel it; the viewing of compromise as surrender; the tendency to manipulate people and "experiment with blood." Both absolute power and absolute faith are instruments of dehumanization. Hence absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power. Section 13; often the final portion of this is quoted alone as: "Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power."
— John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton British politician and historian 1834 - 1902
Context: I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and the negation of Liberalism meet and keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means. Letter http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1407&Itemid=283 to Mandell Creighton (5 April 1887), published in Historical Essays and Studies, by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton (1907), edited by John Neville Figgis and Reginald Vere Laurence, Appendix, p. 504; also in Essays on Freedom and Power (1972) Paraphrased variant: All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
„Unless during the first five years so great a degree of change has been accomplished as to deprive Capitalism of its power, it is unlikely that a Socialist Party will be able to maintain its position of control without adopting some exceptional means, such as the prolongation of the life of Parliament for a further term without an election.“
— Stafford Cripps British politician 1889 - 1952
Can Socialism come by Constitutional Methods? (1933), p. 2, quoted in Hugh Dalton, The Fateful Years. Memoirs 1931-1945 (London: Frederick Muller Ltd, 1957), p. 151.