„All parties without exception, when they seek for power, are varieties of absolutism.“

—  Pierre Joseph Proudhon, As quoted in Crown's Book of Political Quotations : Over 2500 Lively Quotes from Plato to Reagan (1982) by Michael Jackman, p. 160
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„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)

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William Brett, 1st Viscount Esher photo

„Parties cannot by consent give to the Court a power which it would not have without it.“

—  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.

Studs Terkel photo
Christopher Hitchens photo
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Henri-Frédéric Amiel photo

„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.

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Frederik Pohl photo
Václav Havel photo

„The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all. He is not seeking power.“

—  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.

Frank Herbert photo
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„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."

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John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton photo

„Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.“

—  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.

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