„Those who believe they speak with the absolute authority of Allah demand absolute submission.“

—  Reza Pahlavi, Context: To the realpolitik cynics who say Islamist theocracy is a reality we have to live with, I respond: funny – they never said they can live with YOU! To those who say the theocrats can reform if we are nice to them, I say you do not know the difference between Islamist revolution and secular ones. Those who believe they speak with the absolute authority of Allah demand absolute submission. Statement by Reza Pahlavi of Iran - Democracy & Security Conference http://www.rezapahlavi.org/details_article.php?article=108&page=4, Prague, Czech Republic, Jun. 5, 2007.
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„I believe that the truth of the matter is far more terrifying, that the real truth that dare not speak itself, is that no one is in control, absolutely no one.“

—  Terence McKenna American ethnobotanist 1946 - 2000
Context: For some reason, a balkanization of epistemology is taking place. And what I mean by that is: there is no longer a commonality of understanding. I mean, for some people quantum physics provides the answers. Their next door neighbors may look to the channeling of archangels with equal fervor. … It is accompanied by a related phenomenon which is technology, or the historical momentum of things, is creating such a bewildering social milieu that the monkey mind cannot find a simple story, a simple creation myth or redemption myth to lay over the crazy contradictory patchwork of profane techno-consumerist post-McLuhanist electronic pre-apocalyptics existence. And so into that dimension of anxiety created by this inability to parse reality rushes a bewildering variety of squirrelly notions, epistemological cartoons if you will. … Conspiracy theory, in my humble opinion … is a kind of epistemological cartoon about reality. I mean, isn't it so simple to believe that things are run by the greys, and that all we have to do is trade sufficient fetal tissue to them and then we can solve our technological problems, or isn't it comforting to believe that the Jews are behind everything, or the Communist Party, or the Catholic Church, or the Masons. Well, these are epistemological cartoons, you know, it is kindergarten in the art of amateur historiography. I believe that the truth of the matter is far more terrifying, that the real truth that dare not speak itself, is that no one is in control, absolutely no one.… Nobody is in control. This stuff is ruled by the equations of dynamics and chaos. Now, there may be entities seeking control — the World Bank, the Communist Party, the rich, the somebody-or-others — but to seek control is to take enormous aggravation upon yourself. … Because this process which is underway will take the control-freak by the short and curly and throw them against the wall. It's like trying to control a dream, you see. The global destiny of the species is somehow unfolding with the logic of a dream. "Dreaming Awake at the End of Time" (13 December 1998) 11:30 - 15:29 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KboPUQ0xCDs

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„Such are the scientific justifications of the principle of coercion. They are not merely weak but absolutely invalid, yet they are so much needed by those who occupy privileged positions that they believe in them as blindly as they formerly believed in the immaculate conception, and propagate them just as confidently.“

—  Leo Tolstoy Russian writer 1828 - 1910
Context: These new justifications are termed "scientific". But by the term "scientific" is understood just what was formerly understood by the term "religious": just as formerly everything called "religious" was held to be unquestionable simply because it was called religious, so now all that is called "scientific" is held to be unquestionable. In the present case the obsolete religious justification of violence which consisted in the recognition of the supernatural personality of the God-ordained ruler ("there is no power but of God") has been superseded by the "scientific" justification which puts forward, first, the assertion that because the coercion of man by man has existed in all ages, it follows that such coercion must continue to exist. This assertion that people should continue to live as they have done throughout past ages rather than as their reason and conscience indicate, is what "science" calls "the historic law". A further "scientific" justification lies in the statement that as among plants and wild beasts there is a constant struggle for existence which always results in the survival of the fittest, a similar struggle should be carried on among human­beings, that is, who are gifted with intelligence and love; faculties lacking in the creatures subject to the struggle for existence and survival of the fittest. Such is the second "scientific" justification. The third, most important, and unfortunately most widespread justification is, at bottom, the age-old religious one just a little altered: that in public life the suppression of some for the protection of the majority cannot be avoided — so that coercion is unavoidable however desirable reliance on love alone might be in human intercourse. The only difference in this justification by pseudo-science consists in the fact that, to the question why such and such people and not others have the right to decide against whom violence may and must be used, pseudo-science now gives a different reply to that given by religion — which declared that the right to decide was valid because it was pronounced by persons possessed of divine power. "Science" says that these decisions represent the will of the people, which under a constitutional form of government is supposed to find expression in all the decisions and actions of those who are at the helm at the moment. Such are the scientific justifications of the principle of coercion. They are not merely weak but absolutely invalid, yet they are so much needed by those who occupy privileged positions that they believe in them as blindly as they formerly believed in the immaculate conception, and propagate them just as confidently. And the unfortunate majority of men bound to toil is so dazzled by the pomp with which these "scientific truths" are presented, that under this new influence it accepts these scientific stupidities for holy truth, just as it formerly accepted the pseudo-religious justifications; and it continues to submit to the present holders of power who are just as hard-hearted but rather more numerous than before. IV

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„All exercise of authority perverts, and submission to authority humiliates.“

—  Mikhail Bakunin Russian revolutionary, philosopher, and theorist of collectivist anarchism 1814 - 1876
As quoted in Michael Bakunin (1937), E.H. Carr, p. 453

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„Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed.“

—  Barry Goldwater American politician 1909 - 1998
Context: Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism. Acceptance Speech http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/daily/may98/goldwaterspeech.htm as the Republican Presidential candidate, San Francisco (July 1964) Unsourced variant: Now those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth, and let me remind you they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyranny.

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„In God, absolute unity is absolute multiplicity, absolute identity is absolute diversity“

—  Nicholas of Cusa German philosopher, theologian, jurist, and astronomer 1401 - 1464
Context: In God, absolute unity is absolute multiplicity, absolute identity is absolute diversity; absolute actuality is absolute potentiality

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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."

„The corruption inherent in absolute power derives from the fact that such power is never free from the tendency to turn man into a thing, and press him back into the matrix of nature from which he has risen. For the impulse of power is to turn every variable into a constant, and give to commands the inexorableness and relentlessness of laws of nature. Hence absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity.“

—  Eric Hoffer American philosopher 1902 - 1983
Context: One should see the dominant role of the weak in shaping man's fate not as a perversion of natural instincts and vital impulses, but as the starting point of the deviation which led man to break away from, and rise above, nature — not as degeneration but as the generation of a new order of creation. The corruption inherent in absolute power derives from the fact that such power is never free from the tendency to turn man into a thing, and press him back into the matrix of nature from which he has risen. For the impulse of power is to turn every variable into a constant, and give to commands the inexorableness and relentlessness of laws of nature. Hence absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity. Ch. 15: "The Unnaturalness Of Human Nature"

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