Quotes on Good and Evil and Power and Truth
John Lord Acton
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
Those who voluntarily put power into the hands of a tyrant ... must not wonder if it be at last turned against themselves.
Laws are like cobwebs that entangle the weak but are broken by the strong.
Knowledge is power.
All punishment is itself evil.
If I were to give liberty to the press, my power could not last three days.
Soldiers usually win the battles and generals get the credit for them.
Force is not a remedy ...
... evil is a form of incompetence.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
What millions died that Caesar might be great!
Miguel de Cervantes
The man who fights for his ideals is alive.
Victory has a thousand fathers. Defeat is an orphan.
Laws are silent in time of war.
... by the bowels of Christ ... bethink you that you may be mistaken.
I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don't want, and get it.
Thomas Alva Edison
I am proud of the fact that I never invented weapons to kill.
Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.
I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world.
A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
A basic truth of statecraft: get the fashionable intellectuals on your side and you can get away with murder.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The corruption of man is followed by the corruption of language.
The business of obscuring language is a mask behind which stands the much bigger business of plunder.
Let no man be sorry he has done good, because others have done evil.
E. M. Forster
I distrust Great Men. They produce a desert of uniformity around them and often a pool of blood, too ...
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor from sleeping under bridges, begging in the streets, and stealing bread.
We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.
Frederick the Great
I begin by taking. I shall find scholars afterwards to demonstrate my perfect right.
The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness.
As in laws or in war, the longest purse finally wins.
Power is not happiness.
Ignorance of the world leaves one at the mercy of its malice.
Whenever books are burned, sooner or later men also are burned.
Those who cannot think or take responsibility for themselves need, and clamor for, a leader.
The great strength of a totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it.
I am liberating man from the degrading chimera known as `conscience'.
The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one.
Success is the sole earthly judge of right and wrong.
The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.
What luck for rulers that men do not think.
A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of the country.
How come we hear the loudest yelps for liberty from the drivers of negroes?
Power is gradually stealing away from the many to the few, because the few are more vigilant and consistent.
Power is not sufficient evidence of truth.
Abuse of words [is] the foundation of ideology.
He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.
Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Loss of freedom seldom happens overnight. Oppression doesn't stand on the doorstep with toothbrush mustache and swastika armband-it creeps up insidiously . . . step by step, and all of a sudden the unfortunate citizen realizes that it is gone.
Historically, means cannot be separated from ends ...
Soviet power is a new type of state in which there is no bureacracy, no police, no standing army.
Pope Leo XIII
Inequality of rights and power proceeds from the very Author of nature ...
An earthly kingdom cannot exist without inequality of persons. Some must be free, some serfs ...
... the end justifies the means.
A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promises.
Joseph de Maistre
Every country has the government it deserves.
Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.
Charles de Montesquieu
... every man who has power is impelled to abuse it.
Power should be a check on power.
It was only one life. What is one life in the affairs of a state?
The press of Italy is free, freer than the press of any other country, so long as it supports the regime.
What the proletariat needs is a bath of blood.
In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.
Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.
Either the law exists, or it does not.
There's no night without stars.
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
If thought corrupts language, language also corrupts thought.
The protection of a man's person is more sacred than the protection of his property.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
... if any one slew a person ... it would be as if he slew the whole people; and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he had saved the life of the whole people ...
One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils of this world are to be cured by legislation.
Language can be used as a means of changing reality.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
... the only thing we have to fear is fear itself --- nameless, unreasoning terror which paralyzes needed efforts ...
No man is justified in doing evil on ground of expediency.
Power always brings with it responsibility.
By doing good we become good.
J. K. Rowling
There is no good or evil, there is only power ...
Freedom of the press is to the machinery of the state what the safety valve is to the steam engine.
The devil is a gentleman.
Mr. Churchill, Mr. Prime Minister, how many divisions did you say that the pope had?
One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.
The ends and means are a seamless web.
Lust of power is the most flagrant of all the passions.
Power takes as ingratitude the writhing of its victims.
Theognis of Megara
No man is wholly bad, nor wholly good.
Law! What do I care about the law? Haven't I got the power?
Show not yourself glad in the Misfortune of another though he were your enemy.
They will avoid ... those Overgrown Military establishements which ... are ... particularly hostile to Republican liberty.
A thing is not necessarily true because a man died for it.
When truth is buried underground, it grows, it chokes, it gathers such an explosive force that on the day it bursts out, it blows up everything with it.
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