Tag Archives: corruption

Edmund Burke – Once intoxicated with power

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Edmund BurkeThose who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though for but one year, can never willingly abandon it.

Edmund Burke   (1729-1797)

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Abigail Adams – Man is a dangerous creature

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Abigail AdamsI am more and more convinced that man is a dangerous creature; and that power, whether vested in many or a few, is ever grasping, and, like the grave, cries, “Give, give!”

Abigail Adams   (1744-1818)
Letter to John Adams

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Louis Brandeis – Government as a potent, omni-present teacher

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Louis BrandeisOur Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a law-breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means — to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal — would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this Court should resolutely set its face.

Louis Brandeis   (1856-1941)

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Henry Ward Beecher – Crime never pays its own way

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Henry Ward BeecherJails are built out of honest men’s earnings. Courts are supported from peaceful men’s property. Penitentiaries are built by the toil of virtue. Crime never pays its own way. Vice has no hands to work, no head to calculate. Its whole faculty is to corrupt and to waste; and good men, directly or indirectly, foot the bill.

Henry Ward Beecher  

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Samuel Butler (1612) – Authority intoxicates

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Authority intoxicates,
And makes mere sots of magistrates;
The fumes of it invade the brain,
And make men giddy, proud, and vain;
By this the fool commands the wise,
The noble with the base complies,
The sot assumes the rule of wit,
And cowards make the base submit.

Samuel Butler (1612)   (1612-1680)

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Lord Acton – Power corrupts

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Lord ActonPower tends to Corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men. . .There is no worse heresy than that the office santifies the holder of it.

Lord Acton   (1834-1902)
The life and letters of Mandell Creighton

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David Hume – The corruptions of true religion

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David HumeThat the corruption of the best thing produces the worst, is grown into a maxim, and is commonly proved, among other instances, by the pernicious effects of superstition and enthusiasm, the corruptions of true religion.

David Hume   (1711-1776)

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