Tag Archives: power

Quotations about power

Abigail Adams – Remember the ladies

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Abigail AdamsI long to hear that you have declared an independency. And by the way, in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could.

Abigail Adams   (1744-1818)
Letter to John Adams

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Plato – The measure of a man

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platoThe measure of a man is what he does with power.

Plato  

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James Madison – Influence of ecclesiastical establishments

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James MadisonWhat influence in fact have ecclesiastical establishments had on Civil Society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny: in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty, may have found an established Clergy convenient auxiliaries.

James Madison  

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Thomas Paine – All national institutions of churches

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Thomas PaineAll national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not Believe.

Thomas Paine   (1737-1809)

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David Hume – Power rests on opinion

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David HumeAll power, even the most despotic, rests ultimately on opinion.

David Hume   (1711-1776)

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David Hume – Easiness in the many, governed by few

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David HumeNothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few.

David Hume   (1711-1776)

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Thomas Paine – The balance of power

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Thomas PaineThe supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. Horrid mischief would ensue were one-half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong. The history of every age and nation establishes these truths, and facts need but little arguments when they prove themselves.

Thomas Paine   (1737-1809)

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Leo Tolstoy – To get power and retain it

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Leo TolstoyIn order to get power and retain it, it is necessary to love power; but love of power is not connected with goodness but with qualities that are the opposite of goodness, such as pride, cunning, and cruelty.

Leo Tolstoy   (1828-1910)

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Thomas Sowell – Anger, envy, and surrendering freedom

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Thomas SowellThose who want to take our money and gain power over us have discovered the magic formula: Get us envious or angry at others and we will surrender, in installments, not only our money but our freedom. The most successful dictators of the 20th century — Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao — all used this formula and now class warfare politicians here are doing the same.

Thomas Sowell   (1930-)

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Ayn Rand – There’s no way to rule innocent men

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Ayn RandThere’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws.

Ayn Rand  

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