Quotes: John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton- “Lord Acton”

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Among all the causes which degrade and demoralize men, power is the most constant and the most active.

And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that.

And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that.

By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes is his duty against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion.
Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.
Liberty becomes a question of morals more than of politics.
Authority that does not exist for Liberty is not authority but force.
Liberty is the prevention of control by others. This requires self-control.

Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right to do what we ought.

Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right to do what we ought.

The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern: every class is unfit to govern. It is easier to find people fit to govern themselves than people fit to govern others.
A wise person does at once, what a fool does at last. Both do the same thing; only at different times.
Learn as much by writing as by reading.
At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare.

Limitation is essential to authority. A government is legitimate only if it is effectively limited.

Limitation is essential to authority. A government is legitimate only if it is effectively limited.

Men cannot be made good by the state, but they can easily be made bad.
Government rules the present. Literature rules the future.
Moral precepts are constant through the ages and not obedient to circumstances.
There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.

Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral laws are written on the table of eternity.

Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral laws are written on the table of eternity.

Bureaucracy is undoubtedly the weapon and sign of a despotic government, inasmuch as it gives whatever government it serves, despotic power. Bureaucracy tries to establish so many administrative maxims that the minister is as narrowly controlled and guided as the judge.
Towns were the nursery of freedom.
The will of the people cannot make just that which is unjust.
It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority.
A public man has no right to let his actions be determined by particular interests. He does the same thing as a judge who accepts a bribe. Like a judge he must consider what is right, not what is advantageous to a party or class.

There are many things the government can't do ... it must leave them to the enterprise of others.  It cannot feed the people.  It cannot enrich the people.  It cannot teach the people.

There are many things the government can’t do … it must leave them to the enterprise of others. It cannot feed the people. It cannot enrich the people. It cannot teach the people.

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