„It is demonstrable that power structures tend to attract people who want power for the sake of power and that a significant proportion of such people are imbalanced — in a word, insane.“
Dune Genesis (1980)
Kontext: Don't give over all of your critical faculties to people in power, no matter how admirable those people may appear to be. Beneath the hero's facade you will find a human being who makes human mistakes. Enormous problems arise when human mistakes are made on the grand scale available to a superhero. And sometimes you run into another problem.
It is demonstrable that power structures tend to attract people who want power for the sake of power and that a significant proportion of such people are imbalanced — in a word, insane. … Heroes are painful, superheroes are a catastrophe. The mistakes of superheroes involve too many of us in disaster.
It is the systems themselves that I see as dangerous.
— Kim Stanley Robinson, kniha Green Mars
Green Mars (1993)
„Under the influence of politicians, masses of people tend to ascribe the responsibility for wars to those who wield power at any given time.“
— Wilhelm Reich, kniha The Mass Psychology of Fascism
Section 3 : Work Democracy versus Politics. The Natural Social Forces for the Mastery of the Emotional Plague;
Variant translation: Under the influence of politicos, the masses blame the powers that be for wars. In the first world war it was the munition magnates, in the second the Psychopath General. This is shifting the responsibility. The blame for the war belongs only and alone to the same masses of people who have all the means of preventing wars. The same masses of people who — partly through indolent passivity, partly through their active behavior — make possible the catastrophes from which they themselves suffer most horribly. To emphasize this fault of the masses, to give them the full responsibility, means taking them seriously. On the other hand, to pity the masses as a poor victim means treating them like a helpless child. The first is the attitude of the genuine fighter for freedom, the latter is the attitude of the politico.
The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933), Ch. 10 : Work Democracy
Kontext: Under the influence of politicians, masses of people tend to ascribe the responsibility for wars to those who wield power at any given time. In World War I it was the munitions industrialists; in World War II it was the psychopathic generals who were said to be guilty. This is passing the buck. The responsibility for war falls solely upon the shoulders of these same masses of people, for they have all the necessary means to avert war in their own hands. In part by their apathy, in part by their passivity, and in part actively, these masses of people make possible the catastrophes under which they themselves suffer more than anybody else. To stress this guilt on the part of masses of people, to hold them solely responsible, means to take them seriously. On the other hand, to commiserate masses of people as victims, means to treat them as small, helpless children. The former is the attitude held by genuine freedom-fighters; the latter the attitude held by the power-thirsty politicians.
„It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.“
— David Brin, kniha The Postman
Zdroj: The Postman (1985), Section 3, “Cincinnatus”, Chapter 14 (p. 267)
Variant: It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.
As quoted in Values of the Wise: Humanity's Highest Aspirations (2004) by Jason Merchey, p. 120
This is very similar to the expression by Frank Herbert in Chapterhouse: Dune (1985): "All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted."
Kontext: It’s said that “power corrupts,” but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power. When they do act, they think of it as service, which has limits. The tyrant, though, seeks mastery, for which he is insatiable, implacable.
— Frank Herbert, kniha Chapterhouse: Dune
Zdroj: Chapterhouse: Dune
— Colin Wilson author 1931 - 2013
Zdroj: Aleister Crowley: The Nature of the Beast (1987), p. 157
— Philippe Kahn Entrepreneur, camera phone creator 1952
Rebuttal to Steve Balmer at the Agenda Conference, after the Microsoft executive explained that Open Source would not go anywhere.
— John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton British politician and historian 1834 - 1902
Letter http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1407&Itemid=283 to Mandell Creighton (5 April 1887), published in Historical Essays and Studies, by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton (1907), edited by John Neville Figgis and Reginald Vere Laurence, Appendix, p. 504; also in Essays on Freedom and Power (1972)
Paraphrased variant: All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Kontext: I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and the negation of Liberalism meet and keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means.
— Georg Büchner, Danton's Death
Dantons Tod (Danton's Death) (1835)
„What is true is that the idea of power corrupts. Power corrupts most rapidly those who believe in it, and it is they who will want it most. Obviously, our democratic system tends to give power to those who hunger for it and gives every opportunity to those who don’t want power to avoid getting it. Not a very satisfactory arrangement if power corrupts those who believe in it and want it.“
— Gregory Bateson, kniha Steps to an Ecology of Mind
Zdroj: Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972), p. 494
„Intellectuals may like to think of themselves as people who "speak truth to power" but too often they are people who speak lies to gain power.“
— Thomas Sowell American economist, social theorist, political philosopher and author 1930
Random Thoughts http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2004/02/25/random_thoughts/page/full, Feb 25, 2004
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, kniha The Conduct of Life
The Conduct of Life, Behaviour
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
„Some people think, Swami calls himself a powerful magnet, but He is unable to attract us. The fault lies in them only.“
— Sathya Sai Baba Indian guru 1926 - 2011
Sanathana Sarathi (January 2003), page 10
„I am not interested in power for power's sake, but I'm interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.“
— Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968
As quoted in The Civil Sphere (2006) by Jeffrey C. Alexander, p. 388
„The particular thing about science is to combine that [the dreams of obtaining power] with a retreat from the world. Other people want to obtain power by going out into the world, but the scientist really wants to obtain power by retreating from the world.“
— Max Delbrück biophysicist 1906 - 1981
Interview with Max Delbruck (1978), p. 88. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives, Pasadena, California.
„People are attracted to people of high reproductive and genetic potential -the healthy, the fit and the powerful. The consequences of this fact, which goes under the name of sexual selection, are bizarre in the extreme.“
— Matt Ridley economist 1958
Zdroj: The Red Queen (1993), Ch. 1. Human Nature
„Power can be very addictive. And it can be corrosive. And it's important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power.“
— George W. Bush 43rd President of the United States 1946
2010s, 2017, Interview with Matt Lauer (2017)
„Naked power has its limitations, since power is a generator of corruption and corruption in its turn tends to dilute the effectiveness of power.“
— Pierre Stephen Robert Payne British lecturer, novelist, historian, poet and biographer 1911 - 1983
The Corruptions of Our Time, p. 248
The Corrupt Society - From Ancient Greece To Present-Day America (1975)