„Absolute power does not corrupt absolutely, absolute power attracts the corruptible.“

Poslední aktualizace 3. června 2021. Historie
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Frank Herbert10
americký spisovatel 1920 - 1986

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John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton foto

„Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.“

—  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.

Eric Hoffer foto

„Both absolute power and absolute faith are instruments of dehumanization. Hence absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.“

—  Eric Hoffer American philosopher 1898 - 1983

Section 13; often the final portion of this is quoted alone as: "Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power."
Reflections on the Human Condition (1973)
Kontext: The Savior who wants to turn men into angels is as much a hater of human nature as the totalitarian despot who wants to turn them into puppets.
There are similarities between absolute power and absolute faith: a demand for absolute obedience; a readiness to attempt the impossible; a bias for simple solutions — to cut the knot rather than unravel it; the viewing of compromise as surrender; the tendency to manipulate people and "experiment with blood."
Both absolute power and absolute faith are instruments of dehumanization. Hence absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.

Chuck Palahniuk foto
John Lehman foto

„Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat.“

—  John Lehman American banker and government official 1942

This quote is often misattributed to John Lehman, but it apparently was actually said by Donald Regan, President Reagan's chief of staff, to a 1987 Gridiron Dinner audience. http://www.johnflehman.com/books/books_makingwar_vulnerable.html
Misattributed

Studs Terkel foto
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„Immunity corrupts; absolute immunity corrupts absolutely.“

—  John W. Campbell American science fiction writer and editor 1910 - 1971

Editorial in Analog Science Fiction/Fact magazine (1970)

Rosabeth Moss Kanter foto

„Powerlessness corrupts: absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely.“

—  Rosabeth Moss Kanter American economist 1943

Slightly edited version of text in Men and Women of the Corporation, Basic Books, 1977

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Poul Anderson foto

„Mortal combat corrupts, and war corrupts absolutely.“

—  Poul Anderson, kniha There Will Be Time

Zdroj: There Will Be Time (1972), Chapter 10 (p. 107)

Neil Gaiman foto
David Brin foto

„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.

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„Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power.“

—  John Steinbeck, kniha The Short Reign of Pippin IV

The Short Reign of Pippin IV (1957), p. 102

Kage Baker foto
Eric Hoffer foto

„The corruption inherent in absolute power derives from the fact that such power is never free from the tendency to turn man into a thing, and press him back into the matrix of nature from which he has risen. For the impulse of power is to turn every variable into a constant, and give to commands the inexorableness and relentlessness of laws of nature. Hence absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity.“

—  Eric Hoffer American philosopher 1898 - 1983

Zdroj: The Ordeal of Change (1963), Ch. 15: "The Unnaturalness Of Human Nature"
Kontext: One should see the dominant role of the weak in shaping man's fate not as a perversion of natural instincts and vital impulses, but as the starting point of the deviation which led man to break away from, and rise above, nature — not as degeneration but as the generation of a new order of creation.
The corruption inherent in absolute power derives from the fact that such power is never free from the tendency to turn man into a thing, and press him back into the matrix of nature from which he has risen. For the impulse of power is to turn every variable into a constant, and give to commands the inexorableness and relentlessness of laws of nature. Hence absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity.

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