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Lord Acton Quotes

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Lord Acton
January 10, 1834 - June 19, 1902
Nationality: British
Category: Historian
Subcategory: British Historian

Be not content with the best book; seek sidelights from the others; have no favourites.


Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.


Machiavelli's teaching would hardly have stood the test of Parliamentary government, for public discussion demands at least the profession of good faith.


Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.


Socialism means slavery.


A wise person does at once, what a fool does at last. Both do the same thing; only at different times.


To be able to look back upon one's past life with satisfaction is to live twice.


The long term versus the short term argument is one used by losers.


The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.


If some great catastrophe is not announced every morning, we feel a certain void. Nothing in the paper today, we sigh.


The science of politics is the one science that is deposited by the streams of history, like the grains of gold in the sand of a river; and the knowledge of the past, the record of truths revealed by experience, is eminently practical, as an instrument of action and a power that goes to making the future.


Save for the wild force of Nature, nothing moves in this world that is not Greek in its origin.


Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.


The man who prefers his country before any other duty shows the same spirit as the man who surrenders every right to the state. They both deny that right is superior to authority.


Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.


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.


There are two things which cannot be attacked in front: ignorance and narrow-mindedness. They can only be shaken by the simple development of the contrary qualities. They will not bear discussion.


There is not a soul who does not have to beg alms of another, either a smile, a handshake, or a fond eye.


I'm not a driven businessman, but a driven artist. I never think about money. Beautiful things make money.


There is no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders among the ablest men.


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