quotations about power
The Age of Reason has turned out to be the Age of Structure; a time when, in the absence of purpose, the drive for power as a value in itself has become the principal indicator of social approval. And the winning of power has become the measure of social merit.
JOHN RALSTON SAUL, Voltaire's Bastards
Power attracts the corruptible. Suspect all who seek it.
FRANK HERBERT, Chapterhouse: Dune
Authority and power are two different things: power is the force by means of which you can oblige others to obey you. Authority is the right to direct and command, to be listened to or obeyed by others. Authority requests power. Power without authority is tyranny.
JACQUES MARITAIN, "The Democratic Charter", Man and the State
The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.
EDMUND BURKE, speech on the Middlesex Elections, 1771
Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
SAUL ALINSKY, "Tactics", Rules for Radicals
He who always plays for power will often stand on the neck of one person to reach his arms around the neck of another.
LEWIS F. KORNS, Thoughts
Nothing unmasks a man like his use of power.
ELBERT HUBBARD, The American Bible
Most universities are no longer temples of knowledge, but of power, and true moderns worship there.
DEAN KOONTZ, Brother Odd
To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.
BARACK OBAMA, Nobel Lecture, December 10, 2009
Power should act and not talk.
JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe
In order to obtain and hold power, a man must love it.
LEO TOLSTOY, The Kingdom of God Is Within You
The power of a thing or an act is in the meaning and the understanding.
NICHOLAS BLACK ELK, The Sacred Pipe
It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.
AUNG SAN SUU KYI, Freedom from Fear
Power does not consist in striking with force or with frequency, but in striking true.
HONORE DE BALZAC, Physiology of Marriage
Power will intoxicate the best hearts, as wine the strongest heads.
CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon
If you are to stay in the good graces of the powerful, you had best, however unobtrusively, please the servants of the powerful.
SAMUEL R. DELANY, Neverÿon
The steps of power are often steps on sand.
EDWARD COUNSEL, Maxims
Power ceases in the instant of repose; it resides in the moment of transition from a past to a new state, in the shooting of the gulf, in the darting to an aim.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON, "Self Reliance", Essays
Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate'er it touches.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, Queen Mab
O how feeble is man's power,
That if good fortune fall,
Cannot add another hour,
Nor a lost hour recall!
JOHN DONNE, song