— Paul Karl Feyerabend Austrian-born philosopher of science 1924 - 1994
„The best education will not immunize a person against corruption by power.“
Quelle: Before the Sabbath (1979), p. 40-41
Kontext: The best education will not immunize a person against corruption by power. The best education does not automatically make people compassionate. We know this more clearly than any preceding generation. Our time has seen the best-educated society, situated in the heart of the most civilized part of the world, give birth to the most murderously vengeful government in history.
Forty years ago the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead thought it self-evident that you would get a good government if you took power out of the hands of the acquisitive and gave it to the learned and the cultivated. At present, a child in kindergarten knows better than that.
— John W. Campbell American science fiction writer and editor 1910 - 1971
Editorial in Analog Science Fiction/Fact magazine (1970)
— A. J. Muste Christian pacifist and civil rights activist 1885 - 1967
"Some Notes on Workers’ Education" in New International, Vol.2, No.7 http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/writers/muste/1935/12/workereduc.htm (December 1935), p. 225.
— Sam Harris American author, philosopher and neuroscientist 1967
Sam Harris, "The View From The End Of The World" (9 December 2005)
Kontext: The problem with faith, is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason, why you do not have to give reasons, for what you believe.
— Kim Stanley Robinson, buch Green Mars
Green Mars (1993)
— 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.
— Walter Bagehot, buch The English Constitution
No. I, "The Cabinet", p. 19
The English Constitution (1867)
— Frank Herbert American writer 1920 - 1986
Quelle: General sources, Chapterhouse Dune (1985)
Kontext: 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.
— Aung San Suu Kyi, buch Freedom from Fear
Quelle: Freedom from Fear (1991)
Kontext: 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. Most Burmese are familiar with the four a-gati, the four kinds of corruption. Chanda-gati, corruption induced by desire, is deviation from the right path in pursuit of bribes or for the sake of those one loves. Dosa-gati is taking the wrong path to spite those against whom one bears ill will, and moga-gati is aberration due to ignorance. But perhaps the worst of the four is bhaya-gati, for not only does bhaya, fear, stifle and slowly destroy all sense of right and wrong, it so often lies at the root of the other three kinds of corruption. Just as chanda-gati, when not the result of sheer avarice, can be caused by fear of want or fear of losing the goodwill of those one loves, so fear of being surpassed, humiliated or injured in some way can provide the impetus for ill will. And it would be difficult to dispel ignorance unless there is freedom to pursue the truth unfettered by fear. With so close a relationship between fear and corruption it is little wonder that in any society where fear is rife corruption in all forms becomes deeply entrenched.
— John Steinbeck, buch The Short Reign of Pippin IV
The Short Reign of Pippin IV (1957), p. 102
— Neil Gaiman, buch Smoke and Mirrors
Cold Colors (p. 239)
Smoke and Mirrors (1998)
— David Brin, buch The Postman
Quelle: 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.
— 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)
— 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
„It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness.“
— Eric Hoffer American philosopher 1898 - 1983
Quelle: The Ordeal of Change (1963), Ch. 2: "The Awakening of Asia" This passage uses phrases from his earlier work The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955)
Kontext: It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from the sense of inadequacy and impotence. We cannot win the weak by sharing our wealth with them. They feel our generosity as oppression. St. Vincent De Paul cautioned his disciples to deport themselves so that the poor "will forgive them the bread you give them."
„What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.“
— Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968
1960s, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (1967)
Kontext: Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political and economic change. … Now a lot of us are preachers, and all of us have our moral convictions and concerns, and so often have problems with power. There is nothing wrong with power if power is used correctly. You see, what happened is that some of our philosophers got off base. And one of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites — polar opposites — so that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with a denial of love.
It was this misinterpretation that caused Nietzsche, who was a philosopher of the will to power, to reject the Christian concept of love. It was this same misinterpretation which induced Christian theologians to reject the Nietzschean philosophy of the will to power in the name of the Christian idea of love. Now, we've got to get this thing right. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love. And this is what we must see as we move on. What has happened is that we have had it wrong and confused in our own country, and this has led Negro Americans in the past to seek their goals through power devoid of love and conscience.
This is leading a few extremists today to advocate for Negroes the same destructive and conscienceless power that they have justly abhorred in whites. It is precisely this collision of immoral power with powerless morality which constitutes the major crisis of our times.