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Lord Acton Quotes


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Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral laws are written on the table of eternity.
 

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
[Politics]
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Property is not the sacred right. When a rich man becomes poor it is a misfortune, it is not a moral evil. When a poor man becomes destitute, it is a moral evil, teeming with consequences and injurious to society and morality.
 

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

Socialism means slavery.
 

The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern: every class is unfit to govern.
[Government]
 

The fate of every democracy, of every government based on the sovereignty of the people, depends on the choices it makes between these opposite principles, absolute power on the one hand, and on the other the restraints of legality and the authority of tradition.
 

The greatest men, you can quote for everything.
 

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

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

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.
 

The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.
 

The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.
 

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.
[Action]
 

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 no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders among the ablest men. Imagine a congress of eminent celebrities such as More, Bacon, Grotius, Pascal, Cromwell, Bossuet, Montesquieu, Jefferson, Napoleon, Pitt, etc. The result would be an Encyclopedia of Errors.
 

There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.
[Politics]
 

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

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

Truth is the only merit that gives dignity and worth to history.
 


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