Quotations About
power

Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it; and this I know, my lords, that where laws end, tyranny begins.

Case of Wilkes. Speech (January 9, 1770)

Bob Alexander: This is mine, Alan. All mine. I made him, I built him. And no Boy Scout is going to come in here and take it away from me, just because he happens to be Vice President of the United States.

Posted in: Dave

Being in power is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.

attributed - unconfirmed.
This quote is attributed / unsourced.

The secret point of money and power in America is neither the things that money can buy nor power for power’s sake … but absolute personal freedom, mobility, privacy. It is the instinct which drove America to the Pacific, all through the nineteenth century, the desire to be able to find a restaurant open in case you want a sandwich, to be a free agent, live by one’s own rules.

"7000 Romaine, Los Angeles," Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1967)

Themistocles said that he certainly could not make use of any stringed instrument; could only, were a small and obscure city put into his hands, make it great and glorious.

Life of Themistocles
Posted in: Plutarch

Science has made us gods even before we are worthy of being men.

Thoughts of a Biologist (1939)
Posted in: Jean Rostand

If those in charge of our society — politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television — can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.

Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology (1991)
Posted in: Howard Zinn

Professor Foot: With a ring like that I could – dare I say it? – rule the world.

Posted in: Help!

Algernon: Stop him? Me? It’s more than my job’s worth to stop him once he gets like this. He’s out to rule the world, if he can get a government grant.

Posted in: Help!

Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.

Posted in: Wilson Mizner

The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.

Political Essays (1819)
Posted in: William Hazlitt

Padme: You’re not all-powerful, Ani.
Anakin: Well, I should be.

William Adama: The Cylon War is long over, yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high … sometimes it’s too high. You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question, why? Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed, spite, jealousy. And we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we’ve done. Like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life. When that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn’t our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you’ve created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can’t hide from the things that you’ve done anymore.

Miniseries, Part 1

When you can flatten entire cities at a whim, a tendency towards quiet reflection and seeing-things-from-the-other-fellow’s-point-of-view is seldom necessary.

Small Gods
Posted in: Terry Pratchett

In fact, no gods anywhere play chess. They prefer simple, vicious games, where you Do Not Achieve Transcendence but Go Straight to Oblivion; a key to the understanding of all religion is that a god’s idea of amusement is Snakes and Ladders with greased rungs.

Wyrd Sisters
Posted in: Terry Pratchett

You can’t trample infidels when you’re a tortoise. I mean, all you could do is give them a meaningful look.

Small Gods
Posted in: Terry Pratchett

When the least they could do to you was everything, then the most they could do to you suddenly held no terror.

Small Gods
Posted in: Terry Pratchett

When you are wrestling for possession of a sword, the man with the handle always wins.

Snow Crash
Posted in: Neal Stephenson

I hope I’m not being reductive but it seems Thatcher’s time in power was solely spent diminishing the resources of those who had least for the advancement of those who had most. I know from my own indulgence in selfish behaviour that it’s much easier to get what you want if you remove from consideration the effect your actions will have on others.

The Guardian, Tuesday 9 April 2013
Posted in: Russell Brand

Lou: The main thing about money, Bud, is that it makes you do things you don’t want to do.

Posted in: Wall Street