Sunday, April 10, 2011

Interesting Quotes from Lord Acton

Here are some interesting quotes from Lord Acton (1834 - 1902):
  • "There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it."
  • "The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern."
  • "The strong man with the dagger is followed by the weak man with the sponge."
  • "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. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."
  • "Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought."
Lord Acton was a "Classical Liberal", most similar to a "Libertarian" in today's parlance. Lord Acton admired the American form of government, but he was sympathetic to the confederacy during our civil war, because he felt that the federal government was infringing on states' rights. Keep in mind that the civil war was about much more than just freeing the slaves, although that was certainly part of it. As usual, that conflict has been dumbed down to a single issue, which, though important, wasn't the only issue.

I bring this up, because someone reading Lord Acton's bio will say, "well he was a confederate sympathizer, so everything he said is invalid!". No. It. Isn't. If only life were that simple.

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