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Margaret ThatcherBeing powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.

—  Margaret Thatcher, 1925-2013, British Prime Minister

Abraham LincolnNearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

—  Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865, American President

ThucydidesJustice is an issue only between equals, otherwise those in power do what they can and the weak forgive.

—  Thucydides, 460-394 BC, Ancient Greek historian

HoraceTo have a great man for an intimate friend seems pleasant to those who have never tried it; those who have, fear it.

—  Horace, 65-8 BC, Roman poet

Lord ActonPower tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

—  Lord Acton, 1834-1902, English historian

NapoleonPut your iron hand in a velvet glove.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

NapoleonIf I were to give liberty to the press, my power could not last three days.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

Mahatma GandhiThe day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.

—  Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948, Indian leader of independence

Northcote ParkinsonWhen any organizational entity expands beyond 21 members, the real power will be in some smaller body.

—  Northcote Parkinson, 1909-1993, British historian

Oscar WildeAll authority is quite degrading. It degrades those who exercise it, and degrades those over whom it is exercised.

—  Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900, Irish writer

Oscar WildeEverything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.

—  Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900, Irish writer

George OrwellPower is not a means; it is an end.

—  George Orwell, 1903-1950, British writer

Kurt VonnegutHuman beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power.

—  Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007, American writer

Eric HofferPower corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.

—  Eric Hoffer, 1902-1983, American writer & philosopher

Niccolò MachiavelliOne must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.

—  Niccolò Machiavelli, 1469-1527, Italian political philosopher

John KennedyIn the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding on the back of the tiger ended up inside.

—  John Kennedy, 1917-1963, American President [1961-1963]

Benjamin DisraeliReal politics are the possession and distribution of power.

—  Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-1881, British Prime Minister

Charles Caleb ColtonNo man is wise enough, or good enough to be trusted with unlimited power.

—  Charles Caleb Colton, 1780-1832, English cleric & writer

Paul ValeryPower without abuse loses its charm.

—  Paul Valery, 1871-1945, French poet

Martin Luther KingI am not interested in power for power's sake, but I'm interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.

—  Martin Luther King, 1929-1968, American leader in the Civil Rights Movement

Karl JungWhere love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.

—  Karl Jung, 1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist

Lord ActonAnd remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control.

—  Lord Acton, 1834-1902, English historian

Jean Jacques RousseauThe strongest is never strong enough always to be master, unless he transforms strength into right, and obedience into duty.

—  Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778, Swiss-French philosopher

Dwight EisenhowerThere is one thing about being President: nobody can tell you when to sit down.

—  Dwight Eisenhower, 1890-1969, American general & President

Harry TrumanBeing a president is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or he is swallowed.

—  Harry Truman, 1884-1972, American President [1945-1953]

Carl SaganI think people in power have a vested interest to oppose critical thinking.

—  Carl Sagan, 1934-1996, American astronomer

Arthur ClarkeCNN is one of the participants in the war. I have a fantasy where Ted Turner is elected president but refuses because he doesn't want to give up power.

—  Arthur Clarke, 1917-2008, British Sci-Fi writer

Funny Quotes

George CarlinI have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it.

—  George Carlin, 1936-2008, American comedian


Ancient Greek

Bias of PrieneWhen a good man steps down from power, he shouldn’t have become more rich, but more honored.

Δει τον αγαθόν άνδρα παυόμενον της αρχής μη πλουσιώτερον, αλλά μάλλον ενδοξότερον γεγονέναι.

—  Bias of Priene, 625-540 BC, Greek philosopher, one of the 7 sages of Ancient Greece

Bias of PrienePower shows the man.

Αρχή άνδρα δείκνυσι.

—  Bias of Priene, 625-540 BC, Greek philosopher, one of the 7 sages of Ancient Greece



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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou