Lord Acton Quotes

Fanaticism in religion is the alliance of the passions she condemns with the dogmas she professes. Lord Acton

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.

Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity. Lord Acton

There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. Lord Acton

To be able to look back upon one’s past life with satisfaction is to live twice. Lord Acton

A wise person does at once what a fool does at last. Both do the same thing; only at different times. Lord Acton

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

The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern. Lord Acton

Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end…liberty is the only object which benefits all alike, and provokes no sincere opposition…Lord Acton

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. Lord Acton

The true natural check on absolute democracy is the federal system, which limits the central government by the powers reserved, and the state governments by the powers they have ceded. Lord Acton