Power Quotes

Most popular power quotes

Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.

ignorance justice

The less power a man has, the more he likes to use it.
People who set out to rule are never free. They are forever chained to the mob whether it be rebellious or subservient.
Knowledge is power.
Life is a search after power.
Power is the great aphrodisiac.
Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
A friend in power is a friend lost.
For also knowledge itself is power.


Power is not alluring to pure minds.
Power dements even more than it corrupts.
Power is pleasure; and pleasure sweetens pain.
We have, I fear, confused power with greatness.


Power without a nation's confidence is nothing.


Nobody's as powerful as we make them out to be.
He who has his thumb on the purse has the power.
The measure of a man is what he does with power.


Knowledge is the most democratic source of power.


The garb of religion is the best cloak for power.

religion religion and politics

The power to do good is also the power to do harm.
The lust for power never dies—men cannot have enough.
Power corrupts, but lack of power corrupts absolutely.
Power takes as ingratitude the writhing of its victims.
The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall.
Knowledge is power, if you know it about the right person.
He who has a little more power has to serve a little more.
It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.
One should never forbid what one lacks the power to prevent.


Power makes you attractive; it even makes women love old men.
Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
It is more agreeable to have the power to give than to receive.
Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.


Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The imbecility of men is always inviting the impudence of power.


What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.
Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate'er it touches.
Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use it well.
Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.
He who loves the world as his body may be entrusted with the empire.
Power is a place as well as a verb; it is inside the information tent.
Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true.
When they come with machine guns, the taste for politics turns bitter.
Justice without force is powerless; force without justice is tyrannical.


Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.

career management work

This is the bitterest pain among men, to have much knowledge, but no power.


It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak.

evil weakness

Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lots of an abandoned mind.
Ecological devastation is the excrement, so to speak, of man's power worship.

ecology environment

Power is like being a lady ... if you have to tell people you are, you aren't.
The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.
All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State.


If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it.


You shall have joy, or you shall have power, said God; you shall not have both.
Power has to be insecure to be responsive.  It's got to have something to lose.


Those who have been once intoxicated with power can never willingly abandon it.
Given a little power over another, little natures swell to hideous proportions.
I begin by taking. I shall find scholars later to demonstrate my perfect right.
You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.


For power, you know, is a fickle thing and always has its wings spread for flight.
Men of power have no time to read; yet the men who do not read are unfit for power.
Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power.

idealist politics

Everyone has an influence on public affairs if he will take the trouble to exert it.


Art is interested in life at the moment when the ray of power is passing through it.
Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.
We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly.

leadership men and women women

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.


The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.
You see what power is—holding someone else's fear in your hand and showing it to them!
The love of liberty is the love of others. The love of power is the love of ourselves.


Those who love to be feared, fear to be loved. Some fear them, but they fear everyone.

human nature

Power is no more to be committed to men without discipline and restriction than alcohol.
Lack of something to feel important about is almost the greatest tragedy a man may have.


You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.
Power gives no purchase to the hand; it will not hold, soon perishes, and greatness goes.
Power intoxicates men.  It is never voluntarily surrendered.  It must be taken from them.
Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.
Next to power without honor, the most dangerous thing in the world is power without humor.

honor sense of humor

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

adversity character

Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.


What is good? All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man.
When the anger of the gods is incurred, wealth or power only bring more devastating punishment.


Gentlemen, You have undertaken to cheat me. I won't sue you, for law is too slow. I'll ruin you.


Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.


Power is not merely shouting aloud. Power is to act positively with all the components of power.
Power is so apt to be insolent and Liberty to be saucy, that they are very seldom upon good terms.


Power, whether vested in many or a few, is ever grasping, and like the grave, cries, "Give, Give."
Those who have more power are liable to sin more; no theorem in geometry is more certain than this.
Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me.
The man with power but no conscience could, with an eloquent tongue, put the whole country into flames.

conscience oratory

The attempt to combine wisdom and power has only rarely been successful, and then only for a short while.


Power over others is weakness disguised as strength. True power is within, and it is available to you now.
The man who does something under orders is not unhappy; he is unhappy who does something against his will.

leadership management

The appetite for power is old and irrepressible in humankind, and in its action almost always destructive.
I have a fantasy where Ted Turner is elected president but refuses because he doesn't want to give up power.


To persuade is more trouble than to dominate, and the powerful seldom take this trouble if they can avoid it.


A man who enjoys responsibility usually gets it. A man who merely likes exercising authority usually loses it.

career management work

The real cause, the effective one, that makes men lose power is that they have become unworthy to exercise it.
The secret of the demagogue is to make himself as stupid as his audience so they believe they are clever as he.
The world itself is the will to power—and nothing else! And you yourself are the will to power—and nothing else!
I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.
The essence of government is power, and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.


Relationships are never about power, and one way to avoid the will to power is to choose to limit oneself—to serve.


I 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.
When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power.


To know the pains of power, we must go to those who have it; to know its pleasure, we must go to those who are seeking it.
Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just.


You cannot have power for good without having power for evil  too. Even mother's milk nourishes murderers as well as heroes.
Money is power.  I would expand the Biblical aphorism, therefore, in this fashion: the root of all evil is the love of power.
Asking "Who ought to be boss?" is like asking "Who ought to be the tenor in the quartet?" Obviously, the man who can sing tenor.

leadership management

Chief among the forces affecting political folly is lust for power, named by Tacitus as "the most flagrant of all the passions."


The third kind of power is the power of personal authority or charisma, which is rooted in the confidence you inspire in others.


I only wish that ordinary people had an unlimited capacity for doing harm; then they might have an unlimited power for doing good.
We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.

love peace

The effect of power and publicity on all men is the aggravation of self, a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim's sympathies.
The greater the state, the more wrong and cruel its patriotism, and the greater is the sum of suffering upon which its power is founded.

communism government

If the most powerful used all his power to serve and to pardon, he who used his power for anything else would end up looking ridiculous.
Great power constitutes its own argument, and it never has much trouble drumming up friends, applause, sympathetic exegesis, and a band.
Revolutionaries do not make revolutions! The revolutionaries are those who know when power is lying in the street and when they can pick it up.


I love power. But it is as an artist that I love it. I love it as a musician loves his violin, to draw out its sounds and chords and harmonies.
Power is poison.  Its effect on Presidents had always been tragic, chiefly as an almost insane excitement at first, and a worse reaction afterwards.


The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that ... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.
Power is sweet, and when you are a little clerk you love its sweetness quite as much as if you were an emperor, and maybe you love it a good deal more.
The jaws of power are always opened to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.
The definition of happiness of the Greeks...is full use of your powers along lines of excellence.  I find, therefore, the Presidency provides some happiness.

happiness politics president

It is said that 'power corrupts,' but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.
All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.
Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.


Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak, and that it is doing God's service, when it is violating all His laws.
Power doesn't have to show off.  Power is confident, self-assuring, self-starting and self-stopping, self-warming and self-justifying.  When you have it, you know it.
Fame and power are the objects of all men. Even their partial fruition is gained by very few; and that, too, at the expense of social pleasure, health, conscience, life.


To be, the will to power must increase with each fulfillment, making the fulfillment only a step to a further one. The vaster the power gained the vaster the appetite for more.
Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.


All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
Just as he who gives his life to serve a great idea is admirable, he who avails himself of a great idea to serve his personal hopes of glory and power is abominable, even if he too risks his life.


We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.
Nothing discloses real character like the use of power.  It is easy for the weak to be gentle.  Most people can bear adversity.  But if you wish to know what a man really is, give him power.  This is the supreme test.


When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.


The Vedanta recognizes no sin, it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.

self-determination sin

Not necessity, not desire—no, the love of power is the demon of men. Let them have everything—health, food, a place to live, entertainment—they are and remain unhappy and low-spirited: for the demon waits and waits and will be satisfied.

cynical human nature

Truth and power can travel together only so far. Sooner or later they go their separate ways. If you want power, at some point you will have to spread fictions. If you want to know the truth about the world, at some point you will have to renounce power.

reality truth

The strongest and most effective force in guaranteeing the long-term maintenance of power is not violence in all the forms deployed by the dominant to control the dominated, but consent in all the forms in which the dominated acquiesce in their own domination.
The last person to trust with power is someone who is dying to have it. The best person to wield power is someone who is reluctant to do so, but who will do it for a while as a civic duty. That is why term limits should make it impossible to have a whole career in politics.


As a species, humans prefer power to truth. We spend far more time and effort on trying to control the world than on trying to understand it – and even when we try to understand it, we usually do so in the hope that understanding the world will make it easier to control it.

reality truth

Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

African-Americans civil rights movement revolution