Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Lord Acton

(John Dalberg-Acton)

1834 – 1902 CE

Prolific historian and politician

Lineages

Eras

Unlisted Sources

History of Freedom, 1907

Lecture, Cambridge 1895

Letter to Mary Gladstone (1881)

Letters to Mary Gladstone, 1881

Life and Letters of Mandell Creighton, 1904

Nationality (1862)

The History of Freedom in Antiquity, 1877

The Study of History, 1895

Time Magazine, 1969

Quotes by Lord Acton (18 quotes)

“Solon was not only the wisest man to be found in Athens, but the most profound political genius of antiquity; and the easy, bloodless, and pacific revolution.”

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“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men...”

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“Government by consent superseded government by compulsion, and the pyramid which had stood on a point was made to stand upon its base. By making every citizen the guardian of his own interest, Solon admitted the element of Democracy into the State.”

Themes: Democracy

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“The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.”

from History of Freedom, 1907

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“Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when they superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption of authority.”

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“There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and negation of Liberalism meet, keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means.”

from Life and Letters of Mandell Creighton, 1904

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“When a poor man becomes destitute, it is a moral evil, teeming with consequences and injurious to society and morality.”

from The Study of History, 1895

Themes: Poverty

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“Liberty, next to religion, has been the motive of good deeds and the common pretext of crime... beset by its natural enemies: ignorance, superstition, lust of conquest, love of ease, craving for power”

from History of Freedom, 1907

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“Everything secret degenerates; nothing is safe that does not bear discussion and publicity.”

from Time Magazine, 1969

Themes: Openness

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“Almost all that has been done for the good of the people has been done since the rich lost the monopoly of power, since the rights of property were discovered to be not unlimited”

from Letters to Mary Gladstone, 1881

Themes: Wealth

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“There is neither Greek nor barbarian, neither rich nor poor, and the slave is as good as his master, for by birth all men are free; they are citizens of the universal commonwealth which embraces all the world, brethren of one family”

from The History of Freedom in Antiquity, 1877

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“The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern.”

from The History of Freedom in Antiquity, 1877

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“Praise is the shipwreck of historians.”

from Lecture, Cambridge 1895

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“The two forces, the two worst enemies of civil freedom are absolute monarchy and revolution.”

from Letters to Mary Gladstone, 1881

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“The man who prefers his country before any other duty shows the same spirit as the man who surrenders every right to the state. They both deny that right is superior to authority.”

from Nationality (1862)

Themes: Nationalism

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“No public character has ever stood the revelation of private utterance and correspondence.”

Themes: Fame

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“a scientific backbone to liberal sentiment... the classic English philosophy of history.”

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“The law of liberty tends to abolish the reign of race over race, of faith over faith, of class over class. It is not he realizatin of a political idewal: it is the discharge of a moral obligation.”

from Letter to Mary Gladstone (1881)

Themes: Law and Order

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Quotes about Lord Acton (0 quotes)

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