Quotations About / On: POWER

  • 21.
    I ... must continue to strive for more knowledge and more power, though the new knowledge always contradicts the old and the new power is the destruction of the fools who misuse it.
    (George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. (First produced 1935). Pra, in The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles, act 2, The Bodley Head Bernard Shaw: Collected Plays with their Prefaces, vol. 6, ed. Dan H. Laurence (1973).)
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  • 22.
    The essence of government is power, and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.
    (James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. Speech at the Virginia Convention, 1829. The Mind of the Founder: Sources of the Political Thought of James Madison, p. 512, ed. Marvin Meyers, Indianapolis (1973).)
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  • 23.
    Nothing in life possesses value except the degree of power—assuming that life itself is the will to power.
    (Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 12, p. 215, selection 5[71], eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Unpublished note dating to Summer 1886Fall 1887, series on "European Nihilism," section 10 (June 10, 1887).)
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  • 24.
    The moment Germany rises as a great power, France gains a new importance as a cultural power.
    (Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 6, p. 106, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980); Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ, p. 63, trans. by R.J. Hollingdale, Baltimore, Penguin Books (1968). Twilight of the Idols, "What the Germans Lack," section 4 (prepared for publication 1888, published 1889).)
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  • 25.
    I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.
    (Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, June 12, 1815.)
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  • 26.
    That all may be so, but when I begin to exercise that power I am not conscious of the power, but only of the limitations imposed on me.
    (William Howard Taft (1857-1930), U.S. president. Letter, Butt to his sister-in-law, Clara F. Butt, March 22, 1909. Archie Butt, Taft and Roosevelt: The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt, Military Aide, 1: 26, Doubleday, Doran & Company (1930). Reporter Al Lewis told Butt that the press was getting very angry with Taft, who did not give out press releases every hour, as Roosevelt had done.)
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  • 27.
    'Tis a sort of duty to be rich, that it may be in one's power to do good, riches being another word for power.
    (Mary Wortley, Lady Montagu (1689-1762), British society figure, letter writer. letter, c. Sept. 24, 1714, to her husband. Selected Letters, ed. Robert Halsband (1970).)
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  • 28.
    If you have no power, talk about your influence. If you have power, talk about the constraints that hem you in.
    (Mason Cooley (b. 1927), U.S. aphorist. City Aphorisms, Eighth Selection, New York (1991).)
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  • 29.
    This world is the will to power—and nothing else! And you yourselves are also this will to power—and nothing else!
    (Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 11, p. 611, selection 38[12], eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Unpublished fragments dating to JuneJuly 1885.)
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  • 30.
    The disruptive powers of excessive national fecundity may have played a greater part in bursting the bonds of convention than either the power of ideas or the errors of autocracy.
    (John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), British economist. repr. In Collected Works, vol. 2 (1971). The Economic Consequences of Peace (1919).)
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