Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The fate of every democracy, of every government based on the sovereignty of the people, depends on the choices it makes between these opposite principles, absolute power on the one hand, and on the other the restraints of legality and the authority of tradition.
There is not a soul who does not have to beg alms of another, either a smile, a handshake, or a fond eye.
Far from being the product of a democratic revolution and of an opposition to English institutions, the constitution of the United States was the result of a powerful reaction against democracy, and in favor of the traditions of the mother country.
Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral laws are written on the table of eternity.
There is no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders among the ablest men.
Property is not the sacred right. When a rich man becomes poor it is a misfortune, it is not a moral evil. When a poor man becomes destitute, it is a moral evil, teeming with consequences and injurious to society and morality.
Liberty is the condition of duty, the guardian of conscience. It grows as conscience grows. The domains of both grow together. Liberty is safety from all hindrances, even sin. So that Liberty ends by being Free Will.
Be not content with the best book; seek sidelights from the others; have no favourites.
And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that.
Machiavelli's teaching would hardly have stood the test of Parliamentary government, for public discussion demands at least the profession of good faith.
The science of politics is the one science that is deposited by the streams of history, like the grains of gold in the sand of a river; and the knowledge of the past, the record of truths revealed by experience, is eminently practical, as an instrument of action and a power that goes to making the future.
History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.
To be able to look back upon one's past life with satisfaction is to live twice.
History provides neither compensation for suffering nor penalties for wrong.
There are two things which cannot be attacked in front: ignorance and narrow-mindedness. They can only be shaken by the simple development of the contrary qualities. They will not bear discussion.
By a series of violent shocks, the nations in succession have struggled to shake off the Past, to reverse the action of Time and the verdict of success, and to rescue the world from the reign of the dead.
If some great catastrophe is not announced every morning, we feel a certain void. Nothing in the paper today, we sigh.
The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern: every class is unfit to govern.
A wise person does at once, what a fool does at last. Both do the same thing; only at different times.