John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, known as Lord Acton, was an English Catholic historian, politician, and writer (*1834 – †1902)
He is perhaps best known for the remark, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men…”, which he made in a letter to an Anglican bishop.
Here some other attributed to him:
- Socialism means slavery.
- There is not a soul who does not have to beg alms of another, either a smile, a handshake, or a fond eye.
- 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.
- Liberty is the prevention of control by others. This requires self-control and, therefore, religious and spiritual influences; education, knowledge, well-being.
- Be not content with the best book; seek sidelights from the others; have no favorites.
- History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.
- The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.
- The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern: every class is unfit to govern.
- Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right to do what we ought.
- There is no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders among the ablest men.
- There are two things which cannot be attacked in front: ignorance and narrow-mindedness