Arbitrary Power


The heights of popularity and patriotism are still the beaten road to power and tyranny; flattery to treachery; standing armies to arbitrary government; and the glory of God to the temporal interest of the clergy. David Hume

Law and arbitrary power are at eternal enmity. Edmund Burke

The most insupportable of tyrants exclaim against the exercise of arbitrary power. Roger L'Estrange

Arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken. Abigail Adams

The possession of arbitrary power has always, the world over, tended irresistibly to destroy humane sensibility, magnanimity, and truth. Frederick Law Olmsted

The birth of science rang the death-knell of an arbitrary and constantly interposing Supreme Power. Annie Besant

This, then, is freedom in the external life of man-that he is independent of the arbitrary power of his fellows. Ludwig Von Mises

I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. Benjamin Franklin

Arbitrary power is but the first natural step from anarchy, or the savage life. Jonathan Swift

The redemptive power of divine grace no longer seemed credible, nor very respectable in the arbitrary performance that was claimed for it. Rebecca West

It is not the source but the limitation of power which prevents it from being arbitrary. Friedrich August von Hayek

The bad man desires arbitrary power. What moves the evil man is the love of injustice. John Rawls

[C]ensorship in any form is the opening wedge for fascism, since it places arbitrary and unwarranted power in the hands of individuals. Jack Parsons

Arbitrary power has seldom... been introduced in any country at once. It must be introduced by slow degrees, and as it were step by step. Lord Chesterfield

Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. John Quincy Adams

Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness. George Washington

Wise men wrote the Constitution, but clever judges have been destroying it, bit by bit, turning it into an instrument of arbitrary judicial power, instead of a limitation on all government power. Thomas Sowell

The power to determine the quantity of money... is too important, too pervasive, to be exercised by a few people, however public-spirited, if there is any feasible alternative. There is no need for such arbitrary power. Milton Friedman

The necessity for power is obvious, because life cannot be lived without order; but the allocation of power is arbitrary because all men are alike, or very nearly. Yet power must not seem to be arbitrarily allocated, because it will not then be recognized as power. Therefore prestige, which is illusion, is of the very essence of power. Simone Weil

Arbitrary rule has its basis, not in the strength of the state or the chief, but in the moral weakness of the individual, who submits almost without resistance to the domineering power. Friedrich Ratzel



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