100 Famous Quotes About Power That Show Why It Tends To Corrupt People

“With great power comes great responsibility” goes a quote popularized by the character of Uncle Ben in the ‘Spider-Man’ franchise of comics and movies. Though the original quote has been ascribed to different sources including Voltaire, Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt among others, the original source remains to be determined. However, the truth in this poignant quote is glaring—power indeed comes with great responsibility. It greatly depends upon the person with power on whether he uses his position for the benefit of humanity or abuses it.

Formally defined, power is the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. It is often said that power corrupts people. It is only when someone is assigned a powerful position, does their true character reveal itself. No doubt even the most seemingly capable candidate in race for a political position disappoints their voters once they actually come to power. That is why Lao Tzu said that mastering others is strength, but mastering oneself is power. Enjoy these thoughtful quotes about power which we have collected for you from different sources which will make you think about what being powerful actually means.

Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.

- Oscar Wilde

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

- Abraham Lincoln

A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.

- The Books in My Life, Henry Miller

The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.

- Roseanne Barr

I wonder if fears ever really go away, or if they just lose their power over us.

- Allegiant, Veronica Roth

There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." (Keynote speech at Celebrating Inspiration luncheon with the WNBA's All-Decade Team, 2006)

- Madeleine K. Albright

The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Knowledge is power. Power to do evil...or power to do good. Power itself is not evil. So knowledge itself is not evil.

- Allegiant, Veronica Roth

Keep your best wishes, close to your heart and watch what happens

- Legacy: The Power Within, Tony DeLiso

Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is "timing" it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way.

- Fulton J. Sheen

Power resides only where men believe it resides. [...] A shadow on the wall, yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.

- A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin

I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.

- A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft

If someone puts their hands on you make sure they never put their hands on anybody else again.

- Malcolm X

Recognizing power in another does not diminish your own.

- Joss Whedon

You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.

- Roman Payne

It's all mirror, mirror on the wall because beauty is power the same way money is power the same way a gun is power.

- Invisible Monsters, Chuck Palahniuk

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.

- Margaret Thatcher

When Gansey was polite, it made him powerful. When Adam was polite, he was giving power away.

- The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

- Leo Buscaglia

Names have power.

- The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan

The measure of a man is what he does with power.

- Plato

Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts... perhaps the fear of a loss of power.

- John Steinbeck

I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.

- Emily Dickinson

She had never imagined she had the power to make someone else so happy. And not a magical power, either--a purely human one.

- Clockwork Prince, Cassandra Clare

Man is not, by nature, deserving of all that he wants. When we think that we are automatically entitled to something, that is when we start walking all over others to get it.

- Diotima, Criss Jami

They joined hands. So the world ended. And the next one began.

- Queen of Shadows, Sarah J. Maas

You should never ask anyone for anything. Never- and especially from those who are more powerful than yourself.

- The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.

- Paulo Freire

Power changes everything till it is difficult to say who are the heroes and who the villains.

- The Sweet Far Thing, Libba Bray

You gain power by pretending to be weak.

- Choke, Chuck Palahniuk

For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.

- Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World, Noam Chomsky

There are times when the world is rearranging itself, and at times like that, the right words can change the world.

- Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card

I believe in the immeasurable power of love; that true love can endure any circumstance and reach across any distance.

- Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience, Steve Maraboli

Where there is power, there is resistance.

- The History of Sexuality 1: An Introduction, Michel Foucault

Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.

- Robert A. Heinlein

The greatest act of faith some days is to simply get up and face another day.

- Amy Gatliff

Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.

- Killosophy, Criss Jami

We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.

- 1984, George Orwell

When one with honeyed words but evil mind Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.

- Orestes, Euripides

It's our faith that activates the power of God.

- Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, Joel Osteen

The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house

- Audre Lorde

Power was my weakness and my temptation.

- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling

Happiness is part of who we are. Joy is the feeling

- Legacy: The Power Within, Tony DeLiso

When people see you're happy doing what you're doing, it sort of takes the power away from them to tease you about it.

- Every Soul a Star, Wendy Mass

Silence is the ultimate weapon of power.

- Charles de Gaulle

When your desires are strong enough, you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve.

- Napoleon Hill

As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.

- Toni Morrison

It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But a half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.

- The Sandman, Neil Gaiman

Power is given only to him who dares to stoop and take it ... one must have the courage to dare.

- Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Because there was a hunger in me to see everything and do everything. I wanted to be everyone I saw. I wasn't enough for me. Can you understand that?

- Bloodline, Sidney Sheldon

It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.

- Freedom from Fear, Aung San Suu Kyi

You are not what others think you are. You are what God knows you are.

- Shannon L. Alder

...But the human tongue is a beast that few can master. It strains constantly to break out of its cage, and if it is not tamed, it will tun wild and cause you grief.

- The 48 Laws of Power, Robert Greene

If absolute power corrupts absolutely, where does that leave God?

- George Deacon

That's what we all want, isn't it? Power without price.

- The Summoning, Kelley Armstrong

The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.

- Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience, Steve Maraboli

The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action.

- Frank Herbert

Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lots of an abandoned mind.

- Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

If I could put my brain in her body, the world would be mine for the taking.

- Match Me If You Can, Susan Elizabeth Phillips

It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.

- David Brin

Knowledge is power is time is money.

- Storm and Silence, Robert Thier

I only want power so I can get books.

- Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Eliezer Yudkowsky

Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.

- Elie Wiesel

Standing on a street corner waiting for no one is power.

- Gregory Corso

Scientia potentia est. Knowledge is power.

- Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes

I know, better than anyone else, that there are no heroes coming to save us. There are no good Epics. None of them protect us. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

- Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson

When she was a child, my love carried a road-map in her hand the way other girls carried handkerchiefs. She always knew the way. Her feet were little wings. And her beautiful head was a compass.

- Roman Payne

If I look at the mass I will never act.

- Mother Teresa

What was the point in satin and lace if it didn't make a man struggle to speak?

- Embrace The Darkness, Alexandra Ivy

Ipsa scientia potestas est. Knowledge itself is power.

- Meditations Sacrae and Human Philosophy Meditations Sacrae and Human Philosophy, Francis Bacon

Power attracts the corruptible. Suspect any who seek it.

- Chapterhouse: Dune, Frank Herbert

The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.

- Adolf Hitler

Fire wants to burn Water wants to flow Air wants to rise Earth wants to bind Chaos wants to devour Cal wants to live

- The Iron Trial, Cassandra Clare

To seek greatness is the only righteous vengeance.

- Killosophy, Criss Jami

There is power and there is power, my dear. My power can be vast, in the right places.

- Trickster's Queen, Tamora Pierce

We are at our most powerful the moment we no longer need to be powerful.

- Eric Micha'el Leventhal

The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it.

- Adolf Hitler

When you become the image of your own imagination, it's the most powerful thing you could ever do.

- RuPaul

Wisdom consists of knowing how to distinguish the nature of trouble, and in choosing the lesser evil.

- The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli

She never forgets a slight, real or imagined. She takes caution for cowardice and dissent for defiance. And she is greedy. Greedy for power, for honour, for love.

- A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin

The greatness of the man's power is the measure of his surrender.

- William Booth

Words have power.

- Blackout, Mira Grant

It is true that words have power, and one of the things they are able to do is get out of someone's mouth before the speaker has the chance to stop them.

- Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett

Profanity and obscenity entitle people who don't want unpleasant information to close their ears and eyes to you.

- Hocus Pocus, Kurt Vonnegut

There is a God part in you. The consciousness. The pure Self. Learn to listen the voice of that Power.

- Nonviolence: The Transforming Power, Amit Ray

Love without hope will not survive. Love without faith changes nothing. Love gives power to hope and faith.

- My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut, Toba Beta

Some people still think knowledge is power.

- Lullaby, Chuck Palahniuk

They key of persistence opens all door closed by resistence

- John Di Lemme

The power to change your life lies in the simplest of steps.

- Steve Maraboli

Ignorance and power and pride are a deadly mixture, you know.

- All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Robert Fulghum

It may be a man's world, but men are easily controlled by women.

- Ashly Lorenzana

Today is the only day in which we have any power.

- Life, Steve Maraboli

Powerful people have no regrets.

- Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts

Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.

- History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides

Truth and trust are the means by which civilization holds off barbarism.

- Alta, Mercedes Lackey

Never underestimate the power of a woman!

- Archie Andrews

I don't think anybody cares about unwed mothers unless they're black or poor. The question is not morality, the question is money. That's what we're upset about.

- Toni Morrison

What good is power when you're too wise to use it?

- A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin

Powerful women always interpret hostility as unrequited love.

- Tina Brown

When I was just a cute little caterpillar, you loved me. So I became a butterfly so you would never leave.

- Write like no one is reading 3, Crystal Woods

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