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.
Letter (23 January 1861), published in Lord Acton and his Circle (1906) by Abbot Francis Aidan Gasquet, Letter 24
Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.John Acton
The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern. The law of liberty tends to abolish the reign of race over race, of faith over faith, of class over class.John Acton
There is no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders among the ablest men. Imagine a congress of eminent celebrities, such as More, Bacon, Grotius, Pascal, Cromwell, Bossuet, Montesquieu, Jefferson, Napoleon, Pitt, etc. The result would be an Encyclopedia of Error.John Acton
Liberty is the prevention of control by others. This requires self-control and, therefore, religious and spiritual influences; education, knowledge, well-being.John Acton
Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.John Acton
The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.John Acton
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