Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.Edmund Burke: 1777 Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol.
Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.George Bernard Shaw: 1903 Man and Superman,'Maxims for Revolutionists: Democracy'.
Beauty is as summer-fruits, which are easy to corrupt, and cannot last.Bacon, Francis,Viscount St Albans: 1625 Essays, no.43,'Of Beauty'.
Anyone happy in this age and place Is daft or corrupt. Better to abdicate From a material and spiritual terrain Fit only for barbarians.Roy Broadbent Fuller: 1954 'Translation'.
The old order changeth, yielding place to new, And God fulfils himself in many ways, Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.Tennyson: 1869 Idylls of the King,'The Passing of Arthur', l.408-10.
I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.john acton: Letter to Mandell Creighton (5 April 1887), published in Historical Essays and Studies, by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton (1907), edited by John Neville Figgis and Reginald Vere Laurence, Appendix, p. 504; also in Essays on Freedom and Power (1972)
Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. We must not conclude merely upon a man's haranguing upon liberty, and using the charming sound, that he is fit to be trusted with the liberties of his country. It is not unfrequent to hear men declaim loudly upon liberty, who, if we may judge by the whole tenor of their actions, mean nothing else by it but their own liberty, — to oppress without control or the restraint of laws all who are poorer or weaker than themselves. It is not, I say, unfrequent to see such instances, though at the same time I esteem it a justice due to my country to say that it is not without shining examples of the contrary kind; — examples of men of a distinguished attachment to this same liberty I have been describing; whom no hopes could draw, no terrors could drive, from steadily pursuing, in their sphere, the true interests of their country; whose fidelity has been tried in the nicest and tenderest manner, and has been ever firm and unshaken.The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.Samuel Adams: Essay published in The Advertiser (1748) and later reprinted in The Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams, Volume 1, by William Vincent Wells; Little, Brown, and Company; Boston, 1865
Death a thousand times to the hired Muslim Brothers, Death a thousand times to the Muslim Brothers, the criminal Brothers, the corrupt Brothers.hafez al-assad: Robert Fisk (16 September 2010). "Robert Fisk: Freedom, democracy and human rights in Syria". THE INDEPENDENT.
The prophecy of Professor Yeshayahu Leibovitz, that the occupation would corrupt us through and through and turn us into a people of exploiters and secret-service-men, has come awfully true. Nothing has remained of the "beautiful Eretz Israel " but a cloying nostalgia, of which Naomi Shemer was a standard-bearer. A small and gallant state, progressive and (relatively) egalitarian, respected by the world, has become an occupying and looting state, hostage to delirious settlers, full of internal violence and "swinish capitalism" (a phrase coined by Shimon Peres, one of those most responsible for this situation). Throughout the world, the idea of boycotting Israel is gaining ground.uri avnery: Death of a Myth (May 12, 2005)
Life is short, even for those who live a long time, and we must live for the few who know and appreciate us, who judge and absolve us, and for whom we have the same affection and indulgence. The rest I look upon as a mere crowd, lively or sad, loyal or corrupt, from whom there is nothing to be expected but fleeting emotions, either pleasant or unpleasant, which leave no trace behind them. We ought to hate very rarely, as it is too fatiguing; remain indifferent to a great deal, forgive often and never forget.sarah bernhardt: Ch. 33 (My Double Life (1907))
Let us give to our republic a fourth power with authority over the youth, the hearts of men, public spirit, habits, and republican morality. Let us establish this Areopagus to watch over the education of the children, to supervise national education, to purify whatever may be corrupt in the republic, to denounce ingratitude, coldness in the country's service, egotism, sloth, idleness, and to pass judgment upon the first signs of corruption and pernicious example.simón bolívar: As quoted in Rise of the Spanish-American Republics as Told in the Lives of their Liberators (1918) by William Spence Robertson, p. 239
Here the system is creating an industry around the drug issue when it does nothing to stop the corrupt military that moves the drugs, and the big banks that are all in cahoots with the President and the big shots in the Congress.jerry brown: Jerry Brown on Drugs and State Power, We the People Radio Network archives, August/September 1995
Stalin is the perfect example of what I was talking about. To simply call him corrupt tells us nothing useful. What circumstances put him into power? What objective pressures, as well as subjective characteristics, led him to make the decisions he made? I'm currently reading Trotsky's writings from 1932 (scary how accurately he predicts the way WWII would play out), and analyzing the details of why Stalin did as he did is far more complex and useful than just, 'power corrupts.'And it is even more true for the other great dictators of the 20th Century: I don’t think you can even say that Hitler and Mussolini were corrupt: they came to power in order to do the very things they did.steven brust: Truisms Rot Brains: Absolute Truisms Rot Brains Absolutely (blog post), August 9, 2010
As long as we abide in Christ, our action is from Him, not from our own corrupt and broken nature.horace bushnell: P. 609. (Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895))
The apostle denies that anyone actually knows Christ, who has not learned to put off the old man, corrupt with deceitful lusts, and to put on Christ.john calvin: Page 20 (Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life)
My social conscience is fairly limited in a lot of ways; there's not much I'm angry about that doesn't affect me quite directly. But the prison system- not particularly capital punishment- but the penal system as it is, and the whole apparatus of judgement, people deciding on other people's fates... that does irritate, and upset me quite a lot. What angers me about the system goes beyond the unreliability of "proof"... it's that the way criminals are dealt with has nothing to do with rehabilitation and readjusting people who've stepped outside society's norms. The same goes for mental institutions and so forth. But it's also the very idea of someone being judged "criminal" or "insane" because they're unable to fit into what a corrupt society considers "social" or "sociable". I think there's a certain numbness in modern society, that accepts certain kinds of violence, but represses other kinds of violence. I'd rather see what makes me different as something almost congenital. And I have these inklings that what you commit or endure in this world, relates to some kind of justice or balance. Maybe if you get a bad deal in this world, it is because of something you did, or were, in a previous life. Which is why I don't feel sorry for the poor.nick cave: Blissed Out: The Raptures of Rock, by Simon Reynolds (1988)
A Pack of Spanish Lies sent abroad in the world, first printed in the Spanish tongue, and translated out of the original. Now ripped up, unfolded and by just examination condemned, as containing false, corrupt and detestable wares worthy to be damned and burned.cecil, william, 1st baron burghley: Title of a pamphlet published by Burghley on Spanish claims over what happened during the Spanish Armada's attempted invasion of England in 1588.
Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God's grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven's incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgment. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalising effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.william lane craig: Subject: Slaughter of the Canaanites. Reasonable Faith. Retrieved on 2011-10-20., quoted in Dawkins, Richard (2011-10-20). "Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig". Guardian. Retrieved on 2011-10-20.
Let's be clear: all professions look bad in the movies. And there's a good reason for this. Movies don't portray career paths, they conscript interesting lifestyles to serve a plot. So lawyers are all unscrupulous and doctors are all uncaring. Psychiatrists are all crazy, and politicians are all corrupt. All cops are psychopaths, and all businessmen are crooks. Even moviemakers come off badly: directors are megalomaniacs, actors are spoiled brats. Since all occupations are portrayed negatively, why expect scientists to be treated differently?Michael Crichton: "Ritual Abuse, Hot Air, and Missed Opportunities: Science Views Media" - Speech to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Anaheim, California (25 January 1999)
Why did my parents send me to the schoolsThat I with knowledge might enrich my mind?Since the desire to know first made men fools,And did corrupt the root of all mankind.john davies: Stanza 1.
If we would succeed in works of the imagination, we must offer a mild morality in the midst of rigid manners; but where the manners are corrupt, we must consistently hold up to view an austere morality.anne louise germaine de staël: The Influence of Literature upon Society (1800), Pt. 2, ch. 5
I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hate the corrupt, slave-holding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land.frederick douglass: Appendix
"Once again, I challenge the Prime Minister to have an open debate with me on why he believes we must stay part of this failing, corrupt EU. The future of our nation is at stake. Mr Cameron, you have my phone number."nigel farage: Quote by Nigel Farage on an article written by himself in the Telegraph, 6th July 2012.
Better a hundred times an honest and capable administration of an erroneous policy than a corrupt and incapable administration of a good one.E. J. Phelps, at a dinner of the New York Chamber of Commerce (Nov. 19, 1889).
Almost the whole of my text at the moment, in my head as I fall asleep, is summed up by the word "contempt". Contempt, in politics, for the hypocrisy, the double standards, the double dealing, the corruption and the moral suasion. It's almost impossible for me to explain just how deeply I feel contempt. I want to go into detail - and I think you'll be rather shocked, and I hope rather edified, by what I have to say. So who are these terrible hypocrites? Who are these double dealers? Who are these liars and fraudulent corrupt people? Well, you're listening to one of them: that's me. And I'm talking to millions of them: that's you. It's not the politicians, God bless them. Sexless, uninteresting, graceless and very often styleless people as they may be, it is we who are the problem in politics. We expect a very high standard of living. We expect food to be cheap and available. We expect energy to be cheap and available. we also expect to be able to mouth off at parties about how terrible it is that the ozone layer is being eaten away and the glaciers are melting and how awful it is that people are starving in other countries. And we pay this group of styleless sexless people whom we call politicians a small amount of money in order to lay off our own guilt. Our own cant and hypocrisy is laid at their door. And apparently, it's they who are the hypocrites. It is they who are corrupt. It is they who refuse to solve the problems of the world. Well, it isn't. It's us. It's me, and it's you. Take this week, for example. Suppose you're prime minister, you've got all these illegal immigrants. What are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to hide the true facts? That's hardly something the public would accept, so you campaign and you say "we don't know how many there are - let's do something about it", and then you're accused of incompetence. Well, of course you don't know how many there are: they're illegal immigrants. Do we expect magic from our politicians? We're not going to get it. They're just human beings like you and me. And what about this "Let's Talk" business? Yes, it sounds like a very bad BT advert. On the other hand, what would we say if they didn't say that? We'd say that they're arrogant, and that they never listen. They can't win because they've got us to serve, and we are filth. The wheels have come off the New Labour project, everyone agrees, and so therefore it will come to pass. All aeroplanes have a certain amount of life in the sky, and then metal fatigue hits and they fall out of it. As someone who worked hard for a Labour victory in the 90s, do I regret it? Not really. It was bound to happen. And it'll happen with the next government, and the one after it. Because all governments serve us. They serve the filth.Stephen Fry: On the This Week programme on the BBC Website