Tag Archives: power

Contra Acton

Lord Acton famously wrote (quoting from memory), that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The late, great Christopher Hitchens, in his meditation on George Orwell, says there is more to the story:

“An old radical adage states that the will to command is not as corrupting as the will to obey.”

Christopher Hitchens, Why Orwell Matters, p. 15.

An excellent point; following orders and all that.

Power and Poetry

The man
Of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys.
Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate’er it touches.

-Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab