Quotes About Authority

Quotes tagged as "authority" (showing 1-30 of 324)
Anne Bradstreet
“Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish.”
Anne Bradstreet

Leonardo da Vinci
“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.”
Leonardo da Vinci

Henry David Thoreau
“Any fool can make a rule
And any fool will mind it.”
Henry David Thoreau, Journal #14

Noam Chomsky
“I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.”
Noam Chomsky

A.W. Tozer
“I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.”
A.W. Tozer

Noam Chomsky
“That is what I have always understood to be the essence of anarchism: the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met.”
Noam Chomsky

Patrick Jones
“The nail that sticks out farthest gets hammered the hardest.”
Patrick Jones, Nailed

James Madison
“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
James Madison

Galileo Galilei
Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo, sì perché le presenti osservazioni spogliano d'autorità i decreti de' passati scrittori, i quali se vedute l'avessero, avrebbono diversamente determinato.

For in the sciences the authority of thousands of opinions is not worth as much as one tiny spark of reason in an individual man. Besides, the modern observations deprive all former writers of any authority, since if they had seen what we see, they would have judged as we judge.”
Galileo Galilei, Frammenti e lettere

Alan Moore
“Authority, when first detecting chaos at its heels, will entertain the vilest schemes to save its orderly facade.”
Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

James Madison
“It may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to usurpation on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst. by an entire abstinence of the Govt. from interference in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect agst. trespasses on its legal rights by others.

[Letter to the Reverend Jasper Adams, January 1, 1832]”
James Madison, Letters and Other Writings of James Madison Volume 3

J.D. Salinger
“You can't stop a teacher when they want to do something. They just do it.”
J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Albert Einstein
“To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself.”
Albert Einstein

Alan Moore
“Authority allows two roles: the torturer and the tortured. Twists people into joyless mannequins that fear and hate, while culture plunges into the abyss.”
Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

Catherynne M. Valente
“We all live inside the terrible engine of authority, and it grinds and shrieks and burns so that no one will say: lines on maps are silly.”
Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Stanley Milgram
“The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority.”
Stanley Milgram

“If you would know who controls you see who you may not criticise.”

Timothy Leary
“Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness; chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself.”
Timothy Leary

Criss Jami
“If ever you feel like an animal among men, be a lion.”
Criss Jami, Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality

Oscar Wilde
“Wherever there is a man who exercises authority, there is a man who resists authority.”
Oscar Wilde

Noam Chomsky
“Modern industrial civilisation has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilisation has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits in the classic formulation.

Now, it's long been understood very well that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist with whatever suffering and injustice it entails as long as it's possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited: that the World is an infinite resource, and that the World is an infinite garbage-can. At this stage of History, either one of two things is possible: either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community-interests, guided by values of solidarity and sympathy and concern for others; or, alternatively, there will be no destiny for anyone to control.

As long as some specialised class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole and, by now, that means the Global Community. The question is whether privileged élites should dominate mass-communication, and should use this power as they tell us they must, namely, to impose necessary illusions, manipulate and deceive the stupid majority, and remove them from the public arena. The question, in brief, is whether Democracy and Freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly-terminal phase of human existence, Democracy and Freedom are more than values to be treasured, they may well be essential to survival.”
Noam Chomsky

Baruch Spinoza
“Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods. For these men know that, once ignorance is put aside, that wonderment would be taken away, which is the only means by which their authority is preserved.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics

Jefferson Smith
“You can't believe everything people tell you - not even if those people are your own brain.”
Jefferson Smith, Strange Places

Derek Landy
“Ravel said. “And I order people around really well. This morning, Tipstaff came over with a cup of tea and I told him no, I don’t want tea I want coffee. That was great. I really asserted my authority.”
“Did he go and get you a coffee?”
“No, he said he’d already made a pot of tea so I took the tea because, you know he’d already made it, but my authority was still firmly asserted.”
Ghastly nodded. “He’ll think twice about making tea again.”
“That he will, Ghastly my friend, that he will. What are we looking for, by the way?
“Seriously? I gave you the file half an hour ago.”
“Yes, you did.”
“And did you read it?”
“No, I did not.”
Derek Landy, Kingdom of the Wicked

Criss Jami
“Showing a lack of self-control is in the same vein granting authority to others: 'Perhaps I need someone else to control me.”
Criss Jami, Venus in Arms

Megan Whalen Turner
“I was not so comfortable with my new authority that I could say 'We eat the chicken now!' but the magus had seen that I was considering it...
"My purse is full enough," said the magus, "to keep you supplied with roast chickens."
"So, so, so," I said. "We know who the power behind the throne is," and the magus laughed.
"You eat more than Gen did after prison," he said.
"I have more sympathy with him all the time. Are you going to finish that drumstick?" I asked.
"I am. Stop staring at it.”
Megan Whalen Turner, A Conspiracy of Kings

Stanley Milgram
“Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.”
Stanley Milgram, Obedience to Authority

Erich Maria Remarque
“The idea of authority, which they represented, was associated in our minds with a greater insight and a more humane wisdom.”
Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“Oh, how hard it is to part with power! This one has to understand.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“Power is a poison well known for thousands of years. If only no one were ever to acquire material power over others! But to the human being who has faith in some force that holds dominion over all of us, and who is therefore conscious of his own limitations, power is not necessarily fatal. For those, however, who are unaware of any higher sphere, it is a deadly poison. For them there is no antidote.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation V-VII

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