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Quotes / Drunk with Power

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Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

But it also rocks absolutely.
Larry Kersten, sociologist and author

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

The nature of power is such that even those who have not sought it, but have had it forced upon them, tend to acquire a taste for more.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited

Power is a very unusual weapon. It’s like a sword whose hilt, as well as the blade, is razor sharp so that when you grasp it, it’s not only cutting the people you’re using it on, it’s cutting into you by changing you.
Robert Caro, historian

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.
John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton

Suetonius' case history (and it is precisely that) of Domitian is particularly fascinating. An intelligent man of some harm, trained to govern, Domitian upon succeeding the Principate at first contented himself with tearing the wings off flies, an infantile pastime which gradually palled until, inevitably, for flies he substituted men... In terror for their lives, haunted by dreams and omens, giddy with domination, it is no wonder that actual insanity was often the Cesarean refuge from a reality so intoxicating.
Gore Vidal, The Twelve Caesars

Saying 'power corrupts' is stating something so obvious we feel stupid even typing it. It's like saying elevators elevate.

SBTB's spurious Highschool United Nations set-up works because there's an unspoken agreement lingering beneath the surface of every interaction. Sure, the jock, the geek, the brain; all the archetypes are kicking it together, but each knows their place within the social pecking order. The Beauty and the Screech exposes the lie, when one of their number is accidentally catapulted through the social glass ceiling. If there's a lesson to be taken from this, it's that you give those nerds an inch, and they'll take a fuckin' mile.
Stuart Millard on Saved by the Bell ("The Beauty and the Screech"), So Excited, So Scared

David: Bruce comments on how the sonar phone server is “beautiful,” while Lucius bitches about it being “unethical.”
Chris: I think “bitching” is a little harsh, Uzi.
David: How can one man have so much power? The clock’s tickin’, I just count the hours. Stop trippin, I’m trippin’ off the power.
Chris: Kanye was actually the first choice to play Batman.
—Chris Sims and David Uzumeri on The Dark Knight

Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could.
Abigail Adams


Ivy: Being an RA is so fucking awesome. These girls listen to me. They'll do whatever I tell them to!
Benjy: Maybe Cheryl, but the ones who have their shit together don't—

Just a taste of Armageddon, Romana. It’s what happens when acquisitive minds are left unencumbered by conscience.
Big Finish Doctor Who, War Against the Laan

Perhaps I should instead reign, as is my right, as no mere Princess. What sayest thee to that? Should I crown myself as Equestria’s unchallenged, uncompromised, undimmed Queen? ...what you are suggesting is the path that lead Celestia to becoming Corona. And it is not merely one step on that path, but rather a headlong gallop down its length.

Rose: Power, it always corrupts.
Gnarl: Ha, that's half the fun!

Rich isn't so difficult. Famous isn't so difficult. Rich and famous together aren't so difficult. Rich, famous, and doing good—now, that's very difficult.
Jan Schlichtmann, A Civil Action

Kevin: What are you all staring at? Do you think I've gone mad, mad with power? Well you're RIGHT. Perkins, from now on you work under your your desk. (hits desk) I said under your desk, man... Don't bother me, worm. I would have you fired if I had a little *more* power. I've gone mad with my *moderate* amount of power."

Do you have any idea how good this feels? I did this! Tiny little Wheatley did this! [...] And don't think I'm not onto you too, lady. You know what you are? Selfish! I've done nothing but sacrifice to get us here, and what have you sacrificed? Nothin'. Zero. All you've done is boss me around! Well now who's the boss? Who's the boss? It's me.
Wheatley, Portal 2

Mickey: But Captain Goofy, how are you gonna be in charge if there's nobody to be in charge of?
Goofy: Do not question the actions of a superior officer, yeoman!
Mickey: We're not yeomen, Goofy! We're Mickey and Donald! You know, your friends?!
Goofy: (reading from his book) "Chapter 3: Who needs friends when you've got POWER!" (cue Dramatic Thunder)
Mickey MouseWorks, "Sandwich Makers"

Aide: Sir, I'm afraid you've gone mad with power.
Russ Cargill: Of course I have! Have you ever tried going mad without power? It's boring. Nobody listens to you.


"Aumaan chose me. By fusing Anubis, Aumaan can become real. Look! The perfect fusion of Metatron. The destruction to end all!" have become enraptured by your own authority. Intoxicated by your power. We are meant to be mere instruments of a higher power. I am but a blade wielded from on high, a guillotine blade in the service of God. But this, Maxwell...what you do tonight is not in the service of God. IT IS IN THE SERVICE OF POWER! YOU, MAXWELL! YOU TURNED YOUR BACK ON GOD!
Alexander Anderson, Hellsing

In all my travelling throughout the universe I have battled against evil, against power-mad conspirators. I should have stayed here. The oldest civilisation: decadent, degenerate, and rotten to the core. Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans, Cybermen? They're still in the nursery compared to us. Ten million years of absolute power! That's what it takes to be really corrupt!
The Sixth Doctor, to the Time Lords, Doctor Who

Laurence Connaught was an honest man, and an idealist, I think. But what would happen to any man when he became God? Suppose you were told twenty-three worlds that would let you reach into any bank vault, peer inside any closed room, walk through any wall? Suppose pistols could not kill you? Suppose you could stand under a falling atomic bomb and get yourself a thousand miles away between two breaths?
They say: power corrupts; and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And there can be no more absolute power than the twenty-three words that can free a man of any jail or give him anything he wants. Larry was my friend. But I killed him in cold blood, knowing what I did. Because he could not be trusted with the secret that could make him king of the world...
Karin: Uh... Naruto? Do you think she's going mad with power?
Naruto: Well I believe it's the rush of having a new technique. It should wear off soon.
Hinata: And if she... doesn't?
Naruto: [scared] Dad says the Land of the Crescent Moon is a nice place to live.


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