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Who Wrote The Quote Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely Essay

I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable 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. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and the negation of Liberalism meet and keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means. You would hang a man of no position, like Ravaillac; but if what one hears is true, then Elizabeth asked the gaoler to murder Mary, and William III ordered his Scots minister to extirpate a clan. Here are the greater names coupled with the greater crimes. You would spare these criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them, higher than Haman, for reasons of quite obvious justice; still more, still higher, for the sake of historical science.

Here, again, what I said is not in any way mysterious or esoteric. It appeals to no hidden code. It aims at no secret moral. It supposes nothing and implies nothing but what is universally current and familiar. It is the common, even the vulgar, code I appeal to.

Upon these two points we differ widely; still more widely with regard to the principle by which you undertake to judge men. You say that people in authority are not [to] be snubbed or sneezed at from our pinnacle of conscious rectitude. I really don’t know whether you exempt them because of their rank, or of their success and power, or of their date. The chronological plea may have some little value in a limited sphere of instances. It does not allow of our saying that such a man did not know right from wrong, unless we are able to say that he lived before Columbus, before Copernicus, and could not know right from wrong. It can scarcely apply to the centre of Christendom, 1500 after the birth of our Lord. That would imply that Christianity is a mere system of metaphysics, which borrowed some ethics from elsewhere. It is rather a system of ethics which borrowed its metaphysics elsewhere. Progress in ethics means a constant turning of white into black and burning what one has adored. There is little of that between St. John and the Victorian era.

But if we might discuss this point until we found that we nearly agreed, and if we do argue thoroughly about the impropriety of Carlylese denunciations, and Pharisaism in history, I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable 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. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and the negation of Liberalism meet and keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means. You would hang a man of no position, like Ravaillac; but if what one hears is true, then Elizabeth asked the gaoler to murder Mary, and William III ordered his Scots minister to extirpate a clan. Here are the greater names coupled with the greater crimes. You would spare these criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them, higher than Haman, for reasons of quite obvious justice; still more, still higher, for the sake of historical science.

The standard having been lowered in consideration of date, is to be still further lowered out of deference to station. Whilst the heroes of history become examples of morality, the historians who praise them, Froude, Macaulay, Carlyle, become teachers of morality and honest men. Quite frankly, I think there is no greater error. The inflexible integrity of the moral code is, to me, the secret of the authority, the dignity, the utility of history. If we may debase the currency for the sake of genius, or success, or rank, or reputation, we may debase it for the sake of a man’s influence, of his religion, of his party, of the good cause which prospers by his credit and suffers by his disgrace. Then history ceases to be a science, an arbiter of controversy, a guide of the wanderer, the upholder of that moral standard which the powers of earth, and religion itself, tend constantly to depress. It serves where it ought to reign; and it serves the worst better than the purest.

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely animal farm

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“ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY” This quote is said by Lord Acton meaning that someone who has total control is very likely to abuse their position. When the animals take over the farm the pigs become the animals’ leaders, as they are the smartest of the animals. Major starts out telling the animals about his dream and convincing them that’s how the farm should be like. The pigs encourage that all animals are equal and have 7 commandments to keep the farm in order.

After the animals start to agree with Napoleon more and more, Boxer says “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right” (Orwell 56) that is how Napoleon gained his motto as “Napoleon is always right”. The animals became intimidated by the pigs and were too afraid to ever question their decisions. None of the other animals were smart enough to think differently. When Napoleon realizes how much power he has, he starts to take advantage of it. Napoleon starts to tweak the commandments to his advantage. Napoleon creates a rule saying, “The milk and windfall apples should be reserved for the pigs alone” (Orwell 36).

Napoleon has only made this rule to benefit himself and his kind. When Squealer says, “Surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back? ” he is trying to scare the other animals into thinking Napoleons doing the right thing. The pigs should not be treated any better than the other animals. This is what started Napoleons corrupt set of values. Napoleon continues to make corrupt changes to the commandments and rules as he gains more and more authority. When “Napoleon accepted, through Whymper, a contract for 400 eggs a week” (Orwell 76) it was really unfair to the hens and he should have no control over that.

Napoleon did not give any sympathy to the hens even after they revolted. Napoleon started to traumatize the hens for declining to give their eggs. Napoleon brought the situation way out of proportion and brutally starved some of the hens to death to get the eggs on time. Napoleon has no right to put the hens through hell just to because he says so. Napoleon started off as a true leader keeping the farm under control but once his control got so immense he turned corrupt. Napoleon made and changed rules to benefit himself.

Napoleon became very selfish and unfair to all the other animals. No other animal ever had the guts or smarts to question Napoleons power and decisions; which worsened the situation and made Napoleon become more corrupt. Napoleon had a stern set of rules but if he happened to break a rule his fellow pigs would use a euphemism by adding a few words to the rule to soften the true meaning. If everyone could quickly turn to page 109, last paragraph. The other animals were not very smart so they were fooled into thinking they had just remembered the commandments wrong in the first place.

Napoleon had such corrupt morals that he thought any rule he broke he could simply alter it so he was no longer breaking the rules. Napoleon ends up changing the entire commandments after he had gained all the power and money he wanted. In the end, the most corrupt thing Napoleon did is when he changed all the commandments to “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others” (134). This brought the farm back to exactly how it had started. This very corrupt decision made the animals think they could not question his unfair decisions simply because some animals are more equal than others.

This took away all the freedom and equality that had kept the farm together. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” this is exactly what happened to animal farm. Napoleon had started out so against humans and made rules against having any similarities with them. After Napoleon had become more and more corrupt he turned into exactly what he was against… humans. Napoleon let his corrupt decisions get the best of him and alter his mind thinking he was above the rest. The animals were left with no power or leadership and all they had was a selfish, lying, corrupt dictator who acted just as a human.

Author: Brandon Johnson

in Animal Farm

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely animal farm

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