Lord ActonLord Acton, [John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton] (1834-1902), First Baron Acton of Aldenham

Lord Acton Quote

“Whenever a single definite object is made the supreme end of the State, be it the advantage of a class, the safety of the power of the country, the greatest happiness of the greatest number, or the support of any speculative idea, the State becomes for the time inevitably absolute.”

Lord ActonLord Acton
~ Lord Acton

Ratings and Comments

JoW, Utah
  • Reply
JoW, Utah    4/16/08

It depends on what the, class, safety, satisfaction or idea is. The class could be a bunch of imoral jerks. The safety could mean gun control. The idea could be evil.

Mike, Norwalk

4 stars for an accurate depiction of the States perspective, a thumbs down for State tyranny. In the once de jure States united (U.S.A.), where servants represented individual sovereign rights at natural law (description of law(s) - codes, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc.), the quote's "object', was NOT within the scope of authority, power or jurisdiction.

watchman 13, USA

At face value the statement is true. But only for a time. Mr. Acton , such a pessimist and a catholic to boot. Seems they have and is obvious their control again over the independent thru the democratic process in our nation. They new the way in as also our enemies abroad. Just let us in, and somebody did ! Remember the blood spilt over this fight in the 1840s.

E Archer, NYC

Absolutely true. Whether the people can regain the power taken from them is another story. Absolute power is the goal of the State, and every 'law' passed is justification for the power to passing more laws until passing laws becomes the way to solve 'problems.'


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