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35 Quotes About Power And Its Capabilities: To Make Or To Break

by Gloria Louden

Power is an agent that can produce or prevent change. It is a measure of how much you can influence and control the environment around you. Often power is viewed as an evil, fiery concept only capable of terrorizing people. However, over centuries, several social movements have led us to understand the positively enabling nature of power. Below, we’ve curated a list of quotes on power to showcase what real power can do and already does to people.

35 Quotes About Power to Ponder Over

Quotes About Power as a Tool of Control

#1. “The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

#2. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” ― Abraham Lincoln

#3. “Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.” ― Oscar Wilde

#4. “We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites.” ― George Orwell

#5. “Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power.” ― John Steinbeck

#6. “For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.” ― Noam Chomsky, Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World

#7. “Since mankind’s dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We’ve seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse.” ― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

#8. “Power changes everything till it is difficult to say who are the heroes and who the villains.” ― Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing

#9. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” ― Frederick Douglass

#10. “Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lots of an abandoned mind.” ― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

#11. “Silence is the ultimate weapon of power.” ― Charles de Gaulle

#12. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.” ― Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom from Fear

#13. “If absolute power corrupts absolutely, where does that leave God?” ― George Deacon

#14. “It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.” ― David Brin

#15. “Power is given only to him who dares to stoop and take it … one must have the courage to dare.” ― Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

#16. “That’s what we all want, isn’t it? Power without price.” ― Kelley Armstrong, The Summoning

#17. “Power attracts the corruptible. Suspect any who seek it.” ― Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune

#18. “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.” ― George Orwell

#19. “When Gansey was polite, it made him powerful. When Adam was polite, he was giving power away.” ― Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys

#20. “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” ― Paulo Freire

#21. “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” ― Plato

#22. “Where there is power, there is resistance.” ― Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction

Quotes on Power as a Reclamatory Tool

#23. “The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.” ― Roseanne Barr

#24. “Knowledge is power. Power to do evil…or power to do good. Power itself is not evil. So, knowledge itself is not evil.” ― Veronica Roth, Allegiant

#25. “But remember that forgiveness too is a power. To beg for it is a power, and to withhold or bestow it is a power, perhaps the greatest.” ― Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

#26. “I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.” ― Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

#27. “I met an old lady once, almost a hundred years old, and she told me, ‘There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? And Who’s in charge?” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

#28. “Standing on a street corner waiting for no one is power.” ― Gregory Corso

#29. “Power isn’t control at all — power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own.” ― Beth Revis, Across the Universe

#30. “Recognizing power in another does not diminish your own.” ― Joss Whedon

#31. “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” ― Margaret Thatcher

#32. “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” ― Dinos Christianopoulos

#33. “We are at our most powerful the moment we no longer need to be powerful.” ― Eric Micha’el Leventhal

#34. “Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.” ― Elie Wiesel

#35. “Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Power doesn’t always translate to a CEO in a tux. It is also found in little things. If the power you hold makes an impact on only you and nobody else, it still counts!

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