"Now those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do
what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce
their own version of heaven on earth, and let me remind you they are
the very ones who always create the most hellish tyranny."
Barry Goldwater
(1909-1998) US Senator (R-Arizona)
Senator Goldwater's Acceptance Speech at the Republican National Convention, 1964
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Reader comments about this quote:
While "absolute power" is undisputedly abused, moreso in the USA by the judiciary, law enforcement, and middle managers than by higher executives, the modern solution to many social issues is to let all do as they please, and so create their version of hell on earth. Now that's progress.
 -- David L. Rosenthal     
    yep, absolutely. David, those that want liberty know the ills of anarchy (democracy at its ultimate, run amuck) and totalitarian tyranny (in any of its many forms). By way of example: Lysander Spooner, an individualist that supported such sentiment as Goldwater stated here, called himself a Christian Anarchist (which on its face is an oxymoron). Spooner's expressions were that no corporeal person, place or thing had more authority, power, right, or sovereignty than did he personally. AND, any such person or entity seeking power greater than his was creating a most hellish tyranny.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 4
    Power corrupts; but absolute power corrupts absolutely. Congress is corrupt and has absolutely stolen power from the people absolutely.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
  • 4
    I miss Barry.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 3
    Too true.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 4
    A good contemporary quote.God Bless Barry.Hmmm...1964.It certainly was another world back then.
     -- Me Again     
  • 1
    Barry also said; "as a Conservative I am for preserving two natural resources: gold and water."
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
  • 3
    They whose temperaments are being tempered by virtue do not aspire to possess power, or to exercise authority over their fellows.

    The truly virtuous ones among us are entirely content to responsibly administer their own affairs, apart from their nurturing the illusive notion that they are, necessarily, ideally well equipped to rightly govern the affairs of others.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 2
     -- Ebeneezer Feeblegeezer, Frostbite Falls, MN      
     -- jim k, Austin      
     -- Ronw13, Logsden      
     -- Mary - MI      
     -- jim k, austin      
    This quote from Barry Goldwater is as great and wise now as when I read it in Liberty Tree back in 2016.

     -- Mary, MI     
    Although he is long gone his quote is a painful look at today. But even the Founders were keenly aware of this (read "Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law)...and there were a few "off thinkers" tho' who doggedly held the view that America should have once again been formed as another monarchy, yet a draconian monarchy was what they'd just escaped....obviously those few must have been the origins of the democrat party...

     -- Denise, Durango     
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