This section contains a list of frequently cited quotes on corruption as well as a reference to a compiled list of quotes on public service.


Counter Corruption Quotes

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

 “The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” ― Carl Sagan

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

“Experience has shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” ― Thomas Jefferson

“No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious & charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

“It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” ― Mark Twain

“Dear Government... I'm going to have a serious talk with you if I ever find anyone to talk to.” ― Stieg Larsson

“When honor and the Law no longer stand on the same side of the line, how do we choose[?]” ― Anne Bishop

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

“It is not power that corrupts but fear. 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

“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” ― Tacitus

“Power, wrongly used, defeats the oppressor as well as the oppressed.” ― Wally Lamb

“To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism.” ― G. Edward Griffin

“Power attracts the corruptible. Suspect any who seek it.” ― Frank Herbert

“Political corruption, social greed, and Americanized quasi-socialism can ruin even the most wonderful places. California proved that.” ― Tiffany Madison

“The mistake you make, don't you see, is in thinking one can live in a corrupt society without being corrupt oneself. After all, what do you achieve by refusing to make money? You're trying to behave as though one could stand right outside our economic system. But one can't. One's got to change the system, or one changes nothing. One can't put things right in a hole-and-corner way, if you take my meaning.” ― George Orwell

“Power in the hands of the reformer is no less potentially corrupting than in the hands of the oppressor.” ― Derrick Bell

“Procrastination is also a subtle act of corruption – it corrupts valuable time”― Amit Abraham

 “The mask of art is the means through which corruption is spread. The mask makes vice seem beautiful, turns squalor and nastiness into glamorous thrill, seduces the onlooker into the game – and leaves him or her with the corpse on his hands.” ― Jennifer Birkett

“Conflict is created by two conditions: the evil that is sanctioned by the corrupted…and the sacrifice borne by upright men and women who chose to destroy it.” ― Adam Turquine

“It is true that nobody is above the law, but power can make somebody invisible.” ― Toba Beta

“Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.” ― Edmund Burke

“Hidden away behind the closed doors of aristocratic and bourgeois privilege, concealed under those ultra-respectable masks of black frock coat and veil, the green glow of corruption flickers into sight, steadies, and spreads everywhere, fostered by Lorrain's horrified and complicitous gaze. This decadent detective is at one with the criminal he pursues, acknowledging openly that the representation of corruption is one of the most pleasurable forms that corruption can take. In this enterprise, art is the mask that both exposes and conceals culpability.”― Jennifer Birkett

Public Service Quotes

A Call to Serve Quotes on Public Service. Compiled by Marc Holzer, Mahako Etta, and Yetunde A. Odugbesan


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