“The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free …”

“The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.”

— Lord John Dalberg-Acton, The History of Freedom in Antiquity, 1877

 

Picture_of_John_Dalberg-Acton,_1st_Baron_Acton

“Every thing secret degenerates …”

“Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.”

— Lord John Dalberg-Acton in an 1861 letter, published in Lord Acton and His Circle, 1906

 

Picture_of_John_Dalberg-Acton,_1st_Baron_Acton

“There are two things which cannot be attacked in front: ignorance and narrow-mindedness.”

“There are two things which cannot be attacked in front: ignorance and narrow-mindedness.  They can only be shaken by the simple development of the contrary qualities.  They will not bear discussion.”

— Lord John Dalberg-Acton in an 1861 letter, published in Lord Acton and His Circle, 1906

 

220px-John_Acton,_1st_Baron_Acton_by_Franz_Seraph_von_Lenbach

“The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority …”

“The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather if that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.”

— Lord Acton, in a review of Sir Thomas Erskine May’s Democracy in Europe (1877)

 

Picture_of_John_Dalberg-Acton,_1st_Baron_Acton