The Old Corruption

1494564-2-palace-of-westminster“Experiences throughout time have taught us that the greater the power of men, the more they carry their passions to the point of abuse.” (L’Encyclopedie)

“Everything conspires to take away from a man who is set in authority over others the sense of justice and reason.” (Rousseau, The Social Contract)

“Most of our public men have large fortunes, and yet they will continue to draw from the Treasury the last farthing of enormous salaries” (Anonymous, The Black Dwarf, Mar. 1819)

“Our history assumes its most insipid and insufferable form. It is the history of negotiations and tricks, it is the history of revenues and debts, it is the history of corruption and political profligacy, but it is not the history of genuine independent man.” (William Godwin, ‘Of History and Romance’)

Further reading: Philip Harling, ‘Rethinking ‘Old Corruption’, Past and Present, May 1995