Authority Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old authority quotes, authority sayings, and authority proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

Authority and power are two different things: power is the force by means of which you can oblige others to obey you. Authority is the right to direct and command, to be listened to or obeyed by others. Authority requests power. Power without authority is tyranny. Jacques Maritain
Authority is not a quality one person 'has', in the sense that he has property or physical qualities. Authority refers to an interpersonal relation in which one person looks upon another as somebody superior to him. Erich Fromm
Authority poisons everybody who takes authority on himself. Vladimir Lenin
The Word of God gives power, authority and abundant life to a man. Sunday Adelaja
Being an authority on paper does not immediately grant you authority over a group until it is earned by you and given by them. A.J. Darkholme
If you would know who controls you see who you may not criticise. Tacitus
Authority—when abused through micromanagement, intimidation, or verbal or nonverbal threats—makes people shut down & productivity ceases. John Stoker
Authority doesn't work without prestige, or prestige without distance. Charles De Gaulle
No authority is higher than reality. Peter Nivio Zarlenga
Authority is mainly a moral power; therefore, it must first call upon the conscience, that is, upon the duty that each person has to contribute willingly to the common good. Pope John XXIII
To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself. Albert Einstein
It is in our authority and power to stop torment and sickness and deliver people from vanity. Sunday Adelaja
Authentic spiritual authority is what puts you in touch with reality. John Ortberg
It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law. Thomas Hobbes
Authority confined in you does not make you a leader. It is the authority created by you that makes you influence people with your purpose. Israelmore Ayivor
Authority is ability to rule. Dominion is rulership. Sherry K. White
Authority could derive from passion, not pieces of paper. Daniel Mendelsohn
Real spiritual authority has to do with the truth of the actual words being spoken, and the spirit of the person behind the words. Really, authority is about truth: honest-living truth. John Ortberg
Authority is never without hate. Euripides
Authority has to exist before it can be limited, and it is authority that is in scarce supply in those modernizing countries where government is at the mercy of alienated intellectuals, rambunctious colonels, and rioting students. Ferdinand Marcos
Authority is by nothing so much strengthened and confirmed as by custom; for no man easily distrusts the things which he and all men have been always bred up to. William Temple
Authority is something from which we are constantly subtracting, of which there remains always a residue, and which we attempt to make smaller and smaller. Federica Montseny
The authority of any governing institution must stop at its citizen's skin. Gloria Steinem
Power is like being a lady... if you have to tell people you are, you aren't. Margaret Thatcher
Moral authority is never retained by any attempt to hold on to it. It comes without seeking and is retained without effort. Mahatma Gandhi
Authority forgets a dying king. Alfred Lord Tennyson
Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don't interfere as long as the policy you've decided upon is being carried out. Ronald Reagan
The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn. Marcus Tullius Cicero
Authority is a solvent of humanity: look at any husband, any father of a family, and note the absorption of the person by the persona, the individual by the role. Then multiply the family, and the authority, by some hundreds and see the effect upon a sea-captain, to say nothing of an absolute monarch. Surely man in general is born to be oppressed or solitary, if he is to be fully human; unless it so happens that he is immune to the poison. Patrick O'Brian
Authority must be respected and chosen wisely. Lech Walesa
You can't stop a teacher when they want to do something. They just do it. J.D. Salinger
Authority is not a power, it is a responsibility. Amit Kalantri
Authority to dream is not given, it is taken. Take it. Do not let the judgment of others be the final word. Without a doubt, if there is a one-word, one-step cure for bad peg moments, that word is perseverance. Let that be your final word. J. Loren Norris
The only ship you can truly steer in this ocean is the one you're sailing. Quit trying to alter the winds; harness them. Richelle E. Goodrich
Authority, without any condition and reservation, belongs to the nation. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish. Anne Bradstreet
Authority in its very nature prevents the full awareness of oneself and therefore ultimately destroys freedom; in freedom alone can there be creativeness. Jiddu Krishnamurti
No man has any natural authority over his fellow men. Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The man whose authority is recent is always stern. Aeschylus
Whenever there is authority, there is a natural inclination to disobedience. Thomas Chandler Haliburton
Wherever there is a man who exercises authority, there is a man who resists authority. Oscar Wilde
Authority is established by God for the wellbeing of His people. Sunday Adelaja
When you make your peace with authority, you become authority. Jim Morrison
We have one authority and one law and everyone has the responsibility to follow that law and that authority. Mahmoud Abbas
Authority has every reason to fear the skeptic, for authority can rarely survive in the face of doubt. Vita Sackville-West
Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence. Leonardo da Vinci
The wisest have the most authority. Plato
Authority, when first detecting chaos at its heels, will entertain the vilest schemes to save its orderly facade. Alan Moore
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis. Dalai Lama
Moral authority comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, treating people with respect. Stephen Covey
Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth. Albert Einstein
Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth. Albert Einstein
The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action. Albert Einstein
My relationship to power and authority is that I'm all for it. People need somebody to watch over them. Ninety-five percent of the people in the world need to be told what to do and how to behave. Arnold Schwarzenegger
It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. Benjamin Franklin
The exercise of authority over the same area by two States is a contradiction. Benjamin Tucker
You can delegate authority, but you cannot delegate responsibility. Byron Dorgan
He who rules by moral force is like the pole star, which remains in place while all the lesser stars do homage to it. Confucius
There is far too much law for those who can afford it and far too little for those who cannot. Derek Bok
A leading authority is anyone who has guessed right more than once. Frank A. Clark
In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei
The defiance of established authority, religious and secular, social and political, as a world-wide phenomenon may well one day be accounted the outstanding event of the last decade. Hannah Arendt
Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive. Henry Steele Commager
Liberty is the possibility of doubting, the possibility of making a mistake, the possibility of searching and experimenting, the possibility of saying No to any authority - literary, artistic, philosophic, religious, social and even political. Ignazio Silone
Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases. John Adams
Nothing is more gratifying to the mind of man than power or dominion. Joseph Addison
The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority. Ken Blanchard
Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory. Leonardo da Vinci
By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes to be his duty against the influences of authority and majorities, custom and opinion. Lord Acton
Moral authority is never retained by any attempt to hold on to it. It comes without seeking and is retained without effort. Mahatma Gandhi
Those who enjoy responsibility usually get it; those who merely like exercising authority usually lose it. Malcolm Forbes
Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more. Mark Twain
To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals. Mark Twain
Freedom of conscience entails more dangers than authority and despotism. Michel Foucault
One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen. Robert A. Heinlein
Freedom is the recognition that no single person, no single authority or government has a monopoly on the truth, but that every individual life is infinitely precious, that every one of us put in this world has been put there for a reason and has something to offer. Ronald Reagan
The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority. Stanley Milgram
In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign... Secondly, a just cause... Thirdly... a rightful intention. Thomas Aquinas
Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people. Thomas Jefferson
Football is like life it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority. Vince Lombardi
Man, proud man, Drest in a little brief authority, Most ignorant of what he's most assured. William Shakespeare