with great power comes great responsibility voltaire

with great power comes great responsibility voltaire

with great power comes great responsibility voltaire

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

There is a popular saying about the relationship between ascendancy and obligation:

With great power comes great responsibility.

This expression has been attributed to two very different sources: Voltaire and the Spider-Man comic book. Would you please examine its provenance?

researchers have been unable to locate this statement in the oeuvre of Voltaire who died in 1778, and currently that linkage is unsupported.

thet have found a strong match during the period of the French Revolution. The following passage appeared with a date of May 8, 1793 in a collection of the decrees made by the French National Convention. Boldface has been added to excerpts:

with great power comes great responsibility voltaire
with great power comes great responsibility voltaire

Les Représentans du peuple se rendront à leur destination, investis de la plus haute confiance et de pouvoirs illimités. Ils vont déployer un grand caractère. Ils doivent envisager qu’une grande responsabilité est la suite inséparable d’un grand pouvoir. Ce sera à leur énergie, à leur courage, et sur-tout à leur prudence, qu’ils devront leur succès et leur gloire.

Here’s one possible translation into English:

The people’s representatives will reach their destination, invested with the highest confidence and unlimited power. They will show great character. They must consider that great responsibility follows inseparably from great power. To their energy, to their courage, and above all to their prudence, they shall owe their success and their glory.

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With great power comes great responsibility

“With great power comes great responsibility.” I’m guessing 4 out of 5 people would attribute this quote to Ben Parker, uncle of Peter Parker, from the Spider-Man movies and comic books.

Research into this quote’s origin finds that it can attributed to a host of historically significant events and people, including Voltaire, Winston Churchill, and both President Roosevelts. (Sorry, Spidey.) Historically, the unattributed quote dates back to the French Revolution. The following passage appeared with a date of May 8, 1793 in a collection of the decrees made by the French National Convention, and which translated is:

“They must consider that great responsibility follows inseparably from great power.”

Pre-dating, if you will, all of this is a Biblical verse, Luke 12:48, of which the King James translation is:

“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

The quote is so popular most likely because of the simple wisdom behind it. This column started with a comic book quote so let’s ask mygeekwisdom.com the meaning behind it:

with great power comes great responsibility voltaire
with great power comes great responsibility voltaire

“A lot of people think that, once they have some form of power, they can usually lord it over people and abuse it, and History has a lot of people showing them becoming corrupted because of great power: Napoleon and Hitler are just a couple to name a few. Even in a small scale, we do see powerful people beat down on the weaker ones. Bullies, abusive spouses, and corrupt politicians are just a few examples of the kinds of people we see every day that use their power the wrong way.

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“With great power comes great responsibility” has a simple meaning; if you have the ability to do something, make sure that you do it for the good of others. Highly admired people like Gandhi and Ninoy Aquino have done things that follow the spirit of this message. If you can stop something bad from happening, do it. You don’t have to be a superhero to follow those words of geek wisdom. It’s possible to do small actions that have a big impact in the world.”

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