What you are doing, you do not for the people but for yourselves, to retain the position you occupy, a position you consider advantageous but which is really a most pitiful and abominable one. So do not say that you do it for the people; that is not true ! All the abominations you do are done for yourselves, for your own covetous, ambitious, vain, vindictive, personal ends, in order to continue for a little longer in the depravity in which you live and which seems to you desirable.
However much you may declare that all you do is done for the good of the people, men are beginning to understand you and despise you more and more, and to regard your measures of restraint and suppression not as you wish them to be regarded — as the action of some kind of higher collective Being, the government — but as the personal evil deeds of individual and evil self-seekers.
–Leo Tolstoy, “I Cannot Be Silent”