From Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881), Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher, The House of the Dead (1862):
There are people who thirst for blood like tigers. Any man who has once tasted this unlimited power over the blood, over the body and spirit of a human creature like himself, a creature created in the same image and subject to the same law of Christ; any man who has tasted this power, this boundless opportunity to humiliate most bitterly another being made in the image of God — becomes the servant instead of the master of his own emotions. Tyranny is a habit. It can and does eventually develop into a disease. I believe that the best of men may grow coarse, degrade to the level of a beast by sheer force of habit. Blood and power intoxicate one, they develop callousness and lust. The greatest perversions grow finally acceptable and even delicious to mind and heart. The man and the citizen perish in the tyrant for ever and the return to human dignity, remorse and spiritual rebirth becomes scarcely possible to him. Besides, the example and mere possibility of arbitrary power are contagious; they are indeed a great temptation. A society which regards such things calmly is already corrupt at the roots.