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Quote Author Cited
The primal principle of democracy is the worth and dignity of the individual. Edward Bellamy
The fact is we can only love what we know personally. And we cannot know much. In public affairs, in the rebuilding of civilization, something less dramatic and emotional is needed, namely tolerance. E. M. Forster
Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people. Thomas Jefferson
There exists an unmistakable demand in the Middle East and in the wider Muslim world for democratization. Recep Tayyip Erdogan
A community is democratic only when the humblest and weakest person can enjoy the highest civil, economic, and social rights that the biggest and most powerful possess. A. Philip Randolph
The fate of every democracy, of every government based on the sovereignty of the people, depends on the choices it makes between these opposite principles, absolute power on the one hand, and on the other the restraints of legality and the authority of tradition. John Acton
You don't spread democracy through the barrel of a gun. Helen Thomas
I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master. Thomas Jefferson
It is not good to have a rule of many. Homer
I like the noise of democracy. James Buchanan
Democracy is only an experiment in government, and it has the obvious disadvantage of merely counting votes instead of weighing them. Dean Inge
Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear. Alan Coren
All free governments are managed by the combined wisdom and folly of the people. James A. Garfield
To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy. Bertrand Russell
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts. Abraham Lincoln
A dissenting minority feels free only when it can impose its will on the majority: what it abominates most is the dissent of the majority. Eric Hoffer
Democracy means that people can say what they want to. All the people. It means that they can vote as they wish. All the people. It means that they can worship God in any way they feel right, and that includes Christians and Jews and voodoo doctors as well. Dalton Trumbo
The government is us; we are the government, you and I. Theodore Roosevelt
Democracy cannot survive without the guidance of a creative minority. Harlan Stone
The tendency of democracies is, in all things, to mediocrity. James F. Cooper
The way people in democracies think of the government as something different from themselves is a real handicap. And, of course, sometimes the government confirms their opinion. Lewis Mumford
The only legitimate right to govern is an express grant of power from the governed. William Henry Harrison
Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. Benito Mussolini
Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated. Gilbert K. Chesterton
Ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate among their dupes, but which no democracy can afford among its citizens. William Beveridge
Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. Abraham Lincoln
Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. James Bovard
Democracy is the wholesome and pure air without which a socialist public organization cannot live a full-blooded life. Mikhail Gorbachev
The genius of democracies is seen not only in the great number of new words introduced but even more in the new ideas they express. Alexis de Tocqueville
So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy. Roger Nash Baldwin
The soviet people want full-blooded and unconditional democracy. Mikhail Gorbachev
There is a limit to the application of democratic methods. You can inquire of all the passengers as to what type of car they like to ride in, but it is impossible to question them as to whether to apply the brakes when the train is at full speed and accident threatens. Leon Trotsky
The people's government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people. Daniel Webster
When we understand [that] American democracy and white supremacy are inextricably linked, we can see how tortuous our efforts have been to accommodate the value gap. Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
If you're a politician and all you care about is staying in office, you're worried about a small group of voters in your district who vote in the primary. If you're a corporation, you need to be much more in synch with public opinion, because you're appealing to people across the spectrum. Ironically, a lot of corporations have to be far more democratic than democratically elected officials. Bradley Tusk
Greece – the mother of all democracies Valery Giscard D'estang
The democratic aspiration is no mere recent phase in human history . . . It was written in Magna Carta.. Franklin D. Roosevelt
You need just the right amount of protection for the rich under democracy: too little and the elite will not agree to democracy; too much and the poor will go ahead and have the revolution... William Easterly
Democracy in unequal agrarian societies tends not to last, as it alternates between populist demagogues attempting redistribution and the rich striking back with military coups. William Easterly
... as an observer of the actual condition of Egyptian society, I cannot shut my eyes to the fact that popular government, as we understand it, is for a longer time than anyone can foresee at present out of the question. The people neither comprehend it nor desire it. They would come to singular grief if they had it. Alfred Milner
The only moral Foundation of Government is the Consent of the People. But to what an Extent Shall We carry this Principle? Shall We Say, that every Individual of the Community, old and young, male and female, as well as rich and poor, must consent, expressly to every Act of Legislation? No, you will say. This is impossible. How then does the Right arise in the Majority to govern the Minority, against their Will? Whence arises the Right of the Men to govern Women, without their Consent? Whence the Right of the old to bind the Young, without theirs. John Adams
The German voting system is the freest in the world, much freer than the French, English, or American system, because not only does it operate in accordance with the principle that every one shall have a direct and secret vote, but the powers of the State are exercised faithfully and conscientiously to carry out that principle in practice. The constitutional life of the German Nation is of a thoroughly democratic character. Karl Gottfried Lamprecht
All nations are not ready for this. George F. Kennan
My message is that Democracy is not an alien invention. It is a way of solving problems in our society. Garry Kasparov
If in the first group of people who have gathered, unanimity is not achieved, new people shall be added, after which a group equal in number to the Greatest Name or fewer or greater shall be chosen from their midst by lots; whereupon the consultation shall be renewed; whatever is the result shall be obeyed. If the second time opinions again differ, repeat the process a third time. This time obey the majority vote. Bahaullah; Husayn Ali Nuri
Thou shalt never recognize as the legitimate government of the country any other than that which is elected by the free and spontaneous will of the peoples, and the republican system being the most adaptable to the government of the Americas, thou shalt try by all means within thy power to have the peoples adopt it. Lautoro Lodge of Argentina
Democracy is a means of achieving a higher level of individual and collective gratification, welfare, peace, stability and prosperity. It is not an end in itself! Practitioners of democracy in the Pacific should therefore be pragmatic in their approach. An idealistic and a purist approach is, I believe, misplaced. Kaliopate Tavola
In many emerging democracies, democracy and stability are mutually incompatible. Stanley Hoffman
Authoritarian leadership and therefore a lack of democracy have led to a certain apathy among the people, to a sort of civil nihilism, a skepticism. Boris Yeltsin
…knowing that democracy is something we pursue rather than something we embody, we advance it not merely by exhorting others but by battling the evil in ourselves. The irony of American exceptionalism is that by acknowledging our common fallibility, we inspire the world. Peter Beinart
A democracy soon becomes a victim of its own propaganda ... Its enemy become the embodiment of all evil. Its own side, on the other hand, is the center of all virtue. George F. Kennan
Democracy is not relevant here, it is not important. Faith is more important to us. Huda Issa
The quality of our people is too low …. chaos will ensue. Jiang Zemin
It is culturally condescension to say that some countries are not ready for democracy. George W. Bush
What a jolly awakening there will be some few years hence, when the inevitable argument of experience will show us a nation contradicting itself through the voices of its chosen representatives! Leonard Henry Courtney
If you believe in democracy, you must believe in it unconditionally. If you believe that men should be free, then, they should have the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication. Then, no law should permit those democratic processes to be set at nought. Lee Kuan Yew
Democracy will not come Today, this year Nor ever Through compromise and fear. Langston Hughes
We have also heard that thou hast entrusted the reins of counsel into the hands of the representatives of the people. Thou, indeed, hast done well, for thereby the foundations of the edifice of thine affairs will be strengthened, and the hearts of all that are beneath thy shadow, whether high or low, will be tranquillized Baha u'llah
The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance. The growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda against democracy. Alex Carey
We must reflect more on what democracy in the exercise of authority would mean. Is truth determined by a majority vote, only for a new 'truth' to be 'discovered' by a new majority tomorrow? Benedict XVI
An imbalance between the rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics. Plutarch
We have come from the divine right of kings to the divine right of the governed. Jon Meacham
Democracy--with all of its inefficiency--is still the best system we have so far for enhancing the prospects of our mutual survival Neil Postman
Freedom's skeptics must understand that the democracy that hates you is less dangerous than the dictator who loves you. Natan Sharansky
We're not going to spread democracy at the business end of a M16 held by a 23 year old Marine. Paul Hackett
The idea that democracies never make war on each other rests on very thin historical ice. Coral Bell
Democracy is a form of government --- it's not a ticket to some fantasy land where all evil is vanquished and everyone agrees with us Madeleine Albright
The first step toward liberation of any group is to use the power in hand. . . . And the power in hand is the vote. Helen Gahagan
Democracy must live as it thinks and think as it lives Agnes E. Meyer
It is obvious that the most despotic forms of social organization would be suitable for inert men who are satisfied with the situation fate has placed them in, and that the most abstract form of democratic theory would be practicable among sages guided only by their reason. The only problem is to what degree it is possible to excite or to contain the passions without endangering public happiness. Anne Louise Germaine Necker; Madame de Stael-Holstein
The paradox of American democracy has been that its slogan of equal opportunity has meant, often, equal opportunity to get power over your fellows. Mary Parker Follett
Our real battlefield today is Asia and our real battle is the one between democracy and communism. . . . We have to prove to the world and particularly to downtrodden areas of the world which are the natural prey to the principles of communist economics that democracy really brings about happier and better conditions for the people as a whole. Eleanor Roosevelt
Democracy must first be safe for America before it can be safe for the world Emma Goldman
When women are pessimistic about their political strength and feel hopeless about changing the conditions of their lives, it is almost as if they do not believe that democracy means the country belongs to them. But it's true. Naomi Wolf
The idea that each individual has intrinsic, God-given value and is of infinite worth quite apart from any social contribution -- an idea most pagans would have rejected as absurd -- persists today as the ethical basis of western law and politics. Our secularized western idea of democratic society owes much to that early Christian vision of a new society -- a society no longer formed by the natural bonds of family, tribe, or nation but by the voluntary choice of its members. Elaine Pagels
Democracies have been, and governments called, free; but the spirit of independence and the consciousness of unalienable rights, were never before transfused into the minds of a whole people....The feeling of equality which they proudly cherish does not proceed from an ignorance of their station, but from the knowledge of their rights; and it is this knowledge which will render it so exceedingly difficult for any tyrant ever to triumph over the liberties of our country. Sarah Josepha Hale
It is subversive to set up inquisitions like this, state or national, into the thoughts and consciences of Americans. . . . It is subversive for commissions like this to spread hysteria and intimidation throughout the land that Americans are afraid to sign petitions, afraid to read progressive magazines, afraid to make out checks for liberal causes, afraid to join organizations, afraid to speak their mind on public issues. Americans dare not be free citizens! This is the destruction of democracy. Florence Luscomb
Every democratic system evolves its own conventions. It is not only the water but the banks which make the river. Indira Gandhi
A democratic home is the foundation of a democratic state. Agnes E. Benedict
A democratic form of government, a democratic way of life, presupposes free public education over a long period; it presupposes also an education for personal responsibility that too often is neglected. Eleanor Roosevelt
We are thus brought to a conception of Democracy not merely as a sentiment which desires the well-being of all men, nor yet as a creed which believes in the essential dignity and equality of all men, but as that which affords a rule of living as well as a test of faith. Jane Addams
Since the time of the ancient Greeks a democracy has depended on its philosophers and creative artists. It can only flourish by continuous probing, prodding, and questioning of the social conditions under which man exists and tries to better himself. One of the first moves of a dictatorship is to stifle the artists and thinkers who have the ability to stir up dissent from any prescribed dogma which might enslave them. Because the artist can arouse the curiosity and conscience of his community, he becomes a threat to those who have taken power. Uta Hagen
We are a beginning democracy. If there were not strikes, this would not be a democracy. Violeta Barrios de Chamorro
Let's face it: however old-fashioned and out of date and devaluated the word is, we like the way of living provided by democracy. Eve Curie
Democracy is losing its followers. In our country everything is weakening. The money is weak. Democracy is weak and politicians are very weak. Everything that is weak dies one day. Carolina Maria de Jesus
Majority rule rests on numbers; democracy rests on the well-grounded assumption that society is neither a collection of units nor an organism but a network of human relations. Mary Parker Follett
We who are members of the Communist Party repudiate the exclusive identification of democracy with capitalism. We declare that democracy can be widened, take on new aspects, become truly a rule of the people, only when it is extended to the economic life of the people. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
Democracy is the fig leaf of elitism. Florence King
I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong. George Washington
Do you think that we are so talented that we can achieve in 200 days what you have achieved in 200 years. Mikhail Gorbachev
Democracy should be home grown. Mikhail Gorbachev
No people must be forced under a sovereignty under which it does not wish to live. Woodrow Wilson
Anybody who believes that we can democratize Iran, Iraq and Syria by military force is living in a fantasy world. John Brady Kiesling
Democracy is still upon its trial. The civic genius of our people is its only bulwark. William James
Envy is the basis of democracy. Bertrand Russell
Democracy is nothing but the Tyranny of Majorities, the most abominable tyranny of all, for it is not based on the authority of a religion, not upon the nobility of a race, not on the merits of talents and of riches. It merely rests upon numbers and hides behind the name of the people. Pierre Joseph Proudhon
Democracy is necessarily despotism, as it establishes an executive power contrary to the general will; all being able to decide against one whose opinion may differ, the will of all is therefore not that of all: which is contradictory and opposite to liberty. Immanuel Kant
A democracy is peace-loving. It does not like to go to war. It is slow to rise to provocation. When it has once been provoked to the point where it must grasp the sword, it does not easily forgive its adversary for having produced this situation. The fact of the provocation then becomes itself the issue. Democracy fights in anger -- it fights for the very reason that it was forced to go to war. It fights to punish the power that was rash enough and hostile enough to provoke it -- to teach that power a lesson it will not forget, to prevent the thing from happening again. Such a war must be carried to the bitter end. George F. Kennan
The strength of representative democracy is its ability to slow down those in power who wish to govern by blank cheque, but also those not in power who wish to yank the state about on the sole basis of their self-interest. John Ralston Saul
Questioning is the great strength of democracy; the ability to doubt without losing face John Ralston Saul
The theory of democratic government is not that the will of the people is always right, but rather that normal human beings of average intelligence will, if given a chance, learn the right and best course by bitter experience. W. E. B. Du Bois
It’s very basic in the Bill of Rights, he says. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, whether the majority agrees with them or not. Rights are in some sense anti-democratic; to trumpet democracy as the all-important value is to denigrate them.” Harold H. Koh
Wisdom cries aloud in the street; she utters her voice in the squares. Book of Proverbs; Solomon
The difference between a democracy and other forms of government is not that in a democracy bad things do not happen. The difference is that in a democracy something will be done about it and someone will be held to account. Tony Blair
Establish democracy ... based on human rights as superior to property rights. Jeannette Rankin
“… it is sheer moral perversity to equate the inconsistencies of a democratic civilization with the brutalities which modern tyrannical states practice. Reinhold Niebuhr
In general the principle of the World Trade Organization … is that sovereignty and democratic rights have to be subordinated to the rights of investors Noam Chomsky
Democracy is not a mathematical deduction proved once and for all time. Democracy is a just faith fervently held, commitment to be tested again and again in the fiery furnace of history. Jack Kemp
In America you elect the electoral college and they select the President. In Russia, the people select the President directly. This is more democratic. Vladimir Putin
Questions about democracy in Islam are not restricted to faraway lands but also echo in Muslim communities in America Asra Nomani
In Indonesia democracy meant what ever you wanted it to mean, whenever you wanted to mean it. Tracy Dahlby
The biggest drawback to democracy, he explained, is that elected representatives may not consider good governance their objective and may seek to usurp the electoral process in order to satisfy their own interests—and this unfortunately tarnishes the democratic ideal. Shri J.M. Lyngdoh
There never was that government called a republic, which was not ultimately ruled by a single will, and, therefore, (however bold may seem the paradox,) virtually and substantially a monarchy. Alexander Fraser Tytler
I have not the smallest doubt that, if we had a purely democratic government here, the effect would be the same. Either the poor would plunder the rich, and civilization would perish; or order and property would be saved by a strong military government, and liberty would perish. Thomas Babington Macaulay
Democracy’s opportunity. Here is the opportunity to be of service to the people. Here is the chance for this party to have been of service to the people of the United States. Here is our chance to have been of help to the poor man. Here is our chance to have relieved him of the burdens and to have given him the benefits of a government that could have promoted the enterprises and furnished the conveniences and the facilities needed by every man, woman, and child in this country. Huey P. Long
Democracy—the essential thing as distinguished from this or that democratic government—was primarily an attitude of mind, a spiritual testament, and not an economic structure or a political machine. The testament involved certain basic beliefs—that the personality was sacrosanct, which was the meaning of liberty; that policy should be settled by free discussion; that normally a minority should be ready to yield to a majority, which in turn should respect a minority’s sacred things. John Buchan
This living in a democracy is a problem, isn't it? Eleanor Roosevelt
Democratic societies with established institutions must help those societies that do not yet have established institutions. Manmohan Singh
Democracy is something more, vastly more, than a mere form of government by which society is restrained into free and orderly life. It is a moral entity, a spiritual force, as well. And these are things which live only and alone in the atmosphere of liberty. William E. Borah
What may, under proper judicial safeguards, sometimes be justifiable and moral measures against the enemies of the democratic system, can never be legitimately employed against one's (political) opponents within that democratic system without calling all the axioms of democracy into question. Sidney Hook
Give me a bad democracy, a sick democracy, but democracy! Oriana Fallaci
Democracy is a slow and complex process …. Democracy is counter-intuitive. Democracy takes time to learn. It takes years or even decades to take on the habits of democracy…. If you jump too fast, the wrong people come to power…. Yes democracy, but democracy slow. Daniel Pipes
I am not big on the idea that a rapid injection of democracy will reform radical Moslems. Reuel Marc Gerecht
The only way to build up a respect for minority rights and other aspects of democracy is to practice it. You have to work at it to have it. Reuel Marc Gerecht
Democracy in the Middle East has to be front-loaded. You have to have elections first and then try and build democratic institutions. You are not going to have the dictators and clerics of the Middle East allow you to build up democratic institutions slowly. Reuel Marc Gerecht
I think that there is a limit on how far you can export democracy. John Major
a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. Alexander Fraser Tytler; Lord Woodhouselee
Iowa caucuses have been a graveyard for hawkish Democrats. Peter Beinart
There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. John Adams
The great vice of democracy --- a vice which is exacting a bitter retribution from it at this moment - is that for a generation we have been busy getting ourselves on to the list of beneficiaries and removing ourselves from the list of contributors, as if somewhere there was somebody else's wealth and somebody else's effort on which we could thrive. Robert Menzies
To realize democracy it is necessary to absolutely eliminate ... colour from all State and social policy, unless you would justify ... caste, wealth, rank, birth and education, as giving title to privileged treatment ... Bernard O'Dowd
Democracy does not race, it reaches the finish slowly but surely. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
'Democratic' in its original meaning refers to unlimited majority rule....a social system in which one's work, one's property, one's mind, and one's life are at the mercy of any gang that may muster the vote of a majority at any moment for any purpose Ayn Rand
A democrat need not believe that the majority will always reach a wise decision. He should however believe in the necessity of accepting the decision of the majority, be it wise or unwise, until such a time that the majority reaches another decision. Bertrand Russell
The Islamists became aware of democracy only recently, when the West implemented it and began urging other countries to implement it too, in order to protect the people of the earth from annihilation at the hands of despotic and repressive rulers. Although the Islamic jurisprudents have recently become aware of democracy, they have not acknowledged it, and have continued to believe in the limited Sura of the Righteous Caliphs, which does not meet the needs of 21st century peoples. Shaker Al-Nabulsi
The great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid. Art Spander
Dictatorships are one-way streets. Democracy boasts two-way traffic. Albert Moravia
Freedom is when the people can speak, democracy is when the government listens. Alastair Farrugia
Democracy is not something you believe in or a place to hang your hat, but it's something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles. Abbie Hoffman
Democratic reform, depends less on legislative amendments than on creating a climate of democracy. Sameh Ashour
Democracy means decision by those concerned. Carl Friedrich Freiherr von Weizsacker
Those wanting to improve democracy in their countries should not wait for permission. Bulent Ecevit
Democracy has to deliver. It is not enough for people to vote. They must also eat. Madeleine Albright
Democracy is not imperialism… Imposing democracy is an oxymoron ….You can’t have democracy instantly. Madeleine Albright
Self government is the hardest thing that people can do other than fighting a civil war. Newt Gingrich
Democracy is good, provided the government can function. Vali Nasr
Subordinate classes have usually pushed for democracy, dominant classes nearly always have resisted it. David Potter
If the history and practice of democracy has until now been centered on the idea of locality (the city-state, the community, the nation), it is likely that in the future it will be centered on the international or global domain. David Held
Representative democracy has for its characteristic object and effect…securing its members against oppression and depredation at the hands of those functionaries which it employs for its defense. Jeremy Bentham
Only basic agreement on the major objectives of the state can provide a society with a firm basis for democracy. Enrique Krauze
You cannot impose democracy by force of arms. William Quandt
He will be released from jail. We are an emerging democracy and still have to change some of our laws Qubad Talabany
If you can exchange information freely, isn’t that almost a definition of democracy. Lamar S. Smith
The Founding Fathers gladly sacrificed government that could provide speedy, effective, cohesive, and internally consistent policies. They opted for one that had a maximum number of veto points and checks and balances and protections against tyranny by particular officials or tyranny by selfish majorities. Demetrios James Caraley
Voting should be the right of the great body of the society…an inconsiderable proportion, or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans, and claim for their government the honorable title of republic. James Madison
All for the People and All by the People; Nothing About the People Without the People - That is Democracy! Lajos Kossuth
History suggests that the main obstacles facing Muslims in their attempts to achieve open political systems and democratic governments are 1) a deeply rooted authoritarian political culture, and 2) manipulated interpretations of the Koran. Laith Kubba
The term “democratic” is often used merely as a term of praise or ridicule among various political factions. One person or faction is described as either democratic or undemocratic, depending on whether its supporters or detractors are speaking. Sheikh Saud Al-Nufaysan
A capitalist democracy is a competitive society where predatory pressure groups struggle for wealth and prestige and jockey for power. Sam Dolgoff; Sam Weiner; Sholem Dolgopolsky
No matter how hard we may try to revive Democracy, to help her once more stand on her legs, to breathe life into her, all efforts will be futile. All hopes for a victory of democracy over fascism are the crassest illusions. Otto Ruhle
At war with the totalitarian states, primarily with German fascism, the democracies cannot be regarded as the arch-foe of the proletariat. Otto Ruhle
We Arabs have always been talking about America and the flaws in its democracy. But it’s high time that we talked about our own illnesses. Faisal Al-Kasim
The U. S. put the Japanese in camps during World War II; it had McCarthyism and now they have [George W.] Bush. But it will all pass. Democracy corrects itself. Faisal Al-Kasim
To be safe, democracy must kill its enemy where it can and when it can. The world must be all democratic or all Prussian. Elihu Root
Confronting nondemocracies, established democracies area about as warlike as normal dictatorships. Gary Bass
Islam and democracy are not only compatible. Their association is inevitable. In a Muslim society, one without the other is not perfect. Abdul Karim Soroush
Democratization is not necessarily the best way to fight Islamic extremism, because the transition to democracy has been found to be an especially vulnerable period for states across the board. Jessica Stern
Washington probably would not like the governments that Arab democracy would produce. F. Gregory Gause III
The ultimate failures of dictatorship cost humanity far more than the temporary failures of democracy. Franklin D. Roosevelt
There is a very long history of oppression in the Arab world, particularly in the states he mentions: Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, as well as in Sudan and Tunisia. These regimes are not based on democracy and their legitimacy comes from military dictatorships or inherited systems. The basic right of an individual to voice his or her opinion is not granted in any kind of form in the Arab world. Ibrahim Nawar
I don't think it's the job of the United States to build democracies from whole cloth. That's Wilsonianism to me of the most crazy kind. David Rieff
Democracies do not begin and end with elections. Daniel Ayalon
We are talking about an issue with fundamental significance to how democracies work. One can safely say it is now an even bigger issue. Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Nobody expects democracy to be efficient--individual freedom was the primary purpose of our founders - but it should function at least a little Harold S. Sawyer
It is wrong to claim, as some do, that the motivation of al-Qaeda and its allies is some desire to seek justice in the Middle East ... Al-Qaeda and its allies have no clear demands for the Middle East. The only common thread in their approach is a violent and destructive opposition to democracy in any form. They find democracy in Palestine abhorrent and seek to destroy it Charles Clarke
Democracy is far more complex than simply choosing the people who govern you. Jeffrey Buchanan
Discussion is the bedrock of American democracy. Gunnar Myrdal
Democracy and elections can be a double-edged sword … democratic competition and elections increase the politicians’ appetite for gaining public support by pleasing the public, which is sometimes led by emotional motives and short-sighted considerations. Populist politics can sometimes be driven by a lack of knowledge and is not always conducive to the real interest … Azmi Shuaibi
America is not a place. America is an idea. Erica Wagner
A democracy cannot of course engage in an explicit preventive war. I lament the inability to comprehend the depth of evil to which individuals and communities may sink, particularly when they try to play the role of God to history. Reinhold Niebuhr
Democracy is like sex. When it is good, it is very, very good. And when it is bad, it is still pretty good. Anonymous
Thank You For Supporting Democracy Anonymous
Nothing can destroy democracy in America faster than a political-military crisis. David Abshire
The only genuine form of democracy is that practiced freely without restrictions, threats or any form of intimidation. Bassam Abu Sharif
Democracy is only tolerable because no other system is. Dean Acheson
She had got to the bottom of this business of democratic government and found out that it was nothing more than government of any other kind. Henry Adams
The will of the people is the source and the happiness of the people the end of all legitimate government upon earth. John Quincy Adams
As the happiness of the people is the sole end of government, so the consent of the people is the only foundation of it ... John Adams
Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy that did not commit suicide. John Adams
Authoritarianism provides a kind of negative stability. Democracy creates space to do a lot of things, sometimes bad things, dangerous things. Olisa Agbakoba
I've never known a country to be starved into democracy. George Aiken
A democratic crisis can only be settled by more democracy. Hocine Ait-Ahmed
Where nationalism is the main issue, the demand for democracy always takes second place. Fouad Ajami
Ignorant and illiterate people cannot understand democracy. They are prey to religious extremists. Said Al-Ashmawy
Democracy is a process. It is never finished. Madeleine Albright
They have to have some dividends out of democracy. Madeleine Albright
Democracy is built from the bottom up, one step at a time. Madeleine Albright
The people's government has come to be less and less the people's business. Joseph Alsop
People don't understand democracy here. They think it simply means disobedience to the authorities. Elhadj Aboubacar Sanda Amadou
Democracy is the only form of government which dislikes itself. Maurice Amos
At times those who won, 51 percent of the population claim the right to ride roughshod over the other 49 percent. Kofi Annan
Democracy takes time. Dictatorship is quicker, but too many people get shot. Jeffrey Archer
The litmus test of democracy is the subordination of military power to civilian authority … Oscar Arias
Oligarchy is to the advantage of the rich. Democracy to the advantage of the poor. Aristotle
A democracy is a government in the hands of men of low birth, no property, and vulgar employments. Aristotle
A democracy, when put to the strain, grows weak; and it is supplanted by oligarchy [rule by the few]. Aristotle
An unbridled democracy is exactly similar to a tyranny. Its objects and instruments are the worst, and both are equally served by the tamest of mankind. It is always to lord it as a sovereign; it therefore has its flatterers in the shape of demagogues. Ancient customs must be done away with; ancient ties, civil and sacred, must be broken; everything must be changed according to new and false theories; and the result is an assimilation of democratic to tyrannical government, in its habits and modes of action. Aristotle
Democracy arose from men thinking that if they are equal in any respect they are equal in all respects. Aristotle
Democracy is the form of government in which the free are rulers. Aristotle
Liberty and equality ... will best be attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost. Aristotle
The American system is no longer a democracy. Democracy is based on accountability and it's not there now. Thomas William Ludlow Ashley
Democracy is political corruption which must be effectively done away with. Hasan Ashmawi
The foundation of democratic liberty is a willingness to believe that other people may perhaps be wiser than oneself. Clement Attlee
We have an electronic democracy. Ken Auletta
Democracy is not elections. Democracy includes elections. Joaco Baena Soares
A political combination of the lower classes … is an evil of the first magnitude …. Their supremacy in the state means the supremacy of numbers over knowledge … Walter Bagehot
The United States is dangerously close to becoming a democracy instead of a republic. Lloyd W. Bailey
The modern democratic state is legitimated by the priority of the public over the private, where public goods trump private interests, and the commonweal takes precedence over individual fortunes. Benjamin R. Barber
We must remember that the people do not belong to the government but that government belongs to the people. Bernard Baruch
We all have the republican spirit in our veins, like syphilis in our bones. We are democratized and venerealized. Charles Baudelaire
The real democratic idea is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other, but that every one shall have liberty, without hindrance, to be what God made him. Henry Ward Beecher
It depends on the consent of the people to decide whether kings or counsuls or other magistrates are to be established in authority over them, and if there is a legitimate cause, the people can change a kingdom into an aristocracy or an aristocracy into a democracy, and vice versa. Robert Bellarmine
The test of democracy is freedom of criticism. David Ben-Gurion
Is it ridiculous to play the Democracy game all by myself. Ingrid Betancourt
The function of a parliamentary democracy, under universal suffrage, historically considered, is to expose wealth-privilege to the attacks of the people. Aneurin Bevan
The rule of liberty that all government derives its authority from the consent of the governed, applies only to those who are capable of self government. We govern the Indians without their consent, we govern our territories without their consent, we govern our children without their consent. Albert J. Beveridge
One cannot wishfully expect automatic evolution to democracy. James H. Billington
I don’t believe in democracy because I don’t believe that any group at any time can change the course and goals of their ancestors… Dragoslav Bokan
One of the distinctions between democracy and other forms of government is that while democracy is messy on the surface, other forms of government are messy underneath. Daniel J. Boorstin
Multilateralism is the democracy of international society. Boutros Boutros-Ghali
An article of the Democratic faith is that greatness lies in each person. William W. Bradley
Once you have lost control over your people, you are on the road toward a potentially democratic society. William W. Bradley
Democracy is moral before it is political. Louis D. Brandeis
Democracy means not merely, I had almost said not so much, the rights of the whole people, as the duties of the whole people. Louis D. Brandeis
Democracy substitutes self-restraint for external restraint. It is more difficult to maintain than to achieve. Louis D. Brandeis
The wastes of democracy are among the greatest obvious wastes, but we have compensations in democracy which far outweigh that waste and make it more efficient than absolutism. Louis D. Brandeis
We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. Louis D. Brandeis
Democratic self-government is a plant of remarkably slow growth James Bryce
Whatever faults modern democracies may have committed ..., the faults chargeable on monarchs and oligarchies have been less pardonable and more harmful to the peace and progress of mankind. James Bryce
We have achieved political democracy. Now we must make certain it reaches the minds and souls of our people. Miguel Angel Burelli Rivas
We have a very vivid democracy, but it's very fragile, partly because of our inner conflict. What is the real authority, the Knesset or … the synagogue? Are we a democracy or a theocracy. Avraham Burg
The people are the masters. Edmund Burke
All societies, including societies called democratic, are ruled by a minority. James Burnham
Any individual right or freedom is properly extended only to those who accept the fundamental rules of democracy. How … could any society survive which deliberately nursed its own avowed and irreconcilable assassin, and freely exposed its heart to his knife. James Burnham
Democracy, once unleashed, is a pretty powerful force. George W. Bush
Legitimacy [of governments] is not bought by force; it is earned by the consensus of the people. George W. Bush
We love your adherance to democratic principles and democratic processes. George W. Bush
Democracy is possible, but we have to reinvent our democracy … that would take into account our culture and experience, our social and political reality. We have to adapt democracy to what we are. Pierre Buyoya
Which is better, to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away, or by three thousand tyrants not a mile away? Mather Byles
There is nothing left for Mankind but a Republic. George Gordon Byron
What is democracy?—an aristocracy of blackguards. George Gordon Byron
... a cure for the evils of universal democracy. George Canning
Democracy, which means despair of finding any Heroes to govern you, and contented putting up with the want of them. Thomas Carlyle
Democracy will prevail when men believe the vote of Judas is as good as that of Jesus. Thomas Carlyle
Democracy is more than just election day. Walter C. Carrington
The experience of democracy is like the experience of life itself—always changing, infinite in its variety, sometimes turbulent and all the more valuable for having been tested by adversity. Jimmy Carter
The democratic element has a fortunate effect in the political sphere when it is balanced by another force. We have this advantage over our neighbors, the Americans, who have extreme democracy. George-Etienne Cartier
In a democracy, government is a means by which we can act together to protect what is important to us and to promote our common values. Catholic Church
Democracy is not an easy form of government, because it is never final; it is a living, changing organism, with a continuous shifting and adjusting of balance between individual freedom and general order. Ilka Chase
Through democracy we shall have peace [in the Balkans]. Jacques Chirac
Democracy is a value in itself. It doesn't have to be defended [justified] any more than freedom has to be defended. Noam Chomsky
Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. Winston Churchill
A democracy requires a certain amount of common ground. Bill Clinton
In a new democracy, the most important election is the second election. Bill Clinton
Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world but the engine of our own renewal. Bill Clinton
Democracy is slow … A king can always outrun a congressman. William S. Cohen
There is not a city, no, not a town, in which a man suspected of holding democratic principles could move abroad without receiving some unpleasant proof of the hatred in which his supposed opinions were held by the great majority of the people. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The PRI is a modern party that is willing to recognize its defeat. We live in a moment of change, the winds of democracy are blowing across a good part of the world. Luis Colosio
If our democracy is to flourish, it must have criticism; if our government is to function, it must have dissent. Henry Steele Commager
Very little is dependable in the politics of a going democracy except the people's conviction that one world-saver at a time is enough. Alistair Cooke
Government of the people and for the people. Thomas Cooper
I do not conceive God did ever ordain [democracy] as a fit government for either church or commonwealth …. As for monarchy and aristocracy, they are both clearly approved and directed in the Scriptures. John Cotton
If the people be governors, who shall be governed? John Cotton
Democracy is a mockery that mouths the words and obstructs every effort of an honest people to establish a government for the welfare of the people. Charles E. Coughlin
The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority. John Emerich Edward Dalberg; Lord Acton
Neither current events nor history shows that the majority rules, or ever did rule. Jefferson Davis
Democracy doesn't mean electing a dictator every five years. Hernando de Soto
The government is just us. Morris Dees
Our experience was that when we closed the door to democracy, maybe for a short while there was quiet and security, but in the long run we suffered a lot. Our closing the door to democracy did not settle the problems of our country. The problems only accumulated. Suleyman Demirel
A democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience. John Dewey
The method of democracy is to bring ... conflicts out into the open where their special claims can be seen and appraised, where they can be discussed and judged. John Dewey
Democracy is more than just having free elections. It's having political structures. Michael Dobbs
Democracy is on trial in the world, on a more colossal scale than ever before. Charles Fletcher Dole
No one can expect a majority to be stirred by motives other than ignoble. Norman Douglas
The great postulate of our democracy is confidence in the common sense of the people and in their maturity of judgment, even on great issues—once they know the facts. William O. Douglas
American democracy is at its best in its talent for the transfer for power. Abba Eban
Democracy is not a spectator sport. Marian Wright Edelman
If you have more rich people and more poor people and fewer people in the middle, what you lose is democracy. Barbara Ehrenreich
My political ideal is democracy. Albert Einstein
The evils of popular government appear greater than they are; there is compensation for them in the spirit and energy it awakens. Ralph Waldo Emerson
The liberties, franchises, and privileges of parliament are the ancient and undoubted birth-right and inheritance of the subjects of England. English Parliament
The more democratic governments bow to increasing demands of the electorate and spend money on public goods and services the more disgruntled the electorate becomes. Juan Enriquez
Democracy in America is more than a two minute sound byte. Harold Evans
The democratic system prevailing in the world does not suit us ... Fahd
If you don't have a democracy in which most people feel engaged, you don't have a democracy very long. James Fallows
The evils we experience flow from an excess of democracy. Elbridge Gerry
Democracy, and man-made laws in general, correlate closely with consumer culture. Wajdi Ghunayim
We are not perfect. Democracy is a messy business … Democracy depends on people getting and keeping involved … In our democracy, the government is not them; it is us. John Glenn
It is a democratic fallacy to believe that people want to govern themselves. People only ask to be governed decently. Joseph Goebbels
All of us today are learning democracy. We are only now forming a political culture. Mikhail Gorbachev
In this situation [perestroika] problems and difficulties are unavoidable. For it involves far-reaching changes in everything—in the way of life, the attitude toward work and civic duty. We have chosen, definitively and irrevocably, the route leading to new forms of life: democratizing our society in all spheres. Mikhail Gorbachev
We need a strong state but we need a democratic one. Mikhail Gorbachev
You cannot have socialism without democracy. Mikhail Gorbachev
When somebody contributes to a campaign, that is democracy at work. Phil Gramm
In an autocracy, one person has his way; in an aristocracy a few people have their way; in a democracy no one has his way. Celia Green
Democracy is about aggregating the collective power of citizens to speak in their behalf. William Greider
Today in Russia, we have this extreme form of democracy, which is called anarchy. Boris Gryslov
In a democracy we assume that people can define their own interest and vote that way. Donald Fowler
A constitutional democracy like ours is perhaps the most difficult of man's social arrangements to manage successfully. Our scheme of society is more dependent than any other form of government on knowledge and wisdom and self-discipline for the achievement of its aims. For our democracy implies the reign of reason on the most extensive scale. Felix Frankfurter
Democracy is always a beckoning goal, not a safe harbor. For freedom is an unremitting endeavor, never a final achievement. Felix Frankfurter
Nature herself vindicates democracy. For nature plants gifts and graces where least expected, and under circumstances that defy all the little artifices of man. Felix Frankfurter
Democratic government may indeed be defined as the government which accepts in the fullest sense responsibility to explain itself. Felix Frankfurter
We keep looking at democratization as an event—like the fall of the Berlin Wall—but it’s actually a process. Thomas Friedman
It is the role of the government to do what the people want to be done. Lenora Fulani
Some scholars who examine its core writings proclaim Islam to be incompatible with democracy, as if any religion in its origins was about democracy at all. Graham E. Fuller
Democracy is not a state in which people act like sheep. Under democracy individual liberty of opinion and action is jealously guarded ... Mohandas K. Gandhi
[Commenting on negative campaigning:] On the eve of the first Tuesday in November, once again we are faced with the ugly paradox of 30-second-spot democracy: to prove they are worthy of governing us in all that we hold dear, America's politicians must behave in a way that proves they aren't. Bob Garfield
The great thing about democracy is we're free to take in all this information and make up our own minds about what is truth. Michael Gartner
Democratic processes require time. Kika de la Garza
Our democratic institutions are adversarial. Marlin Fitzwater
Two Cheers for Democracy: one because it admits variety and two because it permits criticism. E. M. Forster
There is no one orthodoxy which is the enemy of democracy. All of them are. James Higgins
Democracy has become the instrument of that race [the Jews] …. Only the Jew can praise as institution which is as dirty and untrue as himself. Adolf Hitler
The democracy of the Western countries is the predecessor of Marxism, which would be unthinkable without democracy. Adolf Hitler
They which find themselves grieved under a democracy, call it anarchy. Thomas Hobbes
Two great parties are forming in all nations. For one there is a right of government to be exercised by one or several persons over the mass of the people .... This is opposed by the new system which admits no right of government except that arising from the free consent of those who submit to it. Gijsbert Karel Van Graff Hogendorp
If my fellow citizens want to go to Hell I will help them. It's my job. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
In contrast to totalitarianism, democracy can face and live with the truth about itself. Sidney Hook
Our nation has in 300 years grown apart from even the democratic ideals of other peoples. In some of them class government still lingers; in others, democracy is little better than oligarchy. Herbert Hoover; Hugh Gibson
Democracies are at least contemporarily fickle and heartless. Herbert Hoover
Democracy is a fickle employer. Herbert Hoover
There can be no socialism without democracy. Irving Howe
I swear to the Lord I still can't see Why Democracy means Everybody but me. Langston Hughes
Democracy affords debate, discussion and dissent. Hubert Horatio Humphery
Democratic government consists of listening, deciding, persuading. Douglas Hurd
In our system of government, nobody has the last word except the people. Tom Huston
The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference and undernourishment. Robert M. Hutchins
America's experiment with government of the people, by the people, and for the people depends not only on constitutional structure and organization, but also on the commitment, person to person, that we make to each other. Robert M. Hutchins
Compromises may not make great heroes, but they do make great democracies. Walter Isaacson
Democracy cannot flourish in economic ruin. Jesse Jackson
I will govern according to the common weal, but not according to the common will. James I
Our democratic system was put in place before we had democratic ideals. The system now provides a playground for special interests, and its democratic structure makes reforms difficult. Pana Janviroj
Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question. Thomas Jefferson
The people of every country are the only safe guardians of their own rights, and are the only instruments which can be used for their destruction. Thomas Jefferson
Unless the mass retains sufficient control over those entrusted with the powers of their government, these will be perverted to their own oppression, and to the perpetuation of wealth and power in the individuals and their families selected for the trust. Whether our Constitution has hit on the exact degree of control necessary, is yet under experiment. Thomas Jefferson
It is in keeping with their dignity as persons that human being should take an active part in government. John XXIII; Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli
In England, a Majority of Citizens does not elect the Majority of Representatives. Gouverneur Morris
… the origin of all civil government, justly established, must be a voluntary compact, between the rulers and the ruled; and must be liable to such limitations, as are necessary for the security of the absolute rights of the latter; for what original title can any man or set of men have, to govern others, except their own consent? Alexander Hamilton
I think democracy is a universal idea and I think letting people rule themselves happens to be something that serves America and America’s interests. Paul Wolfowitz
Democracy is very powerful but very fragile. Haynes Johnson
It is a common failing of totalitarian regimes that they cannot really understand the nature of our democracy. They mistake dissent for disloyalty. They mistake restlessness for a rejection of policy. They mistake a few committees for a country. They mistake individual speeches for public policy. Lyndon B. Johnson
Public participation in the process of government is the essence of democracy. Lyndon B. Johnson
Africa must develop a genuine culture of alternation and opposition, without which democracy in any country, including the West, cannot exist. Lionel Jopin
There are bonds of fraternity linking democratic countries. Benito Juarez
I always tell American visitors that the emperor is the most democratic person [in the Japanese leadership] but none of them believe me. Douglas MacArthur
American democracy must be a failure because it places the supreme authority in the hands of the most ignorant part of society. Thomas Babington Macaulay
Thus our [British] democracy was from an early period the most aristocratic, and our aristocracy the most democratic. Thomas Babington Macaulay
Institutions purely democratic must, sooner or later, destroy liberty, or civilization, or both. Thomas Babington Macaulay
Republics have a longer life and enjoy better fortune than principalities, because they can profit by their greater internal diversity. They are the better able to meet emergencies. Niccolo Machiavelli
Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob. James Madison
Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention, have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property, and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. James Madison
Under universal suffrage the elected are those who know best how to take in the masses. The minority, which may happen to be the half minus one, is sacrificed. Errico Malatesta
Free and open communications is the best guarantee of democracy. Edward Markey
What is true of every member of the society, individually, is true of them all collectively; since the rights of the whole can be no more than the sum of the rights of the individuals. Thomas Jefferson
Economic developments made modern democracy possible. Joyce Appleby
What are the maxims of democracy?... A strict observance of justice and public faith, and a steady adherence to virtue. John Marshall
Democracy cannot flourish amid fear. Thurgood Marshall
A democratic government must always be left free to be operated upon by the will of the majority of the time being. All that the government of the day can do is to ascertain what now appears to be the best principle. Harriet Martineau
Democracy is not only a form of government, it is not only what is written in constitutions. Democracy is a view of life, it rests on faith in men, in humanity and in human nature. Tomas G. Masaryk
Resistance to absolutism is characteristic of democratic progress. Tomas G. Masaryk
The most profound argument for democracy is its faith in man. Tomas G. Masaryk
Notwithstanding the oppression and injustice experienced among us from democracy, the genius of the people is in favor of it, and the genius of the people must be consulted. George Mason
Disabled people should have the same access to democracy as everybody else. Sue Massem
A democracy ... requires groups that assert all of society's interests, not just those of a small group. Tom Mathews
In the battle between democracy and totalitarianism the latter adversary will, without question, win and will control the world. The era of democracy is finished and the democratic system bankrupt. There is not room in the world for two different systems or for two different economies. Yosuke Matsuoka
Democracy is liberty plus economic security. We Americans want to pray, think as we please—and eat regular. Maury Maverick
Democracy without a free press is inconceivable. Ian Robert Maxwell
Democracy is that fine art of compromise. Karen McCarthy
We cannot impose democracy where it has no constituency. David Keith McCurdy
We have been with democracy for over 200 years and from time to time we find that we have not perfected it. Mack McLarty
The essential objection to democracy is that, with few exceptions, it imposes degrading acts and attitudes upon the men responsible for the welfare and dignity of the state. H. L. Mencken
Adultery is democracy applied to love. H. L. Mencken
Democracy is ... a form of religion; it is the worship of jackals by jackasses. H. L. Mencken
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. H. L. Mencken
Plutocracy [government by the wealthy] lacks all the essential characters of a true democracy: a clean tradition, culture, public spirit, honesty, honor, courage—above all, courage. H. L. Mencken
The cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy. H. L. Mencken
A people may be unprepared for good institutions; but to kindle a desire for them is a necessary part of the preparation. John Stuart Mill
Among the foremost benefits of free government is that education of the intelligence and of the sentiments which is carried down to the very lowest ranks of the people when they are called to take a part in acts which directly affect the great interests of their country. John Stuart Mill
In the United States, where the numerical majority have long been in full possession of collective despotism, they would probably be as unwilling to part with it as a single despot or an aristocracy. John Stuart Mill
The blind lead the blind. It's the democratic way. Henry Miller
Democracy requires that those who bear the consequences of decisions have enough knowledge to hold the decision-makers accountable. C. Wright Mills
Democracy is hypocrisy without limitation. Iskander Mirza
American democracy is a unique form of government which at the same time requires [political] competition and cooperation. George J. Mitchell
In a democracy no one person's word is taken as gospel. George J. Mitchell
One of the greatest things that we provide in our democracy is the approachability of public officials. Susan Molinari
In democracies the people seem to act as they please. Charles de Montesquieu
Democracy! Savage and Wild!—thou who wouldst bring down the virtuous to the level of folly and guilt! Thou child of squinting envy and self-tormenting spleen. Gouverneur Morris
The mob begins to think and reason. Poor reptiles! Gouverneur Morris
Don't expect that we can have democracy overnight ... democracy should be taken on a gradual basis until the people understand each step. Hosni Mubarak
Democracy, in any active sense, begins and ends in communities small enough for their members to meet face to face. Lewis Mumford
What is good for democracy is good for America. Joshua Muravchik
I happen to be one of those people who do not believe in muIti-party democracy. Yoweri Museveni
If the people want a government of their own they must do the work of making it their own. Robert M. La Follette
Cultivated mind is the guardian genius of Democracy, and while guided and controlled by virtue, the noblest attribute of man. It is the only dictator that freemen acknowledge, and the only security which freemen desire. Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar
Germany did not acquire its admirable educational system by popular demand … the crowd cannot guide itself, cannot help itself in its blind impotence. Edwin Ray Lankester
History shows that more democracy is not a magic pill that will make institutionalized corruption will go away. Tomas Larsson
We need to learn democracy. Everything takes time. H. C. Lau
A democracy is a state which recognizes the subjection of the minority to the majority, that is, an organization for the systematic use of violence by one class against the other, by one part of the population against another. Vladimir Lenin
Of the many things we have done to democracy in the past, the worst has been the indignity of taking it for granted. Max Lerner
Constitutional democracy is a Western idea. Bernard Lewis
It is citizen participation that nourishes the strength of a democracy. David Eli Lilienthal
As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy. Abraham Lincoln
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it … Abraham Lincoln
In a democracy, the opposition is not only tolerated … but must be maintained as indispensable. Walter Lippmann
The consent of the governed" is more than a safeguard against ignorant tyrants: it is an insurance against benevolent despots as well. Walter Lippmann
In the light of this monstrous crime we can see that in a free country, which we are and intend to be, unrestrained speech and thought are inherently subversive. Democracy can be made to work only when the bonds of the community are inviolate, and stronger than all parties and factions and interest and sects. Walter Lippmann
Successful democratic politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle, or otherwise manage to manipulate the demanding and threatening elements in their constituencies. Walter Lippmann
No democracy has ever long survived the failure of its adherents to be ready to die for it. David Lloyd George
Democracy does not mean perfection. It means a chance to fight for improvement. Meyer London
Freedom has many flaws and our democracy is imperfect, but we have never had to put up a wall to keep our people in. John F. Kennedy
Democracy is finished in England. Joseph P. Kennedy
Democracy is usually seen as a pacifying force that “draws the teeth” from conflict. Sunil Khilnani
Democracy is politics. Peter T. King
Democracies do not commit aggression. Jeane Kirkpatrick
Democracies can’t accomplish much of anything without the free flow of information – including waging the war on terrorism. Jane E. Kirtley
There has been no country with a democratic political sphere, past or present, whose economy has not been dominated by private ownership and market coordination. Janos Kornai
In a political democracy, every soldier’s death is a public event. Rick Atkinson
A democracy is the name of a government of those who are ruling for their own advantage, in opposition to the rich, or to any people. Bartolo of Sassoferrato
The more people there are, the more things they see, and in them there is a more perceptive and discerning reason than in one person: therefore, in this respect, it is better to be ruled by many Bartolo of Sassoferrato
Anyone who wants to have a perfect democracy is dreaming. Zbigniew Brzezinski
The vice or imperfection of men therefore renders it safer and more tolerable for the government to be in the hands of many, that they may afford each other mutual assistance and admonition, and that if any one arrogate to himself more than is right, the many may act as censors and masters to restrain his ambition. John Calvin
Americans expect others to embrace democracy immediately when we as a nation didn’t. Amy L. Chua
Democracy means being able to make wrong decisions. That’s the way we learn and mature. Thomas M. Davis III
Democracy is not an end but the means to the conquest of the new state. When the time comes, either Parliament submits or we will eliminate Parliament. Jose Maria Gil Robles
If any country wants to develop, it must practice democracy. If I look around the world, I see that the prosperous countries practice democracy. Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani
A generally free democracy in Iraq would be a mortal danger to its neighbors, particularly the group of states whom we call our friends. Bernard Lewis
Democratic elements in a society by their very nature feel that they have to give their religious fundamentalist opposition freedom of expression and action, a handicap from which their fundamentalist opponents do not suffer. Bernard Lewis
The parliamentary regime leaves everything to the decision of majorities,--how can the large majorities beyond parliament be expected not to wish to decide? If, from above, they hear the fiddle screeching, what else is to be expected than that those below should dance? Karl Marx
We must not go too far (in creating a pure Republic). A portion of Democracy should be preserved; our own children in a short time will be among the general mass. George Mason
The Government among them consists of the oldest, the most sensible, the best-speaking and most warlike Men; these commonly resolve, and the young and war-like Men carry into Execution; but if the common People do not approve of the Resolution, it is left entirely to the judgment of the Mob. John Megapolensis
They are circumspect to do their actions by advise and councell, and not rashly or inconsiderately Thomas Morton
It seems advisable, that we should no longer have a single man to rule over us—the rule of one is neither good nor pleasant …. I vote, therefore, that we do away with monarchy, and raise the people to power. For the people are all in all. Otanes
no law can be made, nor money raised, but by the people's consent …. That the rights and freedoms of England (the best and largest in Europe) shall be in force there William Penn
The Slavs were known to live in democracies; they discussed their wants in popular assemblies Procopius of Caesarea
This democracy is shaped by equality of opportunity. Ruth J. Simmons
If Germany be allowed to win this war—then we in America shall have to drop every other activity and devote the next twenty or thirty years to preparing for a last-ditch defense of the democratic principle. Upton Sinclair
Democracy does not function in a state of confusion. Charles Taylor
The value of democracy stands or falls with the values which it embodies and promotes … values such as the dignity of every human person, respect for inviolable and inalienable rights, and the adoption of the “common good” as the end and criterion regulating political life. John Paul II; Karol Jozef Wojtyla
A democratic state must feel before it can see; that is what makes it slow to act. But the people, at last, will be right. George Washington
In Russia we are not fighting to win elections. We are fighting to have elections. Garry Kasparov
In a democracy, not everyone gets what they want. Michael Bernard Mukasey
Democracy can be defined in many different ways. This is one reason why there have existed so many varieties of -democratic- states in the world Youichi Ito
On the whole, with scandalous exceptions, Democracy has given the ordinary worker more dignity than he ever had. Sinclair Lewis
In the next few months of this year, a broad democratic movement must be set going throughout the country, with the immediate objective of completely democratizing the national assembly and the constitution. The second matter concerns freedom of speech, assembly and association for the people. Without such freedom, it will be impossible to carry out the democratic reconstruction of the political system, mobilize the people for the war of resistance and victoriously defend the motherland and recover the lost territories … Mao Zedong
Idiotes Anonymous
Above all, democracy means pluralism. Benjamin R. Barber
Our country is being bled daily in an effort to create a democracy in a place where it never existed. Pat Buchanan
The king, in possession of the throne, was the sole representative of sovereignty, the sole representative of power. Not so in a Republic … Here we have no sole representative of power. The ballot box is the instrumentality through which the sovereign power is exercised. Romulus Whitaker Zachariah Linney
The Government, … always quenches in blood any democratic manifestation Francisco Madero
Democracy is an open wound that the East has been carrying for centuries. Fatima Mernissi
Like the government, Arab businessmen fear democracy and the possibility that their workers might be transformed into responsible citizens who might demand their rights. Fatima Mernissi
The right to vote and be elected to the Legislative Assembly as well as to the provincial and communal self-government bodies A money payment fixed by law for the representatives of the people, which will allow them to be elected from the poorest classes of the population. Universal, civil, free and compulsory education, the state being obliged to provide poor children with food, clothing and school requisites Inviolability of the person and home of citizens Freedom of movement and of employment. Complete equality of all citizens irrespective of religion and racial origin. The replacement of the standing army by general arming of the people. Georgi Valentinovich Plekhanov
You must secure friends of every class, magistrates, consuls and their tribunes to win you the vote of the centuries: men of wide popular influence Quintus Tullius Cicero
To the people belongs the power of approving or rejecting laws and, which is still of greater importance, peace and war are likewise fixed by their deliberations. When any alliance is concluded, any war ended, or treaty made; to them the conditions are referred, and by them either annulled or ratified. And thus again, from a view of all these circumstances, it might with reason be imagined, that the people had engrossed the largest portion of the government, and that the state was plainly a democracy. Polybius
American politics has always had its vulgar side. Democracy has always had its vulgar side. Vulgarity is a transactional cost of democracy. George Will
A republic is little better than a government of devils John Joachim Zubli
We are teaching the world the great truth, that Governments do better without kings and nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson: the Religion flourishes in greater purity without, than with the aid of Government James Madison
And the Lord said unto Samuel. Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee Book of Samuel I
You don’t go from tyranny to democracy overnight. Rick Lynch
If you have an election no mater how free, if you do not have a government that respects people’s rights, you don’t have a democracy. Michael Mandelbaum
For democracy to triumph, the natural predatory tendencies of rulers must be restrained by rigorous rules and impartial institutions. Larry Diamond
In much of the democratic world, citizens lack any confidence that politicians, political parties, or government officials are serving anyone other than themselves. Larry Diamond
The U.S. military will be stepping into a morass. Iraq presents as unpromising a breeding ground for democracy as any in the world. It has never really known democracy or even legitimate, centralized rule for any great duration. Alina Romanowski
Democracies that have achieved military victory ought to refrain from seeking revenge. Fred C. Ikle
nations that talk democracy make dirty little secret deals with strategic allies who have no use for democratic values Garry Kasparov
We do not consider our principles as dogmas contained in books that are said to come from heaven. We derive our inspiration, not from heaven, or from an unseen world, but directly from life. Kemal Ataturk
The Indian independence leaders, Nehru, Gandhi and others, were products of the West. Dinesh D'Souza
Government needs to be formed by people, and run by people, for the benefit of people. Thomas Paine
No truly sophisticated proponent of repression would be stupid enough to shatter the facade of democratic institutions. Murray B. Levin
We are told that during times of crisis we must trust the president. Democracy is not about trust; it is about distrust. It is about accountability, exposure, open debate, critical challenge, and popular input and feedback from the citizenry. It is about responsible government. We have to get our fellow Americans to trust their leaders less and themselves more, trust their own questions and suspicions, and their own desire to know what is going on. Michael Parenti
In many respects we now live in a society that is only formally democratic, as the great mass of citizens have minimal say on the major public issues of the day, and such issues are scarcely debated at all in any meaningful sense in the electoral arena Robert McChesney
The public must be put in its place, so that it may exercise its own powers, but no less and perhaps even more, so that each of us may live free of the trampling and roar of a bewildered herd. Walter Lippmann
We need to listen and learn rather than dictate and declare. The US holds no patent on democracy or freedom: we are part of a larger and majority neighborhood of global and civic-minded nations that cherish the democratic process and democratic ideas over tyranny and dictatorial control. Nancy Snow
The overthrow of a democratically elected government is a very serious crime and those involved — great or small — must face the consequences. Otherwise we will continue to see a repetition of coups and other politically motivated criminal activity. Petero Mataca
Looking at the contemporary world, two things are obvious: democracy is doing rather badly, and democracy is doing very well. New states are born free, yet everywhere they are in chains. Democracy is doing very badly in that democratic institutions have fallen by the wayside in very many of the newly independent 'transitional' societies, and they are precarious elsewhere. Democracy, on the other hand, is doing extremely well in so far as it is almost (though not quite) universally accepted as a valid norm. Ernest Andre Gellner
Free integral elections should be guaranteed, where values of justice and rule of law also prevail. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
The Muslim world needs democracy. It wants democracy. But it should be real democracy and not just democracy by name only... Democracy has done some good things. It has saved humanity from despots and dictators who act like gods. The details should be left to the people. Let them decide for themselves Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Islam calls for democracy and grants people the right to choose their governor. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
The Kenyan middle class is scared of any disorder and instability. Its emphasis on peace and unity reflects the protection of its material interests. The Kenyan middle class finds the rule of the compraclor class politically dangerous and based on a very narrow popular base. It sees this compraclor group as endangering this peace and unity. It sees the compraclor group as dominated by a backward and fascist cabal that is unpatriotic. arrogant. insensitive and politically narrow-minded. Willy Mutunga
What seemed uppermost in the minds of many political and civil .society' actors was the handing over of political power to the -patriots". some of them thieves and pillagers of the yesteryear turned "liberators" under the political nirvana of multi-partyism. Willy Mutunga
Secrecy is the greatest peril to the future of this democracy and the world. Blanche Wiesen Cook
Citizens everywhere should be able to choose their leaders in climates free of fear. Barack Obama
If you have an open society that what happens—people say things and they criticize you. Mikheil Saakashvili
… the government that divides us least Louis Adolphe Thiers
… a permanent Council of the ablest men chosen by the people John Milton
The enjoyment of civil rights, would be best and soonest obtained if every county in the land were made a little Commonwealth and their chief town a city, where the nobility and chief gentry may build houses or palaces, befitting their quality, may bear part in the government, make their own judicial laws and execute them by their elected judicatures without appeal in all things of civil government between man and man. John Milton
Where is this godly tower of Commonwealth, which the English boasted they would build to overshadow Kings and be another Rome in the West? John Milton
Every Italian is a member of the Roman Republic. Rienzi; Cola di Rienzo
Democracy must knock the rough edges off capitalism so that capitalism is safe for everyone and not just the big boys. David R. Obey
People are not going to support what they did not help create. Beverly Watts Davis
Democracy is a revolutionary process. Ahmed Nizif
It's a very painful and difficult process of many mistakes when people receive the right to vote, to elect their leaders when they become the subject for mass media for political manipulation. In particular, in a country like Russia, because we had to go through this period very quickly, it has been, I would say, a crash course in democracy Alexey Arbatov
The republican is not the man of eternity, he is the man of time; his paradise is this earth, he wants to enjoy freedom and happiness there, and to enjoy them while he is there, without waiting ... Francois Noel Babeuf
Is it rather a country that tramples upon your rights, disdains your cries and insults your distresses? Have you not, more than once, suggested your wishes, and made known your wants to Congress? Wants and wishes which gratitude and policy should have anticipated, rather than evaded. And have you not lately, in the meek language of entreating memorials, begged from their justice, what you would no longer expect from their favour? How have you been answered? Let the letter which you are called to consider tomorrow make reply. If this, then, be your treatment, while the swords you wear are necessary for the defense of America, what have you to expect from peace, when your voice shall sink, and your strength dissipate by division? When those very swords, the instruments and companions of your glory, shall be taken from your sides, and no remaining mark of military distinction left but your wants, infirmities and scars? Can you then consent to be the only sufferers by this revolution, and retiring from the field, grow old in poverty, wretchedness and contempt? Can you consent to wade through the vile mire of dependency, and owe the miserable remnant of that life to charity, which has hitherto been spent in honor? John Armstrong Jr.
Constitutional Government in Naples is hopeless. What would suit us, would be an enlightened despotism—such a Government as Murat's might have ripened into had he stayed. We owe him nearly all the progress that we have made during the last three or four centuries. He gave us open legal procedure, the abolition of privileges, the diminution of ecclesiastical property, and the few roads which we possess. Now all is going backwards Luigi Blanch
Perhaps democracy should be begun at the local level first. America was many local democracies before democracy came to the national level. Amy L. Chua
Rather than living in a democracy, we are living in a benevolent oligarchy. Walter Mosley
Is military occupation likely to be the midwife of democracy? Eva Bellin
Democratic government is responsible government—which means accountable government--and the essential problem in contracting out is that responsibility and accountability are greatly diminished. Arthur Miller
Not a single Arab ruler is a willing participant in democratic reform. Their regimes are festooned with opportunists attached to their financial and political privileges. Youssef M. Ibrahim
Overnight democracy will empower the poor, indigenous majority. What happens is that under those circumstances, democracy doesn't do what we expect it to do -- that is, reinforce markets. [Instead,] democracy leads to the emergence of manipulative politicians and demagogues who find that the best way to get votes is by scapegoating the minorities…. Markets benefit one ethnic group, democracy empowers a different ethnic majority, and the result is a lot of instability. Amy L. Chua
Democracy cannot be created out of thin air Nayan Chanda
Every stupid policeman, fanatical judge, or moralist for revenue, can successfully abridge freedom of speech by the lawless use of power, and the hysterical mob of pretending lovers of liberty and democracy will stand by an applaud, --so low have we fallen since our American Constitutions were written. We see how the very essence of tyranny thrives under the forms of democracy Theodore Albert Schroeder
When people fought for a democratic life, they were insisting that the common man had the capacity to engage in deliberation about how the community ought to run its life, not that you could let him squeak for what he wanted. And that ideal was that you could educate the common man to develop a certain amount of wisdom and that he could marshal the objectivity to deliberate and decide about what the public would require without always thinking that the political action was an opportunity to further his private interests… Joseph Tussman
A democracy is the name of a government of those who are ruling for their own advantage, in opposition to the rich, or to any specific people. Bartolo of Sassoferrato
We’re here to preserve democracy, not to practice it. Michael Schiffer
Democracy is slow moving in the short run, … but if it has the backing of the people, it proves to be more durable. Manmohan Singh
Democracy is about opposition. Hamid Karzai
American interests dictate that we teach other peoples to govern themselves. Francis Fukuyama
It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to hang in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest to our hearts – for democracy. Woodrow Wilson
Western secularism and representative democracy were hard won, over centuries, and reside at the core of Euro-American identity. They are amendable to discussion but not compromise. Anthony C. Grayling
If my goal were to spread democracy, Iraq would be the last country that I would use as a demonstration. George Soros
General Macarthur did not bring democracy to the Japanese. If anyone, it was Curtis Lemay. Walter A. McDougall
Diffusion of power is the best way to promote democracy. Iris Chang
Why would a powerful elite ever consent to government of the people, by the people, and for the people? Democratic institutions would soon encroach on the interests of the privileged few if political equality were fully enforced. This dilemma is especially central to the study of democracy in Latin America, where social and economic inequality are so great that economic elites are often threatened by pressure to share their wealth,(1) and often have sufficient political resources to respond by having democratic governments removed. Michael Coppedge
If America wants to make the world safe for democracy, then she had better make democracy safe in America. Emma Goldman
Creating a democracy is never easy. Karen Hughes
Our democracy is only as good as the people who are willing to step up and run for office. Karen Hughes
The greatest question of all about American democracy is whether it is a cause or a consequence. It is popularly assumed to be a cause, and we ascribe to its beneficent action all the political vitality, all the easiness of social relations, all the industrial activity and enterprise which we experience and which we value and enjoy. I submit, however, that, on a more thorough examination of the matter, we shall find that democracy is a consequence. There are economic and sociological causes for our political vitality and vigor, for the ease and elasticity of our social relations, and for our industrial power and success. Those causes have also produced democracy, given it success, and have made its faults and errors innocuous William Graham Sumner
I saw in America the image of democracy itself. Alexis de Tocqueville
The supreme test of a democracy is the measure of equality of opportunity that it affords to its citizens to rise to the highest point of authority and position. Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah
You cannot be leading if you are misleading. Democracy is based on trust. Zbigniew Brzezinski
Don’t talk to the people until you’ve listened to the people. Ann Rosensweig Klein
There must be some limits on the form of democracy. It can’t be winner take all. Richard N. Haas
[Sometimes] the minorities are too respectable, not to be entitled to some sacrifice of opinion, in the majority. Thomas Jefferson
I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. Thomas Jefferson
The people of [a] country [who have] never been in the habit of self-government [will] not [be] in the habit of acknowledging that fundamental law of nature by which alone self-government can be exercised by a society, I mean the lex majoris partis. Of the sacredness of this law, our countrymen are impressed from their cradle so that with them it is almost innate. This single circumstance may possibly decide the fate of [a country.] Thomas Jefferson
The will of the people... is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object Thomas Jefferson
When jurisdiction lies with the populace or with the multitude, not that the whole multitude should rule at once, but that the government should be committed to different people over time, according to the offices, and according to a cycle. Bartolo of Sassoferrato
Democracy alone, of all forms of government, enlists the full force of men's enlightened will. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democracies are prone to war, and war consumes them. William H. Seward
We’re here to preserve democracy, not to practice it. Michael Schiffer
Democracy is slow moving in the short run, … but if it has the backing of the people, it proves to be more durable. Manmohan Singh
Democracy is the best revenge. Benazir Bhutto
Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors. Ralph Waldo Emerson
This wicked system is based on freedom of religion and belief and freedom of speech and separation of religion and politics. Democracy is heresy itself. Abu Musab Zarqawi
Fervor outweighs numbers. Simcha Jacobovici
Democracy sounds good but it doesn’t always bring results …. I don’t think I would invest as much money as I am in developing a city in a democracy. Vincent H. S. Lo
We want democracy, we want human rights, we want civil liberties, but we will do it our way. Pervel Musharraf
Democracy is a value in itself; it doesn’t have to be defended any more than freedom has to be defended. Noam Chomsky
Since men must always assign a cause to all their misfortunes, the generally blame them on the evil intent of their rulers; … As always there are now many who fish in troubled waters, filling the minds of the commonality with the notion that things will go from bad to worse unless they appoint a head over them. Johan de Witt
Democracy is messy. Peniel E. Johnson
Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors Ralph Waldo Emerson
Democracy cannot flourish half rich and half poor, any more than it can flourish half free and half slave. Felix Rohatyn
Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few George Bernard Shaw
Democracy is not a result. Democracy is a process. Lee H. Hamilton
Liberty is not wanting in popular (democratic) states; nay, they have rather too much of it, since it degenerates into licentiousness. Hence it is that they are ever tottering and weak. Intestine commotions, or foreign attacks, often throw them into consternation. Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui
If our democracy is flourish, it must have criticism; if our democracy is to function, it must have dissent. Henry Steele Commager
Advancing democracy does not always foster political stability. John Gray [Political Scientist]
Democracy has generally failed in Africa because to much power, too often, was concentrated in the hands of too few. Helen Zille
Where is the democracy that British gave us? Ayub Khan robbed us of it. And what did he give us in return ? He gave us his own version of democracy which does not even deserve the name of democracy. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
A democracy is peace-loving. It does not like to go to war. It is slow to rise to provocation. When it has once been provoked to the point where it must grasp the sword, it does not easily forgive its adversary for having produced this situation. The fact of the provocation then becomes itself the issue. Democracy fights in anger — it fights for the very reason that it was forced to go to war. It fights to punish the power that was rash enough and hostile enough to provoke it — to teach that power a lesson it will not forget, to prevent the thing from happening again. Such a war must be carried to the bitter end. George F. Kennan
in countries where the ability to read and write has been recently acquired or where the people have had no long experience in governing themselves on the basis of their own thinking, it is easy for demagogues to arise and prostitute the mind of the common man to their own base ends Henry A. Wallace
Democracy is the only true political expression of Christianity Henry A. Wallace
A republic cannot succeed till it contains a certain body of men imbued with the principles of justice and honor. Charles Darwin
Our form of government is called a democracy because instead of being controlled by a monopoly, it is controlled by the whole people. Pericles
The Roman republic was indeed never finished. For the caprice of the multitude was left to operate at random. So that every popular demagogue had it in his power to spirit up the multitude to whatever pitch of madness might suit his ambitious, or interested views James Burgh
ALL lawful authority, legislative, and executive, originates from the people. Power in the people is like light in the sun, native, original, inherent and unlimited by any thing human. James Burgh
What fundamental biological principle gives the majority the right to think they are preserved from error? Henri Laborit
Democracy sounded well and good, but its results are seen not to agree at all with its title. Monarchy, on the contrary, has an unpleasant sound, but is a more practical form of government to live under. For it is easier to find a single excellent man, than to find many of them. Cassius Dio
Democracy is like virginity. You can’t have just some of it. Kevin Connolly
There are some people who believe that some people are not yet ready for democracy … everybody in the world is ready for liberty. It is a question of how you do it. Ahmed Zewail
These fears, held by indigenous Fijians, must not be ridiculed but understood and addressed. In the final analysis it will be counterproductive to impose democracy on people who have yet to fully understand how it will sit against everything they believe in. Graeme Leung
Democracy is far more than merely participating in free and fair elections for a new government. It is about playing by a set of rules, respecting those rules and accepting the result even when it may not be what one had hoped for. Graeme Leung
The colonists were struggling not only against the armies of a great nation, but against the settled opinions of mankind; for the world did not then believe that the supreme authority of government could be safely entrusted to the guardianship of the people themselves. James A. Garfield
It is you who have called us unto this office; but being thus called we have our authority from God; John Winthrop
I have a great fear of the atrociousness of proletarian rule. Heinrich Heine
If you expect democratic government will be efficient government, you will be disappointed. Joseph Heller
You would be wrong to assume democracy would be the only alternative if the old regimes [in the Middle East] fell. There is a much better-organized alternative already waiting, and that is ... fundamentalism. Muhammad Heikal
I do not allow hirelings of Standard Oil to define my democracy. William Randolph Hearst
We are in a bad way. That herd of wild asses' colts [see Job 11:12], braying and kicking up their heels, is an unsatisfactory result of a hundred years of Democracy. John Hay
We are at a point where democracy—the idea and practice of people controlling their lives—is a revolutionary issue in the United States. Tom Hayden
Control by the majority. Everything else about our government is appendage, it is ornamentation. Benjamin Harrison
The ancient democracies, in which the people themselves deliberated, never possessed one feature of good government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure, deformity. When they assembled, the field of debate presented an ungovernable mob, not only incapable of deliberation, but prepared for every enormity. Alexander Hamilton
Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy. Alexander Hamilton
Our real disease ... is democracy. Alexander Hamilton
Democracies have been, and governments called, free; but the spirit of independence and the consciousness of inalienable rights, were never before transfused into the minds of a whole people. Sarah Josepha Hale
Unless the mass retains sufficient control over those entrusted with the powers of their government, these will be perverted to their own oppression, and to the perpetuation of wealth and power in the individuals and their families selected for the trust. Whether our Constitution has hit on the exact degree of control necessary, is yet under experiment Thomas Jefferson
The authority of the people is a necessary foundation for a constitution Thomas Jefferson
Roosevelt understood that democracy requires persuasion and consent Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
The government and people are inseparable under our system. We could not separate the government from the people if we would, and we would not if we could. This unity is the strength of our political structure. William McKinley
The dictatorship of the majority is a bugaboo which haunts the books of political theorists but has never been found in the flesh in modern history Sidney Hook
The majority of people wherever found ought in all questions to govern the minority. James Wilson
I believe democracy is our greatest export. At least until China figures out a way to stamp it out of plastic for three cents a unit. Stephen Colbert
Democracy requires checks and balances, and it is largely through civil society that citizens protect their rights as individuals, force policy makers to accommodate their interests, and limit abuses of state authority. Timur Kuran
Democratic rights develop when the ruled demand them and have the means to prevail. Timur Kuran
In times of crisis, we should have a period of 6 months of dictatorship to straighten things up, then return to democracy. Manuela Ferreira Leite
Democracy is the best revenge Benazir Bhutto
Building a democracy was not that difficult because we had a tradition of tribal consultations. Festus Mogae
We cannot make the world safe for democracy unless we also make the world safe for diversity. Aga Khan IV
You are now fixed at the mercy of no governor that comes to make his fortune great; you shall be governed by laws of your own making and live a free, and if you will, a sober and industrious life. I shall not usurp the right of any, or oppress his person. God has furnished me with a better resolution and has given me his grace to keep it. William Penn
This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Our notion of democracy derives from the Pilgrim notion of church government---that the congregation is governed by the people rather than some external authority. Peter Gomes
A true democracy has never existed, and never will exist. It is against natural order that the great number should govern and that the few should be governed. Jean Jacques Rousseau
The development of democracy is very much a matter of education and of progressing step by step. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
As to Korea, there is no longer any real hope of a genuinely peaceful and free democratic development in that country. Its political life in the coming period is bound to be dominated by political immaturity and violence. Where such conditions prevail, the communists are in their element. Therefore, we cannot count on native Korean forces to help us hold the line against Soviet expansion George F. Kennan
American history is seen to be the development of the first mass democracy on earth. George Grant
Democracy is of great importance for the working class in its struggle for freedom against the capitalists. But ... it is only one of the stages in the course of development from feudalism to capitalism, and from capitalism to Communism. Vladimir Lenin
A nation need not be a mob of slaves, clinging to one another through fear, and for the most part incapable of self-government, and begging to be led; but it might consist of vigorous self-reliant men, knit to one another by innumerable ties, into a strong, tense, and elastic organization. Francis Galton
Democracy is not a form of government. It is a political philosophy that can be embodied in various systems of government. John Allen Fraser
It is conflict combined with consent, not consent alone, which preserves democracy from eroding into oligarchy. Moses I. Finley
In a democracy, you must follow the will of the majority, which may be right or wrong, moral or immoral, just or unjust. If that's the ruling of the majority that is what you should follow, respect, and obey — although you may continue to disagree with it. Francis Escudero
That's the beauty of democracy — you believe what you believe, I believe what I believe, and as long as we're not hurting each other, that's fine. Placing a value judgment on a person's beliefs has no place in a democracy. Francis Escudero
Political competition is the heartbeat of democracy. Vladimir Putin
The greatest way to defend democracy is to make it work. Thomas Clement Douglas
Not all countries are ready for it [democracy]. George F. Kennan
We can have a democracy or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both. Louis D. Brandeis
American democracy is a failure. It is a miserable failure. It has failed because it is a limited and racial and divisible democracy …. How can we fight for democracy in Burma, a country we have not seen, when we don't have democracy in Birmingham, a city we have seen. A. Philip Randolph
In the democratic forms of government the operation of universal suffrage tends toward the selection of the average man for public office rather than the man qualified by birth, education, and integrity. . . . From a racial point of view, it will inevitably increase the preponderance of the lower types and cause a corresponding loss of efficiency in the community as a whole Madison Grant
The process of our democracy must not be imperiled by the denial of essential powers of free government. Franklin D. Roosevelt
In oligarchies, militarism has leaped forward, while in those nations which have retained democracy militarism has waned. Franklin D. Roosevelt
The deeper purpose of democratic government is to assist as many of its citizens as possible - especially those who need it most - to improve their conditions of life, to retain all personal liberty which does not adversely affect their neighbors, and to pursue the happiness which comes with security and an opportunity for recreation and culture. Franklin D. Roosevelt
In 54 years of its existence, Pakistan has not been able to find a workable model of democracy Zaffar Abbas
Democracies can no longer tolerate bribery, fraud and dishonesty, especially as such practices disproportionately hurt the poor. Jimmy Carter
Democracy is not something we have, it's something we do. Doris Haddock
I think one ought always to be indulgent towards other people, as I always think, if we had not been well brought up and well taken care of, we might also have gone astray. That is always my feeling. Yet it is always right to show that one does not like to see what is obviously wrong; but it is very dangerous to be too severe, and I am certain that as a rule such people always greatly regret that in their youth they have not been as careful as they ought to have been. Queen Victoria
Share and share alike, that's democracy. Dalton Trumbo
An Islamic democracy is not intended to be a "theo-democracy," but a democratic system founded upon an Islamic moral framework, devoted to preserving Islamic ideals of pluralism and human rights as they were introduced in Medina, and open to the inevitable process of political secularization. There can be no question as to where sovereignty in such a system would rest. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people can be established or demolished solely through the will of the people. After all, it is human beings who create laws, not God. Even laws based on divine scripture require human interpretation in order to be applied in the world. In any case, sovereignty necessitates the ability not just to make laws but to enforce them. Save for the occasional plague, that is a power God rarely chooses to wield on earth. Reza Aslan
It is pluralism, not secularism, that defines democracy. A democratic state can be established upon any normative moral framework as long as pluralism remains the source of its legitimacy Reza Aslan
Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations... In democratic countries knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others. Alexis de Tocqueville
In democratic ages men rarely sacrifice themselves for another, but they show a general compassion for all the human race. One never sees them inflict pointless suffering, and they are glad to relieve the sorrows of others when they can do so without much trouble to themselves. They are not disinterested, but they are gentle. Alexis de Tocqueville
In cities men cannot be prevented from concerting together, and from awakening a mutual excitement which prompts sudden and passionate resolutions. Cities may be looked upon as large assemblies, of which all the inhabitants are members; their populace exercises a prodigious influence upon the magistrates, and frequently executes its own wishes without their intervention. Alexis de Tocqueville
The people reign over the American political world as God rules over the universe. It is the cause and the end of all things; everything rises out of it and is absorbed back into it. Alexis de Tocqueville
The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colors breaking through. Alexis de Tocqueville
If a [democratic] society displays less brilliance than an aristocracy, there will also be less wretchedness. Alexis de Tocqueville
I am deeply a democrat; this is why I am in no way a socialist. Democracy and socialism cannot go together. You can't have it both ways. Alexis de Tocqueville
The struggle against demagoguery scarcely fits the St George-against-the-dragon myth. Our democratic St George goes out rather reluctantly with armor awry. The struggle is confused; our knight wins by no clean thrust of lance or sword, but the dragon somehow poops out, and decent democracy is victor. Norman Thomas
We Indians … are so good at respecting outward forms while ignoring the substance. We took the forms of parliamentary democracy, preserved them, put them on pedestal and paid them due obeisance. But we ignored the basic fact that parliamentary democracy can only work if those who run it are constantly responsive to needs of the people and if parliamentarians are qualified enough to legislate. Neither condition was fulfilled in India for long. Shashi Tharoor
all government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery Jonathan Swift
Our concepts of ballot-box democracy may need to be modified to produce strong governments capable of making difficult decisions Maurice Strong
Democracy, in a word, is meant to be an aristocracy which has broadened into a universal aristocracy. Leo Strauss
In a country like ours, abounding with free men all of one rank, where property is equally diffused, where estates are held in fee simple, the press free, and the means of information common; tyranny cannot readily find admission under any form of government; but its admission is next to impossible, under one where the people are the source of all power, and elect either immediately, by representatives, or immediately by themselves the whole of their rulers. David Ramsey
…a republican, or free government, can only exist where the body of the people are virtuous, and where property is pretty equally divided… Samuel Bryan
The basis of a democratic and a republican form of government is a fundamental law favoring an equal or rather a general distribution of property. It is not necessary nor possible that every citizen should have exactly an equal proportion of lands and goods, but the laws of such a state should require an equal distribution of intestate estates, and bar all perpetuities. Such laws occasion constant revolutions of property, and thus hold out to all men equal motives to vigilance and industry. Noah Webster
It proceeds from a consummate ignorance in politicks, to think that a number of men agreeing together can make and hold a commonwealth, before nature has prepared the way… John Trenchard
A democracy becomes ungovernable if a substantial portion of the population lives in an alternative reality…. How do you have a rational conversation about President Obama’s policies of he believes that Obama is a spy for Iran. Jonathan Hillel Kay
Democracy demands the generation of conflict for the manifestation of different expectations and aspirations of people and at the same time its resolution through peaceful means R. K. Satapathy
Democracy can shield the Islamic community from autocrats Rachid Ghannouchi
The result of cutting [political power] up into little bits is simply that the man who can sweep the greatest number into one heap will govern the rest... In a pure democracy the ruling men will be the wirepullers and their friends; but they will no more be on an equality with the voters than soldiers of Ministers of State are on an equality with the subjects of monarchy. James Fitzjames Stephen
Parliamentary government is simply a mild and disguised form of compulsion. We agree to try strength by counting heads instead of breaking heads, but the principle is exactly the same... The minority gives way not because it is convinced that it is wrong, but because it is convinced that it is a minority. James Fitzjames Stephen
Democracy has shown us that what is evil are the grosses têtes, the big heads, all big heads are greedy for money and power, they are ambitious that is the reason they are big heads and so they are at the head of the government and the result is misery for the people Gertrude Stein
The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority, practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters, and which of them slaves; a contest, that—however bloody—can, in the nature of things, never be finally closed, so long as man refuses to be a slave. Lysander Spooner
The Republican form of government is the highest form of government; but because of this it requires the highest type of human nature — a type nowhere at present existing Herbert Spencer
Democracy really depends not only on not just having a middle class but having wealth distributed relatively evenly across the society so that people buy into the legitimacy of the system Francis Fukuyama
American capitalism is predatory, and American politics are corrupt: The same thing is true in England and the same in France; but in all these three countries the dominating fact is that whatever the people get ready to change the government, they can change it. The same thing is not true of Germany Upton Sinclair
Democracy may be alright for certain people in the world, but I don't think the type of democracy Fiji needs is the type Australia and New Zealand enjoy. Jona Baravilala Senilagakali
Democracy, republics: What do these words signify? What have they changed in the world? Have men become better, more loyal, kinder? Are the people happier? All goes on as before, as always. Illusions, illusions. Besides, one should consider the interest of a nation before subverting it with words. Democracy is necessary in some cases and we believe some African peoples might adopt it. But in other cases it is harmful, a mistake. Haile Selassie
Zaire's one-party system is the most elaborate form of democracy Joseph Desire Mobutu
Democracy is not for Africa. There was only one African chief and here in Zaire we must make unity. Joseph Desire Mobutu
We are here to announce class warfare, in peace and for democracy. Nattawut Saikua
I trust the American People more than American Institutions. Tom Coburn
The declaration that our People are hostile to a government made by themselves, for themselves, and conducted by themselves, is an insult. John Adams
We who believe in democracy and in liberty are going to win. The statists and the Islamists are standing against the irrevocable march of history. Ismail Serageldin
Democracy comes alive not when government does anything, because government cannot be depended on to rectify serious injustices. It comes alive when people organize and do something about it. Howard Zinn
The majority prevails in a democracy, eventually. John McCain
We can not want Democracy more than they [the Iraqis] do and expect to succeed. Joseph R. Biden Jr.
The condition of our survival in any but the meagerest existence is our willingness to accommodate ourselves to the conflicting interests of others, to learn to live in a social world. Learned Hand
Democracies are actually war-prone, owing to their very moral conceit—their confidence in the superiority of their culture and the system of their government—and the ease by which a simple majority vote of their legislatures can instantaneously mobilize an entire society for war. Victor Davis Hanson
We are a democracy and I will go with the 51 percent wherever that leads us. Jay S. Fishman
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury Alexander Fraser Tytler
America has shown how a free people can found a democracy shorn of all the terrors which for so many ages haunted the dreams of philosophers. Herbert Tuttle
No one can deny that the Americans are more democratic than the English; yet the government of England feels more directly than that of the United States the force of public opinion. Each has its check on the action of the popular will. In the United States the check is found in narrowing and lengthening the channels by which that will reaches the governing powers; in England it consists of an hereditary crown and an hereditary nobility, which can restrain but cannot thwart the people. Herbert Tuttle
No error is more common than to confound democracy as an element in national character with democracy as a form of government.… Now the two are not only not identical, but they are not even necessarily coexistent. By the former we understand that spirit in a people which leads them to demand equality among citizens and a substantial control over their own affairs; by the latter, a system in which the people pronounce directly on all the details of government. Herbert Tuttle
Despotisms usually ground themselves upon the theories of extreme democracy. George Cary Eggleston
In a republic, if laws are not always respectable, they are always respected. Alexis de Tocqueville
Western democracy included individual liberty, as well as equality. The frontiersman was impatient of restraints. He knew how to preserve order, even in the absence of legal authority…. the individual was not ready to submit to complex regulations. Population was sparse, there was no multitude of jostling interests, as in older settlements, demanding an elaborate system of personal restraints. Society became atomic. There was a reproduction of the primitive idea of the personality of the law, a crime was more an offense against the victim than a violation of the law of the land. Frederick Jackson Turner
Men are born free, that since they begin with no government, they must therefore institute government by voluntary agreement, and thus government must be their agent, not their superior. Isabel Paterson
We are not the consumers of democracy, we are its proprietors. Raj Patel
Iran is not ready for Western-style democracy. Mohammed Reza Pahlavi
Thank God we in Iran have neither the desire nor the need to suffer from democracy. Mohammed Reza Pahlavi
A stable democratic system cannot be established without the effective participation of the mainstream, moderate, Islamic movement. Rached Ghannouchi
The essence of democracy is how to restrict government power; this is the most important reason why China so badly needs democracy. The overconcentration of government powers without checks and balances is the root cause of so many social problems. Deng Yuwen
As an ideologically based movement, socialism is no longer vital. Today it's a combination of democracy, rule of law and the welfare state, and I'd say a vast majority of Europeans defend this -- the British Tories can't touch the National Health Service without being beheaded. Joschka Fischer
In our country we must trust the people to hear and see both the good and the bad and to choose the good. The Un-American Activities Committee seems to me to be better for a police state than for the USA. Eleanor Roosevelt
Democracy requires both discipline and hard work. It is not easy for individuals to govern themselves. . . . It is one thing to gain freedom, but no one can give you the right to self-government. This you must earn for yourself by long discipline. Eleanor Roosevelt
If we are honest with ourselves today, we will acknowledge that the ideal of Democracy has never failed, but that we haven't carried it out, and in our lack of faith we have debased the human being who must have a chance to live if Democracy is to be successful. Eleanor Roosevelt
Somehow we must be able to show people that democracy is not about words, but action. Eleanor Roosevelt
America's objective today should be to try to make herself the best possible mirror of democracy that she can. The people of the world can see what happens here. They watch us to see what we are going to do and how well we can do it. We are giving them the only possible picture of democracy that we can: the picture as it works in actual practice. This is the only way other peoples can see for themselves how it works; and can determine for themselves whether this thing is good in itself, whether it is better than they have, better than what other political and economic systems offer them. Eleanor Roosevelt
One of the first things we must get rid of is the idea that democracy is tantamount to capitalism. Eleanor Roosevelt
...nations have no command over their governments, & in fact no influence over them, except of a fleeting & rather ineffectual sort. Mark Twain
...no country can be well governed unless its citizens as a body keep religiously before their minds that they are the guardians of the law and that the law officers are only the machinery for its execution, nothing more. Mark Twain
The world is wearied of statesmen; whom democracy has degraded into politicians . . . Benjamin Disraeli
We should stop going around babbling about how we're the greatest democracy on earth, when we're not even a democracy. We are a sort of militarized republic Gore Vidal
We're not a democracy. It's a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we're a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy. Ramsey Clark
We may define a republic to be … a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior. James Madison
We not only need religious friendly democracy, but also democracy friendly religion. Tony Blair
Was not the issue this: whether mankind should be divided between those who command and those who serve; between those who use others at their will and those who must submit; whether the measure of a man's power to shape his own destiny should be the force at his disposal? Our nation was founded upon an answer to those questions, and we have fought this war to make good that answer. Learned Hand
Democracy is less a system of government than it is a system to keep government limited, unintrusive: A system of constraints on power to keep politics and government secondary to the important things in life, the true sources of value found only in family and faith. Ronald Reagan
A republic cannot succeed till it contains a certain body of men imbued with the principles of justice and honor. Charles Darwin
A much better course would be a gradual development of democracy, not through general elections, but rather through civil society and the strengthening of local institutions. Bernard Lewis
Most Americans believe today the following facts concerning their nation: (1) that this continent was peopled by men who rebelled against the tyrannies of Europe; (2) that these men dedicated themselves, from the very beginning, to the purposeful establishment of a kind of freedom that should endure forever; (3) that they succeeded, by a "revolution" in breaking away forever from the oppressive domination and the cupidity of European imperialisms; (4) that in establishing a democratic government they determined forever the course of political perfection, and that whoever followed another course was on the road to damnation; (5) that although European nations were becoming progressively harmless in relation to the increasing power and resources of the ever-growing America, they remained a potential danger to the integrity of this great nation on account of their deplorable habit of wandering away from the true path of civilization, which is democracy Raoul de Roussy de Sales
The people made this government, and not the government the people. Destroy the intelligence of the people, and the government could not exist for a day; — destroy this government, and the people would create another, and yet another, of no less perfect symmetry. Charles Francis Adams II
Socio-economic hardship breeds not only repression to force people to live with hardship, but also resistance, often in turn provoking repression in initial rounds, but in subsequent rounds quite possibly forcing dictatorial regimes to give in, partially or thoroughly, and to concede democratic reforms. This is another way, twisted as it may look, in which structural adjustment may indeed lead up to democratization. Lars Rudebeck
In the strict sense of the term, a true democracy has never existed, and never will exist. Jean Jacques Rousseau
I don't believe in democracy… neither did our white forefathers. I believe, as they did, in a republican authoritarian republic with a limited electorate - just like the one the writers of our Constitution meant this country to be. When these white Christian patriots sat down to write the Declaration of Independence, there were no black citizens for them to worry about. George Lincoln Rockwell
Democracy can be noisy and messy. But it works. Barack Obama
To have good government, you often need less, not more, democracy. Kishore Mahbubani
The welfare of America is closely bound up with the welfare of mankind Marquis de Lafayette
We can have more democracy and openness and still be efficient. Chee Soon Juan
We are sliding down into the mire of a democracy ... Fisher Ames
Our disease is democracy. Fisher Ames
A government by the passions of the multitude, or, no less correctly, according to the vices and ambitions of their leaders, is a democracy. Fisher Ames
Democratic societies are slow to respond to gathering treats. Condoleeza Rice
America's objective today should be to try to make herself the best possible mirror of democracy that she can. The people of the world can see what happens here. They watch us to see what we are going to do and how well we can do it. We are giving them the only possible picture of democracy that we can: the picture as it works in actual practice. This is the only way other peoples can see for themselves how it works; and can determine for themselves whether this thing is good in itself, whether it is better than they have, better than what other political and economic systems offer them. Eleanor Roosevelt
In the final analysis, a democratic government represents the sum total of the courage and the integrity of its individuals. It cannot be better than they are. Eleanor Roosevelt
Democracies are prone to war, and war consumes them. William H. Seward
If one rejects laissez faire on account of man’s fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action. Ludwig von Mises
Government is the creature of the people, and that which they have created they surely have a right to examine. Robert Hall (minister)
I have long been convinced that institutions purely democratic must, sooner or later, destroy liberty, or civilization, or both…. Thomas Babington Macaulay
Democracy, which has flourished even in the polluted soil of Europe, would certainly thrive in the virgin soil of America. Here there is no real element of aristocracy, nothing but a sorry caricature. There are not then, my dear general, elements of monarchy in this land of God. Let a republic be formed here and dignity will grow in men... A monarchy established here would be of short duration, for an idea, once implanted in the people, is impossible to extinguish; and the idea of democracy has been firmly rooted here during twelve years of glorious struggle Simon Bolivar
That (The United States) has continued to exist and prosper, that it has not been overthrown at the first sign of danger. In spite of the fact that this people is a singular model of political virtue and moral enlightenment, that liberty has been its cradle, that it has been reared in and fed upon pure liberty, it is a marvel that a system so weak and complicated as the federal has been able to endure...I has never even remotely entered my mind to consider a parallel between the positions and natures as distinct as the Anglo- and Hispano-American Simon Bolivar
Pure representative government is not suitable to our character, customs, and present conditions...So long as our compatriots do not develop the talents and political virtues which distinguish our brothers of the north (The United States) the entire popular system, far from being suitable to our conditions, may, I fear, be our ruin. Simon Bolivar
Why can't the Indonesians have an Islamic theocracy if they want? Why can't the Pakistanis have a military dictatorship? Why can't the Serbs run their own country the way they prefer? What is the appeal in making sure that people whose minds have been wasted by Alzheimer's Disease vote? Well, let's not beat around the bush: the appeal of mass democracy lies in the fact that in essentially every country in the world today, the number of persons unable to think for themselves is substantially larger than the number able to make independent decisions. Those unable to think for themselves have their thinking done for them by the people who control the mass media. Which is to say, democracy is the preferred system because it gives the political power to those who own or control the mass media and at the same time allows them to remain behind the scenes and evade responsibility for the way in which they use that power. William Pierce
Democracy in a nation of 300 million people can be noisy and messy and complicated. And when you try to do big things and make big changes, it stirs passions and controversy. That's just how it is. Barack Obama
It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error. Robert Houghwout Jackson
When great wealth collects the way it has in the last two decades, it develops an arrogance…. You see it in the development of a survival of the fittest philosophy, one that says markets are more important than democracy. Kevin Phillips
Democracy divides the population into two groups: those of us who complain about government and those of us who are complained about. Lewis D. Eigen
It is easy to protect the rights to responsible citizens; only a democracy will protect the rights of those who are deemed irresponsible. Lewis D. Eigen
What right has the West, what right have the whites anywhere, to teach us about democracy when they executed those who asked for democracy during the time of the colonial era? Nelson Mandela
I have great respect for British political institutions. I regard the British Parliament as the most democratic institution in the world, and the independence and impartiality of its judiciary never fail to arouse my admiration. Nelson Mandela
We had a revolution 2 years ago, and we see a people moving from a completely authoritarian system into a democracy. They don’t know how democracy works. They don’t know the ingredients of a democracy. Mohamed El Baradei
The resources, advantages, and powers of the American people are very great, and they have, consequently, succeeded to equally great responsibilities. It seems to have devolved upon them to test whether a government, established on the principles of human freedom, can be maintained against an effort to build one upon the exclusive foundation of human bondage. Abraham Lincoln
The tyranny of an unbridled majority, the most odious and least responsible form of despotism, has denied us both the right and the remedy. Therefore we are in arms to renew such sacrifices as our fathers made to the holy cause of constitutional liberty Jefferson Davis
In a democracy sometimes you go forwards and sometimes you go backward. Emma Bonino
I hope We shall e’er long renounce some of our Monarchical Corruptions, and become Republicans in Principle in Sentiment, in feeling and in Practice. In Republican Governments the Majesty is all in the Laws. They only are to be adored. John Adams
To recommend what monarchies have done, They bring, for witness, David and his son; How one was brave, the other just and wise; And hence our plain Republics they despise; But mark how oft, to gratify their pride, The people suffered, and the people died; Though one was wise, and one Goliath slew, Kings are the choicest curse that man e’er knew! Philip Morin Freneau
Near three thousand years passed away, from the Mosaic account of the creation, till the Jews under a national delusion requested a king. Till then their form of government (except in extraordinary cases, where the Almighty interposed) was a kind of republic administered by a judge and the elders of the tribes. Kings they had none, and it was held sinful to acknowledge any being under that title but the Lord of Hosts. Thomas Paine
The real strength of the democratic theory in opposition to the fascist or communist is that the fascist frankly states that certain people will tell other people what they shall do to be happy, and those other people have little or nothing to say about it. In theory the communists were to do everything in common, in practice a small group there also tells other people what they shall do to achieve their objectives. So far more nearly than any other form of government, the democratic form has allowed people to shape their own government Eleanor Roosevelt
… every new form of government, fascist, communist or our own democracy had originally for its purpose the making of a world in which people could be happy and content. Eleanor Roosevelt
The Americans are the first people whom heaven has favored with an opportunity of deliberating upon and choosing forms of government under which they should live. John Jay
Democracy is always a threat to the powerful. Noam Chomsky
Being a very young democracy, we are going to have a fair amount of grumbling that will emerge from our economy… Pravin Gordhan
When private property ceases to make free men, its only spiritual justification goes. Democracy and the widespread distribution of private property go together. Dorothy Thompson
Strange isn’t it? We are all democrats now. Nobusuke Kishi
India’s democracy has dissolved into … a system totally dominated by electoral victories and defeats. The moment you enter office, you begin to think of the next election. Ashis Nandy
Stable liberal democracy requires more than just a shift in political forms; it also involves eliminating the antidemocratic social, cultural, and economic legacies of the old regime. Such a process takes lots of time and effort, over multiple tries. Historically, most initial transitions have been the beginning of a democratization process, not the end of it—something that the tortured histories of today’s mature liberal democracies make clear. Sheri Berman
If France’s first democratic experiment failed, it nevertheless made a profound contribution to the eventual formation of a stable liberal democracy. Sheri Berman
We [the United States] are imperfect messengers of democracy. Lindsey Graham
I’m not allergic to democracy. The only advice I have is let’s give it a different name and keep doing it. Yevgeny Bushmin
The worldwide demand for democratic government in the modern era arose due to the success of the countries practicing it. Michael Mandelbaum
Democracy spreads through the workings of the market when people apply the habits and procedures they are already carrying out in one sector of the social life (the economy) to another one (the political arena). The market is to democracy what a grain of sand is to an oyster’s pearl: the core around which it forms. Michael Mandelbaum
The key to democracy has been the free market economy. Michael Mandelbaum
Popular sovereignty is relatively easy to establish; the other component of democracy, liberty, is far more difficulty to secure. Michael Mandelbaum
What the world of the twenty-first century calls democracy is in fact the fusion of two distinct political traditions. One is liberty—that is individual freedom. The other is popular sovereignty: rule by the people. Michael Mandelbaum
Once confined to a handful of wealthy countries, it [democracy] became, in a short period of time, the most popular political system in the world. In 1900, only 10 countries were democracies. By mid-century, the number had increased to 30…. By 2005 fully 119 of the world’s 190 countries had become democracies. Michael Mandelbaum
Democracy, at its best, enables citizens to debate collectively how the slices of the pie should be divided and to determine which rules apply to private goods and which to public goods. Robert Reich
Democracy is not a serial autocracy with each new autocrat being selected by a free and fair election. Lewis D. Eigen
The ballot box is a license to govern, not a mandate to rule. Nabil Fahmi
To wish to stop democracy [in America] would be to struggle against God himself Alexis de Tocqueville
That’s one difficulty about a democracy. Nothing ever gets decided—even after its been decided. Lewis D. Eigen
I have a negative approach to democracy. I think it should be primarily a mechanism by which people can remove a bad leader. Nassim Nicholas Taleb
We are actually experiencing a dismantling of democracy. I didn’t think this was possible. Jurgen Habermas
Democracy is a matter of balance—private power balanced by public power Bill Moyers
Central bankers swooped to the rescue only once it became clear that the leaders we had elected were unwilling or unable to do the job. Technocracy trumped democracy—and probably saved it. But how many central political functions can democracies farm out to unelected superheroes while still remaining democratic? Chrystia Freeland
This is the great World Trial of Popular Government, if we fail, the mind of the true Patriot will be almost without hope. Who would not be willing to give his life, if necessary, in such a contest? Samuel Emerson Opdycke
The Government of the absolute majority instead of the Government of the people is but the Government of the strongest interests; and when not efficiently checked, it is the most tyrannical and oppressive that can be devised John C. Calhoun
Democracy is a self-correcting mechanism. Tom Clancy
Capitalism is very undemocratic. Capitalism gives you power according to your wealth while democracy gives you power according to your existence. Anthony Wedgewood Benn; Tony Benn
The price of democratic survival in a world of totalitarianism is to give up some of the democratic luxuries of the past. J. William Fulbright
In democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not its taste, but its effect,... J. William Fulbright
Cultural pluralism is as important as political and multi-party pluralism. Religious, linguistic and cultural pluralism are vitally important hallmarks of a true democracy Boutros Boutros-Ghali
If every one of those good words - liberty, equality, fraternity, democracy, human rights - has been called "bourgeois", what on earth does that leave for us? Fang Lizhi
If you give up on politics, you give up on democracy … and then we are absolute plutocracy. Robert Reich
Whoever wants to reach socialism by any other path than that of political democracy will inevitably arrive at conclusions that are absurd and reactionary both in the economic and the political sense. Vladimir Lenin; Nikolai
Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracy -- the Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, and the Japanese-American internment camps -- to mention a few. I am confident that many of the actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light. Bradley Edward Manning
… though the majority might be temporarily wrong, in the end, a majority that remained a majority over a period of years was usually right, and in our country, at least, we have been governed by the will of the majority. It has not meant, nor I surmise, does it mean in the present, the destruction of minorities … Eleanor Roosevelt
The foundations of [Islamic] religious democracy are different from Western democracy Ali Khamenei
The willingness of local elites to cope with the uncertainty of fully competitive politics will thus be the ultimate factor in determining whether competitive authoritarianism proves a way station for democratic development or a safe house for autocrats. . Michael H. Bernhard
The value of democracy lies in the fact that good or bad government has its roots in the localities where people know each other and where they account for their actions to their neighbors. Eleanor Roosevelt
People mistake majoritarianism for democracy. Richard N. Haas
In the France of today, the only class with a doctrine is the working class…. The only one … safeguarding the democratic institutions. Jean-Paul Sartre
Democracies are much better at adapting to modernization than other systems. Donald Sassoon
The USA [is] the only society to be born both ‘modern’ and ‘democratic’. Donald Sassoon
You can choose whatever name you like for the two types of government. I personally call the type of government which can be removed without violence democracy, and the other tyranny. Karl Popper
Two forms of government are favorable to the prevalence of falsehood and deceit. Under a Despotism, men are false, treacherous, and deceitful through fear, like slaves dreading the lash. Under a Democracy they are so as a means of attaining popularity and office, and because of the greed for wealth. Albert Pike
Among the popular and representative systems of government I do not approve of the federal system: it is too perfect; and it requires virtues and political talents much superior to our own. Simon Bolivar
It is when it is contended that in a democracy right is what the majority makes it to be that democracy degenerates into demagoguery. Friedrich A. Hayek
Democracy brought to others through the barrel of a gun is not democracy. Tzvetan Todorov
Wherever the sentiment of the majority is still genuine and intense, it is found to have abated little of its claim to be obeyed. John Stuart Mill
Our demands for democratic practices in other lands will be no more effective than the guarantee of those practices in our own country. Hubert Humphrey
Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time. It is the feeling of privacy in the voting booths, the feeling of communion in the libraries, the feeling of vitality everywhere. E. B. White
In youth one believes in democracy, later on, one has to accept it. James Ramsay MacDonald
The framers of the American Constitution were far from wishing or intending to found a democracy in the strict sense of the word, though, as was inevitable, every expansion of the scheme of government they elaborated has been in a democratical direction. But this has been generally the slow result of growth, and not the sudden innovation of theory… James Russell Lowell
Democracy is nothing more than an experiment in government, more likely to succeed in a new soil, but likely to be tried in all soils, which must stand or fall on its own merits as others have done before it. For there is no trick of perpetual motion in politics any more than in mechanics. James Russell Lowell
Puritanism, believing itself quick with the seed of religious liberty, laid, without knowing it, the egg of democracy. James Russell Lowell
You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists. Abbie Hoffman
Wherever democracy has prevailed, the power of the State has been used in some form or other to plunder the well-to-do classes for the benefit of the poor. Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess Salisbury
In spite of the danger of prophesying, one can foretell even now that Russia will be reborn--indeed is already being reborn--as a great peasant democracy. Vladimir Mikhailovich Zenzinov
Government is not an enemy of the people. Government is the people themselves. Lyndon B. Johnson
Democracy is interpreted by everyone according to the party principles which he avows. Stephen Bethlen
The spectacle which confronts all Europe today is a great conflict between democracy and dictatorship. Edouard Herriot
Democracy works admirably when it is confined to people who are of the Teutonic race …. You would not confide free representative institutions to the Hottentots for example. Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil; 3rd Marques Salisbury
I have very little faith in the mass of constitutional republicans nor in the opinion of the mass of the people. Sean MacBride
Our parliamentary democracy should be replaced. We should have a drastic limitation of the powers of parliament, and the creation of a voluntary disciplined public service organization. Ernest Blythe
The people living in this land, its inhabitants, its citizens, rich and poor, great and humble… these are all the true lords and masters, who have the right to say how and through whom they are to be governed. Joan van der Capellen tot den Pol
The Sovereign is no other than the vote of the people. Pieter Vreede; Wijbo
Whereas the constitution of … Holland is in its principles a popular representation, it is necessary that the right of the people be duly ascertained; that the members of the States be rendered responsible to them for their conduct and be precluded from taking any decisive step without their consent … Adriaan van Zeebergh
All lawful authority, legislative, and executive, originates from the people. James Burgh
One of the hardest things in politics is getting a democracy to deal with something now where the payoff is long term or the price of inaction is decades away. Barack Obama
Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man Robert A. Heinlein
The greatest fallacy of democracy is that everyone's opinion is worth the same Robert A. Heinlein
Tell me if ever in history there was a government which was based exclusively upon the consent of the people, and which was ready to dispense altogether with the use of force. There has never been and never will be such a government. Benito Mussolini
The liberal [Democratic] state is destined to perish. All the political experiments of our day are anti-liberal. [Fascist] Benito Mussolini
In a capitalist democracy there are essentially two methods by which social choices can be made: voting, typically used to make ‘political’ decisions, and the market mechanism, typically used to make ‘economic’ decisions. Kenneth Joseph Arrow
Wherever it [Democracy] has had free play in the ancient world or in the modern, in the old hemisphere or the new, a thirst for empire, and a readiness for aggressive war, has always marked it. Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess Salisbury
The richest countries in the world are democracies. The most stable countries in the world are democracies. There are no tensions between the two. Michael McFaul
Every man has a right to be heard; but no man has the right to strangle democracy with a single set of vocal cords. Adlai Stevenson
Secession was dangerous and contrary to the concept of democracy. If democracy is to work, there must be acceptance by all parties in the results of an election and in majority rule. Secession allowed a minority of the citizens to overturn the results of an election, subvert the will of the majority, and shut down the process of give and take between competing interests in a constitutional republic as envisioned by the founders. Todd Groce
It is important to remember there still exist other forms of government in the world today, and that dozens of foreign countries still long for a democracy such as ours to be imposed on them.. Jon Stewart
It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error. Robert Houghwout Jackson
The aim of democracy is harmony, it’s goal is brotherhood. Mark Twain
Personally I prefer a liberal dictator to democratic government lacking liberalism. Friedrich A. Hayek
Democracy is direct self-government, over all the people, for all the people, by all the people. Theodore Parker
The principles upon which democracy rests are as everlasting as the hills, but they must be applied to new conditions as they arise. William Jennings Bryan
God Bless democracy. I approve of it highly. I suffer from it greatly. George C. Marshall
The leader in a democracy has to keep the people entertained. That may sound like the wrong word, but it conveys the thought. George C. Marshall
I didn’t understand. In a democracy, the people have to be entertained. George C. Marshall
Well, will anybody deny now that the government at Washington [America], as regards its own people, is the strongest government in the world at this hour? And for this simple reason, that it is based on the will, and the good will, of an instructed people. John Bright
The Bush Administration went into the Middle East thinking it was spreading democracy. Instead they spread sectarianism. Fareed Zakaria
I hold to be of itself a lesson for all those who love liberty, and who would extend its blessings to their country. Men are not to be pedants in liberty, any more than in virtue. Though they are not to be oppressed by tyrants, they must at least be governed by their fellow-men. The great principles of independence in the heart of man are to be cherished and upheld; but order, prosperity, the purposes of society, must be accomplished. The many must delegate the government of themselves to the few. Control, executive power, must be lodged somewhere … William Smyth
Political power is now widely diffused; and whatever may be the evils of democracy, this good has come of it, that it has forced men to open their eyes to the misery of the masses, and to inquire more zealously as to the possibility of a better distribution of wealth. Arnold J. Toynbee
In foreign countries, the ruled feel connected with the ruling. This is why they are so formidable. Cixi
Fitness for self-government is not a God-given, natural right, but comes to a race only through the slow growth of centuries. Theodore Roosevelt
Countries often democratize in clusters within regions of the world.. Barbara Wejnert
The government should not be in the business of deciding who is honorable. Thomas Piketty
You look at Egypt with American eyes. Democracy in your country has evolved over 200 years. Just give us a chance to develop. If we rush things, countries like ours will collapse. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Slavery cannot share a government with democracy …. The South is now in the formation of a Slave Republic. Leonidas W. Spratt
In America we have no need of kings. Benjamin Franklin
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote! Benjamin Franklin
Democracy is a process that doesn't march in lock step. Robert Casey
This public rally is aimed at informing the whole world of the will of the people... Our purpose is to show that the entire people entertain the keenest desire for a multiparty democratic system of government. Aung San Suu Kyi
At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper — no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly palliate the overwhelming importance of that point. Winston Churchill
The new South presents a perfect democracy...; a social system compact and closely knitted, less splendid on the surface, but stronger at the core; a hundred farms for every plantation, fifty homes for every palace. Henry W. Grady
People must accept that their governments cannot guarantee absolute safety. A measure of insecurity is the price of liberty and democracy. It’s a price worth paying. Anne-Marie Slaughter
In a democracy, data about the people belongs to the people. Anne-Marie Slaughter
Some people will never live comfortably in a modern liberal democracy. Karen Stenner
well-meaning programs celebrating multiculturalism … might aggravate more than educate, might intensify rather than diminish, intolerance. Karen Stenner
Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. Hillary Clinton
The fate of our democracy lies both in the hannds if the people and of the President Thomas Hart Benton
The concepts of "democracy promotion" and "transformational diplomacy" pursued by the George W. Bush Administration conditioned interstate relations on altering any system of government that did not match Washington's understanding of democracy. Fyodor Lukyanov
We can conceive of various kinds of democracy. Baruch Spinoza
It is a very good warning to all of the dictators. If you lose an election, you have to go gacefully, or you will be disgraced. Adama Barrow
Refugees left Gambia as they could not live in a country bereft of investment or security. We will create jpbs with responsible governance. It's now one Gambia, one nation, and one people ... and with that I think things will change. Adama Barrow
One of the most underrated qualities of Republicans is that they police their own ranks. If you have a problem with a violent Republican racist, call some Republicans. They’ll solve it for you. But don’t call a Republican if you are simply offended by another person’s opinion. In that situation you want to call some Democrats to ridicule and physically attack the person with the objectionable opinion. By the way, I’m not a Republican. This is just an observation. I’ve been watching Democrats not police their own ranks – after the Berkeley violence for example – and it occurred to me that you don’t see that on the Republican side. Republicans generally appreciate free speech, but if someone attacks your family, your country, or your freedom in some physical form, keep some Republicans on speed dial. Scott Adams
Large crowds have gathered in the streets. The pervading spirit among the masses is resistance to Lincoln’s administration, and everywhere that determination is manifest. South Carolina Ledger
Thursday night the streets were filled with excited crowds. Till nearly midnight, the streets presented the most animated appearance. The crowd illuminated their passage by rockets and other fireworks, and made the air resound with their deafening cries. No one talks of anything but the necessity for prompt action. It is believed that separate and immediate action on the part of this state will be followed by action on the part of several other southern states forthwith. It is hardly prudent for any man to express his opinion adverse to immediate succession. So heated are the public passions, so intolerant of restraint is the popular will. New York Herald
Democracy destroys itself because it abuses its right to freedom and equality. Because it teaches its citizens to consider audacity as a right, lawlessness as a freedom, abrasive speech as equality, and anarchy as progress. Isocrates
I would not want it to be thought that any system is the Kingdom of God on Earth. Capitalism isn’t. Democracy isn’t. The two combined are not. The best that can be said for them (and it is quite enough) is that, in combination, capitalism, democracy, and pluralism are more protective of the rights, opportunities, and conscience of ordinary citizens (all citizens) than any known alternative. Michael Novak
I think that the United States is an excellent example for the rest of the world. Omar Saif Ghobash
Democracy is like a street car. You get off when you reach your destination. Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkey is called as a secular democracy. Turkey is neither secular nor a democracy. David L. Phillips (International Affairs)
The debate is ended. Fifty percent plus one vote is all we need to govern this country. Recep Tayyip Erdogan
From populist demagogues, we will learn the indispensability of democracy. From isolationists, we will learn the need for global solidarity. And from tribalists, we will learn the beauty of cosmopolitanism. Elif Safak
No democracy pretends to be a tyranny. Most tyrannies pretend they are democracies. Democracy remains the definition of political legitimacy. George W. Bush
We know, deep down, that repression is not the wave of the future. We know that the desire for freedom is not confined to, or owned by, any culture; it is the inborn hope of our humanity. We know that free governments are the only way to ensure that the strong are just and the weak are valued. And we know that when we lose sight of our ideals, it is not democracy that has failed. It is the failure of those charged with preserving and protecting democracy. George W. Bush
when greed and fear are linked to power, you have a dangerous mix. We see that in political life. In part of the world, the mix of greed and fear means that those who get power become reluctant to give it back. One of the many things I like and admire in our democracies are the norms that make our leaders hand over power when voters tell them to Margrethe Vestager
American democracy has never accorded all the people a meaningful voice. The masses have been given symbols instead, and they are often empty symbols. Nation-states traditionally rely on the fiction that a head of state can represent the body of the people and stand in as their proxy; in the American version, the president must appeal broadly to shared values that mask the existence of deep class divisions. Even when this strategy works, though, unity comes at the price of perpetuating ideological deception. Nancy Isenberg
Members of Congress are trustees of the people. Nancy Pelosi
You cannot chose your parents. You cannot choose your gender. And in Russia, you cannot choose your president. Ksenia Sobchak
In 10 years, ... you're going to see the most valuable economy in the world -- the largest economy in the world -- is going to be a country run by communists. The Chinese seem to be very good at capitalism. And this is going to have fundamental problems and present an identity crisis for the United States. Because for a long time, free markets coincided with liberties such as free speech, free press, free religion. And all of a sudden, this equation is going to be decoupled. And when it gets decoupled, we might find that democracy, the multitude of voices, actually impedes capitalism because a state that does not have any pretense of limited government can very quickly mandate a regulatory framework for drones, for electric cars, for self-driving cars, for any new innovation where they feel that they can leapfrog Western societies. And this is a very unique thing in the American experience. And this is why it's very important to think of American capitalism as an operating system and not as an ideology. Because when you think about it as an ideology, you can have good politics make for very, very bad policy. That market outcomes and democratic voices and battles for votes can end up stifling progress. Bhu Srinivasan III
… democracy, as it exists and practically works in America, with all its threatening evils, supplies a training school for making first-class men. It is life's gymnasium..fit for freedom’s athletes… Whatever we do not attain, we at any rate attain the experiences of the fight, the hardening of the strong campaign, and throb with currents of attempt at least. Walt Whitman
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or galantry would break the strongest cords of our constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Adams
… the meanest and worst of all forms of government John Winthrop
Addressing ‘grievances’ is a founding principle of American Democracy. Jessica Lustig
Without care, there is no democracy. George Lakoff
Within 90 days from the time Lincoln that is inaugurated, the Republican Party will be utterly ruined and destroyed. His path is environed with so many difficulties, that even if he had the ability of Jefferson and the energy of Jackson, he would fail, but he is a weak and inexperienced man, and his administration will be doomed from the commencement. If he takes that radical section of the Republican Party, the conservative wing of it will cut loose and repudiate him. If, on the other hand, he courts the conservatives and pursues a moderate conciliatory policy, the radicals will make open war upon his administration. Memphis Daily Appeal
If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. Thomas Jefferson
If we do not have respect for evidence and the truth, then we can't have a democracy. David Brooks
The government that has imprisoned more journalists than any other in the world was democratically elected. Fareed Zakaria