"The survival of democracy
depends on the renunciation of violence
and the development of nonviolent means
to combat evil and advance the good."
by:
A. J. Muste
[Abraham Johannes Muste] (1885-1967) professor, minister, socialist, Christian pacifist
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Reader comments about this quote:
some of it is true, some of it is not; way too much double speak
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    This Socialist Moron is alive to make idiotic statements like this by the Blood of better men and women than he.
     -- Dougmcr8, Springfield, VA     
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    Its really very simple... Its us that makes it complicated - but then humans are like that.
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Having democracy among and within the territory required violence to drive out the despot. Democracy within does require the renunciation of violence and a respect for each other and patience with the 51% majority. I agree Mike it is a lousy conglomeration of words.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    As a Socialist, A.J. Muste speaks correctly. Socialism is based on democracy, because there is nothing that matters except for the will of the majority; as opposed to Republics that assume that laws exist outside majority rule. Socialism, as opposed to Communism, is established by due process of laws and statues, and requires mobocracy (democracy).
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    Sounds noble, as most with good intentions usually do. However, this argument is usually used against law-abiding citizens. Hitler was a Christian Socialist elected into office by the German populace. Had the German government been the servants of the People via a republican form of government with a strict limitation of power delegated to the government that explicitly protected the natural-born inalienable rights of its citizens (and the citizens of Germany's neighbors), perhaps Hitler would not have been able to impose totalitarian fascist rule. He did so via 'democractic' methods and for the 'good of Germany' based on 'Christian' ideology. After disarming the populace, Hitler's reign of terror was easy. Let us never forget how it happened nor the political techniques he used to accomplish it, as the same methods are used today in the US to rally Americans into another 'holy war' this time against Islamic peoples (and in fact, any one else who dares to defy tyranny from the US government). Millions of non-Jews were murdered, too, may I remind you, by Hitler and company. Wake up, Christian soldier -- you are being duped.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Archer, a question for you. If Hitler was a Christian, in fact and not just giving lip service to get elected, which of Christ's words (ideology) did he follow? He killed over 10 million Christians because their ideology conflicted with his socialistic / totalitarian form of fascism (an atheist's utopia). I do agree with your last statement "Wake up, Christian soldier -- you are being duped"
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Socialim is an economic concept not a politcal one. Totalitarianism is a polictical concept. Using the word "republic" protects no one. Of course some use it facetiously, and Adams said in 1808 that he never knew what the word meant. Some of our nations best friends are socialists or have socilaist parties cf. Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Australia for example. It is time for America political rhetoric to mature so that we can discuss real issues and real solutions. As far as everyones heroine Ayn Rand I read this, "she was a truculent, domineering cult-leader, whose Objectivist pseudo-philosophy attempts to ensnare adolescents (and I might add not so adolescent) with heroic fiction about righteous capitalists." Archer is partly right because 2000 years of false Christian teaching that Jews killed Jesus fomented by a totalitarian Roman Church gave Hitler and easy politcal stump to climb up on. Many folks will vote for someone who is against their enemy and many considered Jews to be their enemy. Compare the gutter politcis of today where pols blame every thing on the IRS. True Christian teaching my friends is that we, yes you and I, killed Jesus
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Mike, the debate of Christianity can go on forever -- Catholics are 'Christians,' but ask a Baptist and they will say they are papists on their way to hell. If someone calls themself a Christian, are they? Hitler was a self-professed Christian, like GWB, Clinton, Reagan, you name it -- you cannot get elected to the presidency if you do not profess that you are a Christian -- an agnostic with integrity would never have a chance -- such is the hypocrisy of so-called Christians. Do you or I decide whether someone else is Christian or not? Frankly when asked whether I am 'a' Christian, I reply, "I wouldn't dare presume." I prefer the word Christian as an adjective for it is independent of whatever cult one may follow -- I know many atheists and Buddhists whose acts are more Christian than the 'Religious Right'. There will be no settling this issue here. The teachings of Jesus are honorable, and there is much insight and truth in them. But a person running for office with his religion on his sleeve is bogus for if he truly believed in the way of Jesus, he would not need to hold a seat of power to serve. Hence my respect for self-professed Christians dwindles as their acts speak louder than their words. Christianity as a 'get out of hell free card' is a base ideology that I cannot embrace. I believe our Creator asks more of us than that and that he can 'save' whomever he wants however he wants -- that is the grace of God and I do not believe it is to be bartered with. "Judge not lest ye be judged." So all there is left is to take each other at their word, and time will tell. People who merely parrot others' words and views do not interest me. Reason and humility are higher virtues than mere dogma. I do like your take on "Nature's God" though. Respect.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Albert Camus wrote that the only Christian he ever liked was the first one.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Archer, I agree with everything you just wrote, thank you. It is not up to me or anyone else to determine if a third party is Christian. The more one sins, transgresses or commits iniquities, I believe the more that individual would benefit from turning to Christ I can site me as an example. If I stand in a garage, comb oil though my hair, drink a little ethylene glycol, scream honk, and call myself Chevy, does that make me a GM product? Truth is an absolute and, I believe there are many ways to find it. That does not change who the Christ is or what is word was. Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, etc. all have doctrines that define any given truth better than another and within all their ranks are many that perform many charitable acts. As for Hitler, I've not found one place yet (doesn't mean its not there) where he called himself a Christian after his killing machine was fully functional and operating at his sole prejudice. As for Waffler, a small political sect took Jesus to a larger political sect and they killed Him as per local regulation. Waffler, me, the Jews, Rome, no one reading this blog, etc killed Jesus, though we all benefit from the death he gave the world.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I was taught Mike that Jesus died for me and if I was the only person who ever lived Jesus would have died for me, thus I in logic think I can say that I killed Jesus. Enough of this though. (Historical note: the Catholic Chruch Pope has apologized for this erroneous teaching that has caused so much pain.) I am writing back about mobocracy. This country was founded and its rock bottom foundation is based on mobocracy. The Declaration was passed with a super mob of 100%. Every corporate board room, city council, town meeting, clubs that I am aware of from VFW to service clubs, my antique car club are governed by mobocracy. I think people who prefer that things be turned on their heads and we be ruled by the minority are well I am just breathless about what to say next.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Waffler, I'm really sorry your world exists solely within the box of mobocracy. As the quote so accurately depicts, democracy depends on violence. The foundational premise in which codes, rules, statutes etc. are set forth in the many jurisdictions that make up the de jure U.S. does not include, nor does it derive from the majority or the minority. That box doesn't exist in American jurisprudence. An individual, representing many noble sovereigns is to act in concert with other representatives to find the best way to secure the God of Nature's gifted inalienable rights, authorities, powers, privileges, etc. An individual, a minority or a majority can not create law, the God of Nature has already done that. It is up to corporeal man to administer those laws as best secures life, liberty, property, authority, rights, powers, privileges, etc of the individual. A full recognition of the individual sovereign, king and caesar is in all ways out of the box, developing the only nonviolent means to combat evil and advance the good.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- warren, olathe      
    Mobocracy is Warren's word. What BS you utter Warren. You brought up the term mobocracy on this site. Elections in this country in city councils, corporate board rooms, clubs, and everywhere else are predicated upon the 51% rule. Have you never heard of one man one vote. This does not say that the 51% can take away inalienable rights. But for you to call those persons who you may disagree with and in relation to whom you hold the minority position, for you to call them a mob is sheer childish nonsense. I don't know your political persuasion but as we know the Congress of the House and Senate held a preponderance of Republicans until the election of 2006. I heard no one refer to the prior Congress which was of the Presidents Party a mob rule congress. When the parties changed hands in 2006 I heard some folks start to talk about mob rule. Now let us stop being childish shall we. What the heck are you reading Mike, the quote says democracy depends on the renunciation of violence, and you say "democracy depends on vilolence". what ever is going on here? There are very few regulars on this site and it is easy to understand why. It is a little like being in a nut house.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Waffler, lol, thank you very much, I will take that as a compliment. I don't know how many ways it can be explained to you. I will use the word majority for you. In a Republic, majority vote determines who will represent the individual sovereign. In a Democracy, the majority vote determines who will represent the intangible totalitarian state. In a Republic, a majority of said representatives vote determines the best way to safeguard the God of Nature's laws which include the individual sovereign's life, liberty, property, happiness, authority, rights, power, privileges, etc., etc., etc. through codes, regulations, and statutes. In a Democracy, a majority of the State's representatives vain claim the ability to create law to best secure the State's perceived interest and define those laws by rules, codes, statutes. A Democracy calls all of their acts law. Only God can create law. Certain laws, such as gravity, are self justifying. Other laws, such as fiscal laws, are left to the administration of corporeal man. A Republic is a government of laws. A Democracy is a government of men. The 2 political parties in question are two ends of the same democratic oligarchical stick. Neither resemble or represent a Republic. Compelled compliance, theft of the noble laborer's fruit, license, forced ID/insurance/charity, printing of funny money, rules banning regulation and other self preservation arms, etc. are all functions of a Democracy, not a Republic. A Republic has no inherent rights, but duties only. A Democracy, as the voice of the majority, may claim all rights, privileges, property, etc. as at its sole discretion seems most beneficiary at the time. A democratic PROCESS does not necessarily determine a Democracy. Mobocracy excels even when the GOP is in the majority. For the editor, I will say no more here.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Republic and Democracy are not mutually exclusive terms. The debate is futile. The word Republic denotes soverignity, . Thus the subdivisions of the United States are not called Republics. Texas was a Republic until it joined the Union then it became a state. Virtually every nation in the world calls itself a republic. Democracy is a different concept than Republic and they are not in opposition to each other. Thus when Wilson said he was going to make the world safe, he did not say "safe for republics" but "safe for democracy", when Bush said he wanted to create a new type of government or society in Iraq to be an example to the Arab world, he did not say that he wanted to create an Iraq Republic but an Iraq DEMOCRACY. I have no belief that you will drop your mantra Mike.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Why should Mike drop his mantra -- especially when he is right? You've got a few things right, Waffler, "The word Republic denotes sovereignty" -- absolutely right. "[Bush] did not say that he wanted to create an Iraq Republic but an Iraq DEMOCRACY." Correct, read the Iraqi Constitution, it is not a republican form of government, and it is not declared by the People -- it is completely backwards -- the government grants rights (and can take them away). "Texas was a Republic..." -- correct, and still is. So is the Republic of California, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, New York State, and ALL the sovereign states of the USA. States do NOT give up their sovereignty by joining the Union -- our government is Federal, not National -- there is a difference and the Founders knew what it was (I suggest you look it up). Each state Constitution guarantees a Republican form of government, not democratic. We do not vote for President, we vote for electors -- again, there is a difference. Waffler, you are wrong (I doubt you will ever admit it.) We are a nation of laws, and the Constitution is the contract between the People and their representatives. The People are sovereign, the government IS NOT! Here are a couple quotes to chew on:

    "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a republican form of government." -- US Constitution, , Art. IV

    "If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws." -- Alexander Hamilton

    "Absolute, arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic, not even in the largest majority." -- Wyoming Declaration of Rights Art. I, Sec. 7 (also Kentucky Declaration of Rights - Art. I, Sec. 2)

    "Democracy, n.:
    - A government of the masses.
    - Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of direct expression.
    - Results in mobocracy.
    - Attitude toward property is communistic... negating property rights.
    - Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences.
    - Result is demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, [chaos]." -- U. S. Army Training Manual No. 2000-25, US War Department, Washington, D.C., November 30, 1928

    "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." -- John Adams (he may not have known what a republic was, but he sure knew what a democracy was)

    "The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to everyone exactly the functions in which he is competent ...
    - To let the National Government be entrusted with the defense of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations ...
    - The State Governments with the Civil Rights, Laws, Police and administration of what concerns the State generally.
    - The Counties with the local concerns, and each ward direct the interests within itself.
    It is by dividing and subdividing these Republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations until it ends in the administration of everyman's farm by himself, by placing under everyone what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best." -- Thomas Jefferson

    OK, Waffler, do your worst, but at least back up your argument with facts. If "the truth shall set you free" what then does that which is not true do? There is no dishonor in admitting you have learned something.
     -- E Archer, NYC     

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     -- Anonymous      
    A. J. Muste is incorrectly identified as a socialist. Muste was critical of socialism, communism, and marxism.
     -- John, Pasadena, CA     
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