"A political convention illustrates the workings of majority rule: If the minority in a party advocate a progressive move which is defeated when put to a vote in the convention, the minority are prohibited from advancing it during the campaign; if this minority refuse to advocate what the convention has decided to be right, they are barred from the platform and press, the cry of majority rule is raised against them, and they are called "traitors to the party;" but if they abandon their progressive ideas and advocate the wishes of the majority they are rewarded with office. Thus majority rule develops the dishonest politician: in order to rule sometime, he consents to being ruled at other times. The desire to rule and the willingness to be ruled ends in degradation; and no one who accepts the principles of equal liberty can endorse majority rule."
Charles T. Sprading
(1871-1959) Libertarian activist, writer
Charles T. Sprading's Introduction to Liberty and the Great Libertarians; An Anthology On Liberty; A Hand-book Of Freedom (Los Angeles: The Libertarian Publishing Company, 1913)
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Reader comments about this quote:
Change the word progressive to conservative and you have this year's Republican National Congress.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    He could have been more brief. How about simply saying "politics is the art of the possible"!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Ah yes, "the art of the possible". A quote from good old Texas crook LBJ. Here's one I like from H.L. Mencken. "The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office".
     -- jim k     
    Well Waffler, how about because that is not at all what the quote refers to. It refers to the fact that Democracy in no way represents the individual. That it is mob rule and creates criminals by its very presence...simple enough for ya? ;-)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    A perfect example is how the GOP has been treating Ron Paul for years. The establishment GOP and Demo's are controlled by the uber-wealthy via various 'round tables' and 'councils' that determine which candidates will get millions in support. Nothing was more evident than when Ron Paul won debate after debate with the press and party literally ignoring him completely. Mitt is simply the establishment's choice -- he and Ryan can be counted on to protect the interests of the Federal Reserve, protect and expand entitlement programs like the looming Obamacare -- he is bought and paid for by the same folks that brought us Obama. Ron Paul was prevented from even speaking at the GOP convention because the party changed the rules. The quote is bang on. BTW, 'progressive' had a different meaning in 1913 than it does today. The left has adopted and corrupted the words 'liberal' and 'progressive' to their opposite meanings.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    A very accurate assessment. Said well Carlton, jim, and Archer. The communists way of democratically destroying a country is well represented in Mr. Obamunist Goodwrench the assassin and his party. Mitt has yet to perform at such level as to deserve a descriptive moniker. He and his party's acceptance of the socialist stick's other end (fascism) speaks of fiscal law that would free up prosperity but, the fascist talking heads only talk the talk, they do not walk the walk. While the majority of the 2 ends of the socialist stick beat down a once free people, the degradation continues.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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