"The evil of democracy is not the triumph of quantity,
but the triumph of bad quality."
Guido De Ruggiero
(1888-1948) Italian philosopher, professor of Italian politics
The History of European Liberalism, II, 1927
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Reader comments about this quote:
Where is the protection of the individual in a Democracy? When the majority votes against the individual, where is the security at law? If the majority decides what laws and rights ARE, then they can decide what they AREN'T. This violates the very premise of INALIENABLE rights. While the rule of the majority is a key to good government, there MUST be other legal/political principles, assumptions, and understandings in operation that protect the individual and minorities from the onslaught of majority oppression.
 -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
  • 2
     -- warren, olathe      
    In a democracy, the people can vote themselves into dependence and slavery (willingly or through trickery) -- and every one else, too. Only in a 'nation of laws' can the individual be protected against the arbitrary will of public opinion. The process of 'governing' should be strictly limited and well-defined within the boudaries of the inalienable rights of humankind.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 2
    In a democracy each of us are free to choose the quality we like for our private lives but must adhere to the quality of the majority in our public lives. Don't confuse private with public. Would we prefer the quality in public life be chosen by some commissar of the republic in charge of public taste or quality?
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
  • 2
    In a democracy you are free to choose nothing. Your neighbors get to choose for you.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 1
    And you get to choose for your neighbors Ken. Should I feel sorry for your neighbors?
     -- Bruce, Smith, Arkansas     
  • 1
    Thankfully, we don't live in a Democracy. The only thing our Congress does is vote itself money (i.e. debt, fiat currency, counterfeit) to line the pockets of those to whom they are beholden and to keep a hold of their office indefinitely. The people pay for it with their lives and their labors. Some democracy! The neighbors have no rights to dictate what another must do -- qualitatively or quantitatively. The idea that they do is purely democratic, autocratic, plutocratic, socialistic, totalitarian, tyrannical, unjust, and by-the-way unlawful. ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
     -- Anonymous      
    Waffler, you are absolutely wrong about private and public. Mob mentality knows no limits. The entirety of your examples are foreign to the laws of nature and of nature's God, constitutional law and the individual sovereign rights of man. As to the quote, I'm not quite sure how quantity and quality serve in the statement given. Just a little awkward.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- jim k, Austin      
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