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Famous Quotes about Liberty
 

 
Famous quotes, quotations, sayings, phrases, idioms, proverbs, and axioms about Liberty and the Responsibility that comes with it. 
 


The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

A classic since 1953 with over 20,000 quotes from over 3,000 authors.


Famous Last Words

Apt Observations, Pleas, Curses, Benedictions, Sour Notes, Bons Mots, and Insights from People on the Brink of Departure


Stretch Your Wings

Famous Black Quotations for the Young


American Quotations

An exhaustive collection of profound quotes from the founding fathers, presidents, statesmen, scientists, constitutions, court decisions


The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations


Last Words of Saints and Sinners

700 Final Quotes from the Famous, the Infamous, and the Inspiring Figures of History


America's God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations

Contains over 2,100 profound quotations from founding fathers, presidents, constitutions, court decisions and more


The Law

This 1850 classic is an absolute must read for anyone interested in law, justice, truth, or liberty. A most compelling and revolutionary look at The Law.


Bartlett's Familiar Quotations

A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature (17th Edition)


The Stupidest Things Ever Said by Politicians

Rise up, America -- and laugh out loud at the greatest gaffes that no spin doctor could possibly fix!


The 776 Even Stupider Things Ever Said

Another great collection of stupidity


Quotable Quotes

Wit and Wisdom for All Occasions from America's Most Popular Magazine


The Most Brilliant Thoughts of All Time

You don't have to be a genius to sound like one. Here's a collection of the most profound and provocative wit and wisdom in the English language in two lines or less.


2,715 One-Line Quotations for Speakers, Writers & Raconteurs

Invaluable sampler of witticisms, epigrams, sayings, bon mots, platitudes and insights chosen for their brevity and pithiness.


Phillips' Book of Great Thoughts Funny Sayings

A stupendous collection of quotes, quips, epigrams, witticisms, and humorous comments for personal enjoyment and ready reference.


Quick Quips and Quotes; 532 Things I Wish I Had Said

Quick Quips and Quotes is the Ultimate Collection of one liners.


Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes

The ultimate anthology of anecdotes, now revised with over 700 new entries.


Quotations for Public Speakers

A Historical, Literary, and Political Anthology


Liberty - The American Revolution

This compelling series traces the events leading up to the war and America's fight for freedom.


Founding Fathers

The story of how these disparate characters fomented rebellion in the colonies, formed the Continental Congress, fought the Revolutionary War, and wrote the Constitution


Libertarianism: A Primer

David Boaz, director of the Cato Institute, has written a simple introduction to Libertarianism inteneded to appeal to disgruntled Democrats and Republicans everywhere.


The Libertarian Reader

Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao-Tzu to Milton Friedman


Thomas Paine: Collected Writings

All the classics: Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters

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Dean AchesonThe limitations imposed by democratic political practices makes it difficult to conduct our foreign affairs in the national interest.
Lord ActonThe most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.
Lord ActonBy liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes is his duty against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion.
Lord ActonIt is bad to be oppressed by a minority,
but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority.
John AdamsWere I to define the British constitution, therefore, I should say, it is a limited monarchy, or a mixture of the three forms of government commonly known in the schools, reserving as much of the monarchical splendor, the aristocratical independency, and the democratical freedom, as are necessary that each of these powers may have a control, both in legislation and execution, over the other two, for the preservation of the subject's liberty.
John AdamsIf a majority are capable of preferring their own private interest, or that of their families, counties, and party, to that of the nation collectively, some provision must be made in the constitution, in favor of justice, to compel all to respect the common right, the public good, the universal law, in preference to all private and partial considerations... And that the desires of the majority of the people are often for injustice and inhumanity against the minority, is demonstrated by every page of history... To remedy the dangers attendant upon the arbitrary use of power, checks, however multiplied, will scarcely avail without an explicit admission some limitation of the right of the majority to exercise sovereign authority over the individual citizen... In popular governments [democracies], minorities [individuals] constantly run much greater risk of suffering from arbitrary power than in absolute monarchies...
John AdamsDemocracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man’s life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few.
John AdamsRemember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
John Adamsno good government but what is republican...
the very definition of a republic is
'an empire of laws, and not of men.'
John AdamsEvery citizen must look up to the laws, as his master, his guardian, and his friend; and whenever any of his fellow citizens, whether magistrates or subjects, attempt to deprive him of his right, he must appeal to the laws; if the aristocracy encroach, he must appeal to the democracy; if they are divided, he must appeal to the monarchical power to decide between them, by joining with that which adheres to the laws; if the democracy is on the scramble for power, he must appeal to the aristocracy, and the monarchy, which by uniting may restrain it. If the regal authority presumes too far, he must appeal to the other two. Without three divisions of power, stationed to watch each other, and compare each other's conduct with the laws, it will be impossible that the laws should at all times preserve their authority, and govern all men.
John Quincy AdamsAlways vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
Samuel AdamsIt does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.
Saul AlinskyA free and open society is an ongoing conflict, interrupted periodically by compromises.
Woody AllenWe stand today at a crossroads: One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other leads to total extinction. Let us hope we have the wisdom to make the right choice.
Fisher AmesLiberty has never lasted long in a democracy, nor has it ever ended in anything better than despotism.
Fisher Ames[O]ur sages in the great [constitutional] convention...
intended our government should be a republic
which differs more widely from a democracy
than a democracy from a despotism.
The rigours of a despotism often... oppress only a few,
but it is the very essence and nature of a democracy,
for a faction claiming to oppress a minority, and
that minority the chief owners of the property
and truest lovers of their country.
Amnesty InternationalThe USA was founded in the name of democracy, equality and individual freedom, but is failing to deliver the fundamental promise of protecting rights for all.
AristotleA democracy is a government in the hands of men of low birth, no property, and vulgar employments.
AristotleDemocracy arose from men thinking that if they are equal in any respect they are equal in all respects.
AristotleIt is the greatest inequality to try to make unequal things equal.
AristotleThe basis of a democratic state is liberty.
Clement AtleeDemocracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking.
Marcus AureliusThe object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
Walter BagehotA democratic despotism is like a theocracy: it assumes its own correctness.
Sarah Evans BarkerTo permit every interest group, especially those who claim to be victimized by unfair expression, their own legislative exceptions to the First Amendment so long as they succeed in obtaining a majority of legislative votes in their favor demonstrates the potentially predatory nature of what defendants seek through this Ordinance.
Alan BarthThought that is silenced is always rebellious. Majorities, of course, are often mistaken. This is why the silencing of minorities is necessarily dangerous. Criticism and dissent are the indispensable antidote to major delusions.
Bruce BartlettDemocrats will play the old Washington game of calling reductions in the rate of growth of spending for any program a 'cut'.
Georges BernanosCivilization exists precisely so that there may be no masses but rather men alert enough never to constitute masses.
Edward BernaysThe conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
Edward BernaysThe conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.
Ambrose BierceVote: The instrument and symbol of a free man's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
Ambrose BiercePolitics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
Ambrose BierceAn election is nothing more than the advanced auction of stolen goods.
Niels BohrThe best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness.
Neal BoortzI can’t think of anything that would do more toward putting us back on the road to liberty and personal responsibility than for the average American, and for the news media, to come to the understanding that we are not a democracy, nor were we supposed to be.
Neal BoortzOur founding fathers detested the idea of a democracy and labored long to prevent America becoming one.  Once again -- the word 'democracy' does not appear in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, or the constitution of any of the fifty states.  Not once. Furthermore, take a look at State of the Union speeches.  You won’t find the 'D' word uttered once until the Wilson years.
Kenneth BouldingA world of unseen dictatorship is conceivable, still using the forms of democratic government.
James BovardDemocracy must be something more than two
wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisWe 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.
David BroderAnybody that wants
the Presidency so much
that he'll spend two years
organizing and campaigning for it
is not to be trusted
with the office.
Giordano BrunoIt is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.
James BuchananI like the noise of democracy.
Patrick J. BuchananWe are thus in the position of having to borrow from Europe to defend Europe, of having to borrow from China and Japan to defend Chinese and Japanese access to Gulf oil, and of having to borrow from Arab emirs, sultans and monarchs to make Iraq safe for democracy. We borrow from the nations we defend so that we may continue to defend them. To question this is an unpardonable heresy called 'isolationism.'
William F. Buckley, Jr.We are so concerned to flatter the majority that we lose sight of how very often it is necessary, in order to preserve freedom for the minority, let alone for the individual, to face that majority down.
Justice Warren E. BurgerThere can be no assumption that today’s majority is “right” and the Amish or others like them are “wrong.” A way of life that is odd or even erratic but interferes with no right or interests of others is not to be condemned because it is different.
Edmund BurkeTo govern according to the sense and agreement of the interests of the people is a great and glorious object of governance. This object cannot be obtained but through the medium of popular election, and popular election is a mighty evil.
Edmund BurkeYour representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
Edmund BurkeThe tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.
John C. CalhounTo maintain the ascendancy of the Constitution over the lawmaking majority is the great and essential point on which the success of the [American] system must depend; unless that ascendancy can be preserved, the necessary consequence must be that the laws will supersede the Constitution; and, finally, the will of the Executive, by influence of its patronage, will supersede the laws ...
John C. CalhounThe government of the absolute majority is but the government of the strongest interests; and when not effectively checked, is the most tyrannical and oppressive that can be devised... [To read the Constitution is to realize that] no free system was ever farther removed from the principle that the absolute majority, without check or limitation, ought to govern.
John C. CalhounStripped of all its covering, the naked question is, whether ours is a federal or consolidated government;
a constitutional or absolute one; a government resting solidly on the basis of the sovereignty of the States,
or on the unrestrained will of a majority; a form of government, as in all other unlimited ones, in which injustice, violence, and force must ultimately prevail.
Al CaponeRemember to vote early -- and often.
Orson Scott CardIf pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side.
Thomas CarlyleDemocracy is, by the nature of it, a self-canceling buisness: and gives in the long run a net result of zero.
Andrew CarnegieThere is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.
Jonathan D. CasperThe freedom to express varying and often opposing ideas is essential to a variety of conceptions of democracy. If democracy is viewed as essentially a process – a way in which collective decisions for a society are made – free expression is crucial to the openness of the process and to such characteristics as elections, representation of interests, and the like.
Carrie Chapman CattThere are two kinds of restrictions on human liberty -- the restraint of law and that of custom. No written law has ever been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
Zechariah Chafee, Jr.The real value of freedom is not to the minority that wants to talk but to the majority that does not want to listen.
Zechariah Chafee, Jr.The real value of freedom is not to the minority that wants to talk, but to the majority that does not want to listen.
Noam ChomskyIn this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued - they may be essential to survival.
John ChubbDemocracy is essentially coercive. The winner gets to use public authority to impose their policies on the losers.
Sir Winston ChurchillThe best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
Sir Winston ChurchillDemocracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.
Robert CirinoOur major mistakes have not been the result of democracy, but of the erosion of democracy made possible by the mass media’s manipulation of public opinion.
Ramsey ClarkBut 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.
Bill ClintonThe purpose of government is to rein in the rights of the people.
Bill ClintonThe Bush administration continues to coddle China, despite its continuing crackdown on democratic reform, its brutal subjugation of Tibet, its irresponsible export of nuclear and missile technology... Such forbearance on our part might have made sense during the Cold War when China was the counterweight to Soviet power. It makes no sense to play the China card now when our opponents have thrown in their hand.
Paulo CoelhoThe person who is right is the person who is the strongest, in this case, paradoxically, it's the cowards who are the brave ones, and they manage to impose their ideas on everyone else.
Mark B. CohenNothing can so alienate a voter from the political system as backing a winning candidate.
Henry Steele CommagerEvery effort to confine Americanism to a single pattern, to constrain it to a single formula, is disloyalty to everything that is valid in Americanism.
James Fenimore CooperThe disposition of all power is to abuses, nor does it at all mend the matter that its possessors are a majority. Unrestrained political authority, though it be confided to masses, cannot be trusted without positive limitations, men in bodies being but an aggregation of the passions, weaknesses and interests of men as individuals.
James Fenimore CooperThe tendency of democracies is, in all things, to mediocrity.
Alan CorenkDemocracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear.
Florida Supreme CourtWe consistently have adhered to the principle that the will of the people is the paramount consideration. Our goal today…[is] to reach the result that reflects the will of the voters…. The laws are intended to facilitate and safeguard the right of each voter to express his or her will in the context of our representative democracy. Technical statutory requirements must not be exalted over the substance of this right.
David Cushman CoyleDemocracy needs more free speech for even the speech of foolish people is valuable if it serves to guarantee the right of the wise to talk.
Frank DaneGet all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything.
Clarence S. DarrowWhen I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.
Jefferson DavisNeither current events nor history show that the majority rule, or ever did rule.
Anthony de JasayHaving gathered all power to itself, [the State] has become the sole focus of all conflict, and it must construct totalitarian defences to match its total exposure.
Anthony de JasayPeople who live in states have as a rule never experienced
the state of nature and vice-versa, and have no practical
possibility of moving from the one to the other ...
On what grounds, then, do people form hypotheses
about the relative merits of state and state of nature? ...
My contention here is that preferences for political arrangements of society are
to a large extent produced by these very arrangements, so that
political institutions are either addictive like some drugs,
or allergy-inducing like some others, or both,
for they may be one thing for some people and the other for others.
Bertrand de JouvenelDemocracy, then, in the centralizing, pattern-making, absolutist shape which we have given to it is, it is clear, the time of tyranny's incubation.
Salvador de MadariagaHe is free who knows how to keep in his own hand the power to decide, at each step, the course of his life, and who lives in a society which does not block the exercise of that power.
Guido De RuggieroThe evil of democracy is not the triumph of quantity, but the triumph of bad quality.
Antoine De Saint-ExuperyTrue, it is evil that a single man should crush the herd, but see not there the worse form of slavery, which is when the herd crushes out the man.
Alexis de TocquevilleQuand donc je refuse d'obéir à une loi injuste, je ne dénie point à la majorité le droit de commander; j'en appelle seulement de la souveraineté du peuple à la souveraineté du genre humain. Il y a des gens qui n'ont pas craint de dire qu'un peuple, dans les objets qui n'intéressaient que lui-même, ne pouvait sortir entièrement des limites de la justice et de la raison, et qu'ainsi on ne devait pas craindre de donner tout pouvoir à la majorité qui le représente. Mais c'est là un langage d'esclave.
Alexis de TocquevilleDemocracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
Alexis de TocquevilleAll those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.
Alexis de TocquevilleIn order to enjoy the inestimable benefits that the liberty of the press ensures, it is necessary to submit to the inevitable evils it creates…
Alexis de TocquevilleI am far from denying that newspapers in democratic countries lead citizens to do very ill-considered things in common; but without newspapers there would be hardly any common action at all. So they mend many more ills than they cause.
Alexis de TocquevilleAmericans 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[T]he main evil of the present democratic institutions of the united states does not raise, as is often asserted in Europe, from their weakness, but from their irresistible strength. I am not so much alarmed at the excessive liberty which reigns in that country as at the inadequate securities which one finds there against tyranny.
Alexis de Tocqueville[Some people] have a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom. I believe that it is easier to establish an absolute and despotic government amongst a people in which the conditions of society are equal, than amongst any other; and I think that, if such a government were once established amongst such a people, it would not only oppress men, but would eventually strip each of them of several of the highest qualities of humanity. Despotism, therefore, appears to me peculiarly to be dreaded in democratic times.
Alexis de TocquevilleDemocracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
Eugene DebsThey have always taught and trained you to believe it to be your patriotic duty to go to war and to have yourselves slaughtered at their command. But in all the history of the world you, the people, have never had a voice in declaring war, and strange as it certainly appears, no war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people.
DemosthenesThere is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to democracies as against despots. What is it? Distrust.
DemosthenesThere are all kinds of devices invented for the protection and preservation of countries: defensive barriers, forts, trenches, and the like... But prudent minds have as a natural gift one safeguard which is the common possession of all, and this applies especially to the dealings of democracies. What is this safeguard? Skepticism. This you must preserve. This you must retain. If you can keep this, you need fear no harm.
John G. DiefenbakerI am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.
Benjamin DisraeliThe world is weary of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians.
Benjamin DisraeliIf you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of the public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of the public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence. You will in due season find your property is less valueable, and your freedom less complete.
Benjamin DisraeliDemagogues and agitators are very unpleasant, they are incidental to a free and constitutional country, and you must put up with these inconveniences or do without many important advantages.
James Frank DobieConform and be dull.
Justice William O. DouglasThe First Amendment makes confidence in the common sense of our people and in the maturity of their judgment the great postulate of our democracy.
John DrydenThe most may err as grossly as the few.
Will DurantForced to choose, the poor, like the rich, love money more than political liberty; and the only political freedom capable of enduring is one that is so pruned as to keep the rich from denuding the poor by ability or subtlety and the poor from robbing the rich by violence or votes.
Richard M. EbelingDemocracy in itself does not define or guarantee a free society. History has told many stories of democratic societies that have degenerated into corruption, plunder, and tyranny.
Barbara EhrenreichThat's free enterprise, friends: freedom to gamble, freedom to lose. And the great thing -- the truly democratic thing about it -- is that you don't even have to be a player to lose.
Albert EinsteinThe ruling class has the schools and press under its thumb. This enables it to sway the emotions of the masses.
Ralph Waldo EmersonDemocracy is morose, and runs to anarchy.
Thomas I. EmersonThe Right of all members of society to form their own beliefs and communicate them freely to others must be regarded as an essential principle of a democratically organized society.
M. Stanton EvansOnce 'our people' get themselves into a position to make policy, they cease being 'our people'.
Marshall FieldIf a blending of individualism and of cooperative participation is a prerequisite to a democratic solution of the problems of a society of free men, it must also be noted that an atmosphere of freedom is required if these problems are to be met constructively and as they arise.
E. M. ForsterTwo cheers for democracy; one because it admits variety and two because it permits criticism.
Benjamin FranklinDemocracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!
Benjamin FranklinWhen the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.
Benjamin FranklinOutside Independence Hall when
the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended,
Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin,
"Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?"
With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded,
"A republic, if you can keep it.
James Anthony FroudeEnglish character and English freedom depend comparatively little on
the form which the Constitution assumes at Westminster. A centralised
democracy may be as tyrannical as an absolute monarch; and if the vigour
of the nation is to continue unimpaired, each individual, each family,
each district, must preserve as far as possible its independence, its
self-completeness, its powers and its privilege to manage its own
affairs and think its own thoughts.
Rocco Galati19 terrorists in 6 weeks have been able to command 300 million North Americans to do away with the entirety of their civil liberties that took 700 years to advance from the Magna Carta onward. The terrorists have already won the political and ideological war with one terrorist act. It is mindboggling that we are that weak as a society.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiIn matters of conscience, the law of majority has no place.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiWhat difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless,
whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism
or the holy name of liberty and democracy?
William Lloyd GarrisonAre right and wrong convertible terms, dependant upon popular opinion?
Elbridge GerryThe evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots.
Barry GoldwaterHow did it happen? How did our national government grow from a servant with sharply limited powers into a master with virtually unlimited power? In part, we were swindled. There are occasions when we have elevated men and political parties to power that promised to restore limited government and then proceeded, after their election, to expand the activities of government. But let us be honest with ourselves. Broken promises are not the major causes of our trouble. Kept promises are. All too often we have put men in office who have suggested spending a little more on this, a little more on that, who have proposed a new welfare program, who have thought of another variety of 'security.' We have taken the bait, preferring to put off to another day the recapture of freedom and the restoration of our constitutional system. We have gone the way of many a democratic society that has lost its freedom by persuading itself that if 'the people' rule, all is well.
Mikhail GorbachevGentlemen, comrades, do not be concerned about all you hear about Glasnost and Perestroika and democracy in the coming years. They are primarily for outward consumption. There will be no significant internal changes in the Soviet Union, other than for cosmetic purposes. Our purpose is to disarm the Americans and let them fall asleep.
Mikhail GorbachevThose who hope that we shall move away from the socialist path will be greatly disappointed. Every part of our program of perestroika … is fully based on the principle of more socialism and more democracy. ... I would like to be clearly understood ... we, the Soviet people, are for socialism. ... We want more socialism and, therefore, more democracy. ... More socialism means more democracy, openness and collectivism in everyday life. … We will proceed toward better socialism rather than away from it. We are saying this honestly, without trying to fool our own people or the world. Any hopes that we will begin to build a different, non-socialist society and go over to the other camp are unrealistic and futile. Those in the West who expect us to give up socialism will be disappointed. ... It’s my conviction that the human race has entered a stage where we are all dependent on each other. No other country or nation should be regarded in total separation from another, let alone pitted against another. That’s what our communist vocabulary calls internationalism and it means promoting universal human values.
Benjamin GrahamYou are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right.
Gus HallSocialism in America will come through the ballot box.
Alexander HamiltonAll communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and the well-born; the other the mass of the people ... turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the Government ... Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy.
Sydney J. HarrisDemocracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be.
Thom HartmannEvery culture and every religion of what we call the civilized world carries, in one form or another, a mythos or story about a time in the past or future when humans lived or will live in peace and harmony. Whether it's referred to as Valhalla or Eden, Shambala or 'A Thousand Years of Peace,' the Satya Yuga or Jannat, stories of past or coming times of paradise go hand-in-hand with hierarchical cultures. Such prophecies were clearly in the minds of America's Founders when they first discussed integrating Greek ideas of democracy, Roman notions of a republic, Masonic utopian ideals, and the Iroquois Federation's constitutionally organized egalitarian society, which was known to Jefferson, Washington, Adams, and Franklin. The creation of the United States of America brought into the world a dramatic new experiment in how people could live together in a modern state.
Friedrich August von HayekIt is always from a minority acting in ways different from what the majority would prescribe that the majority in the end learns to do better.
Friedrich August von HayekWhen it becomes dominated by a collectivist creed, democracy will inevitably destroy itself.
Friedrich August von HayekPerhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one's government is not necessarily to secure freedom.
Friedrich August von HayekThe system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.
Friedrich August von HayekI am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
Friedrich August von HayekIt is only because the majority opinion will always be opposed by some that our knowledge and understanding progress. In the process by which opinion is formed, it is very probable that, by the time any view becomes a majority view, it is no longer the best view: somebody will already have advanced beyond the point which the majority have reached. It is because we do not yet know which of the many competing new opinions will prove itself the best that we wait until it has gained sufficient support.
Friedrich August von HayekBy giving the government unlimited powers, the most arbitrary rule can be made legal; and in this way a democracy may set up the most complete despotism imaginable.
Helen HegenerOur tightly controlled educational system mocks the promise of democracy. With a closed educational system we simply cannot have an open political system. The current situation allows the government and big business to manufacture and maintain our culture for us, and in turn, control remains in the hands of the experts and institutions. The ability to change this situation is in the hands of the individuals and families who understand why change is necessary.
Robert A. HeinleinPolitical tags -- such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth -- are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
Auberon HerbertSocialism is but Catholicism addressing itself
not to the soul but to the sense of men...
[Both implore you to] accept authority,
accept the force which it employs,
resign yourself to all-powerful managers,
give up the free choice and the free act...
They both seek to sacrifice man.
Auberon HerbertHow should it happen that the individual should be without rights,
but the combination of individuals should possess unlimited rights?
Auberon HerbertAnd what sort of philosophical doctrine is this -- that numbers confer unlimited rights, that they take from some persons all rights over themselves, and vest these rights in others. ... How, then, can the rights of three men exceed the rights of two men? In what possible way can the rights of three men absorb the rights of two men, and make them as if they had never existed. ... It is not possible to suppose, without absurdity, that a man should have no rights over his own body and mind, and yet have a 1/10,000,000th share in unlimited rights over all other bodies and minds?
Adolf HitlerNational Socialism is what Marxism might have been if it could have broken its absurd and artificial ties with the democratic order.
Eric HofferIt is maintained that a society is free only when dissenting minorities have room to throw their weight around. As a matter of fact, 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 HofferWhen people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.
Eric HofferAbsolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity.
Harry H. HoilesThere is no such thing as a majority right. Only those who understand and act according to this principle can promote true freedom.
Hans-Hermann HoppeIf the right to vote were expanded to seven year olds ... its policies would most definitely reflect the ‘legitimate concerns’ of children to have ‘adequate’ and ‘equal’ access to ‘free’ french fries, lemonade and videos.
Justice Charles Evans HughesWhile democracy must have its organizations and controls, its vital breath is individual liberty.
Samuel HuntingtonSome of the problems of governance in the United States today stem from an excess of democracy ... The effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and non-involvement on the part of some individuals and groups.
Henrik IbsenThe majority is never right. Never, I tell you! That's one of these lies in society that no free and intelligent man can ever help rebelling against. Who are the people that make up the biggest proportion of the population -- the intelligent ones or the fools? I think we can agree it's the fools, no matter where you go in this world, it's the fools that form the overwhelming majority.
Illinois Supreme CourtIt is precisely for the protection of the minority that constitutional limitations exist. Majorities need no such protection. They can take care of themselves.
Justice Robert H. JacksonIf there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.
Justice Robert H. JacksonThe very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.
Justice Robert H. JacksonIn our country are evangelists and zealots of many different political, economic and religious persuasions whose fanatical conviction is that all thought is divinely classified into two kinds -- that which is their own and that which is false and dangerous.
John JayProvidence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.
Thomas JeffersonChoice by the people themselves is not generally distinguished for its wisdom.
Thomas JeffersonThe democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
Thomas JeffersonAn elective despotism was not the government we fought for, but one which should not only be founded on true free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among general bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.
Thomas JeffersonBear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
Thomas JeffersonI could think of no worse example for nations abroad, who for the first time were trying to put free electoral procedures into effect, than that of the United States wrangling over the results of our presidential election, and even suggesting that the presidency itself could be stolen by thievery at the ballot box.
Thomas JeffersonA government is republican in proportion as every member composing it has his equal voice in the direction of its concerns, not indeed in person, which would be impracticable beyond the limits of a city or small township, but by representatives chosen by himself and responsible to him at short periods.
Thomas JeffersonThe majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.
Thomas JeffersonA democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.
Thomas JeffersonA morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable.
Thomas JeffersonParties are... censors of the conduct of each other, and useful watchmen for the public. Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise, depository of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, ...Whigs and Tories, Republicans and Federalists, Aristocrats and Democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still, and pursue the same object.
Thomas JeffersonThe majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.
Thomas JeffersonNo man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it.
Walter H. JuddPeople often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote -- a very different thing.
Carl Gustav JungResistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.
Otto Hermann KahnThe deadliest foe of democracy is not autocracy but liberty frenzied.
Jack KempDemocracy without morality is impossible.
Robert F. KennedyAt the heart of western freedom and democracy is the belief that the individual man... is the touchstone of value, and all society, groups, the state, exist for his benefit. Therefore the enlargement of liberty for individual human beings must be the supreme goal and abiding practice of any western society.
Kentucky Declaration of Rights - Art. I, Sec. 2Absolute, arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic, not even in the largest majority.
Alan KeyesThe act of voting is one opportunity for us to remember that our whole way of life is predicated on the capacity of ordinary people to judge carefully and well.
Soren KierkegaardTruth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion -- and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinion ... while Truth again reverts to a new minority.
William Lyon Mackenzie KingOnce a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit,
it matters not who makes the nations laws. Usury, once in control,
will wreck any nation. Until the control of the issue of currency
and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most sacred
responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of parliament and
of democracy is idle and futile.
Michael KinsleyAnything that keeps a politician humble is healthy for democracy.
Dr. David KortenDemocracy is based on the principle of one person, one vote. The market functions on the principle of one dollar, one vote. Consequently, under conditions of unequal economic power, a society ruled by the market is a society ruled by those who have the most money—the antithesis of democracy.
Irving KristolDemocracy does not guarantee equality of conditions -- it only guarantees equality of opportunity.
Harper LeeThe one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.
Max LernerThe Seven Deadly Sins of the Press:

- Concentrated Power of the Big Press.
- Passing of competition and the coming of monopoly.
- Governmental control of the press.
- Timidity, especially in the face of group and corporate pressures.
- Big Business mentality.
- Clannishness among the newspaper publishers that has prevented them from criticizing each other.
- Social blindness.
Murray B. LevinNo truly sophisticated proponent of repression would be stupid enough to shatter the façade of democratic institutions.
Ludwig LewisohnDemocracy, which began by liberating man politically, has developed a dangerous tendency to enslave him through the tyranny of majorities and the deadly power of their opinion.
Abraham LincolnAs I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.
This expresses my idea of democracy.
Abraham LincolnBallots are the rightful, and peaceful, successors of bullets; and that when ballots have fairly, and constitutionally, decided, there can be no successful appeal, back to bullets; that there can be no successful appeal, except to ballots themselves, at succeeding elections.
Abraham LincolnIf by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution.
Walter LippmannIn a democracy, the opposition is not only tolerated as constitutional, but must be maintained because it is indispensable.
Walter LippmannIt is the very essence of despotism that it can never afford to fail. This is what distinguishes it most vitally from democracy. In a despotism there is no organized opposition which can take over the power when the Administration in office has failed. All the eggs are in one basket. Everything is staked on one coterie of men. When the going is good, they move more quickly and efficiently than democracies, where the opposition has to be persuaded and conciliated. But when they lose, there are no reserves. There are no substitutes on the bench ready to go out on the field and carry the ball. That is why democracies with the habit of party government have outlived all other forms of government in the modern world. They have, as it were, at least two governments always at hand, and when one fails they have the other. They have diversified the risks of mortality, corruption, and stupidity which pervade all human affairs. They have remembered that the most beautifully impressive machine cannot run for very long unless there is available a complete supply of spare parts.
Walter LippmannThe 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 the roar of a bewildered herd.
John LockeThe power of the legislative being derived from the people by a positive voluntary grant and institution, can be no other than what that positive grant conveyed, which being only to make laws, and not to make legislators, the legislative can have no power to transfer their authority of making laws, and place it in other hands.
John LockeTis a Mistake to think this Fault [tyranny] is proper only to Monarchies; other Forms of Government are liable to it, as well as that.
For where-ever the Power that is put in any hands for the Government of the People, and the Preservation of their Properties, is applied to other ends,
and made use of to impoverish, harass, or subdue them to the Arbitrary and Irregular Commands of those that have it: There it presently becomes
Tyranny, whether those that thus use it are one or many.
Russell LongDemocracy is like a raft. It won't sink, but you'll always have your feet wet.
James Russell LowellDemocracy gives every man the right to be his own oppressor.
Theodore LowiParticipation is an instrument of conquest because it encourages people to give their consent to being governed. ... Deeply embedded in people's sense of fair play is the principle that those who play the game must accept the outcome. Those who participate in politics are similarly committed, even if they are consistently on the losing side. Why do politicians plead with everyone to get out and vote? Because voting is the simplest and easiest form of participation by masses of people. Even though it is minimal participation, it is sufficient to commit all voters to being governed, regardless of who wins.
LucanusAll go free when multitudes offend.
[Lat., Quicquid multis peccatur inultum est.]
Thomas Babington MacaulayInstitutions purely democratic must, sooner, or later, destroy liberty or civilization or both.
Thomas Babington MacaulayI have long been convinced that institutions purely democratic must, sooner or later, destroy liberty, or civilization, or both.
Thomas Babington MacaulayAmerican democracy must be a failure because it places the supreme authority in the hands of the poorest and most ignorant part of the society.
James MadisonThere is no maxim in my opinion which is more liable to be misapplied, and which therefore needs elucidation than the current one that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong…. In fact it is only reestablishing under another name and a more specious form, force as the measure of right….
James MadisonLandholders ought to have a share in the government to support these invaluable interests and check the other many. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.
James MadisonDemocracies 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 MadisonA pure democracy ... can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction.  A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party...  Hence it is that democracies 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 thier deaths.
James MadisonDemocracies 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 death.
James MadisonA republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union.
James MadisonFrom this view of the subject, it may be concluded, that a pure Democracy, by which I mean a society, consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the Government in person, can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will in almost every case, be felt by the majority of the whole; a communication and concert results from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party, or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is, that such 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. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed, that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.
James MadisonThere is no maxim, in my opinion, which is more liable to be misapplied, and which, therefore, more needs elucidation, than the current, that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.
James MadisonComplaints are every where heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable; that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties; and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice, and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.
James MadisonWherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments the real power lies in the majority of the community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the Constituents.
James Madison[T]he delegation of the government, in [a republic], to a small number of citizens elected by the rest . . . [is] to refine and enlarge the public views by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations.
Norman MailerReaching consensus in a group is often confused with finding the right answer.
MaimonidesTruth does not become more true by virtue of the fact that the entire world agrees with it, nor less so even if the whole world disagrees with it.
Karl MarxDemocracy is a form of government that cannot long survive, for as soon as the people learn that they have a voice in the fiscal policies of the government, they will move to vote for themselves all the money in the treasury, and bankrupt the nation.
Andre MauroisIn literature as in love, we are astonished by what is chosen by others.
William Gibbs McAdooThe fact is that there is a serious danger of this country becoming a pluto-democracy; that is, a sham republic with the real government in the hands of a small clique of enormously wealthy men, who speak through their money, and whose influence, even today, radiates to every corner of the United States.
H. L. MenckenDemocracy is a form of religion, it is the worship of jackals by jack asses.
H. L. MenckenUnder democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -- and both commonly succeed, and are right.
H. L. MenckenEvery election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
H. L. MenckenThe art of politics, under democracy, is simply the art of ringing it. Two branches reveal themselves. There is the art of the demagogue, and there is the art of what may be called, by a shot-gun marriage of Latin and Greek, the demaslave. They are complementary, and both of them are degrading to their practitioners. The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots. The demaslave is one who listens to what these idiots have to say and then pretends that he believes it himself.
H. L. MenckenDemocracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
John Stuart MillIf all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
John Stuart MillA general State education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mold in which it casts them is that which pleases the dominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, an aristocracy, or a majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body.
John Stuart MillProtection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them.
John MiltonHere the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to bid restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
James Monroe[In a republic,] it is not the people themselves who make the decisions, but the people they themselves choose to stand in their places.
Gaetano MoscaWe owe to democracy, at least in part, the regime of discussion with which we live; we owe it to the principal modern liberties: those of thought, press and association. And the regime of free discussion is the only one which permits the ruling class to renew itself… which eliminates that class quasi-automatically when it no longer corresponds to the interests of the country.
Edward R. MurrowWe must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes which were, for the moment, unpopular.
Benito MussoliniGiven that the nineteenth century was the century of Socialism, Liberalism, and Democracy, it does not necessarily follow that the twentieth century must also be a century of Socialism, Liberalism and Democracy: political doctrines pass, but humanity remains; and it may rather be expected that this will be a century of authority, a century of the Left, a century of Fascism. For if the nineteenth century was the century of individualism (Liberalism always signifying individualism) it may be expected that this will be the century of collectivism, and hence the century of the State. It is a perfectly logical deduction that a new doctrine can utilize all the still vital elements of previous doctrines.
Benito MussoliniDemocracy is talking itself to death. The people do not know what they want; they do not know what is the best for them. There is too much foolishness, too much lost motion. I have stopped the talk and the nonsense. I am a man of action. Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. You in America will see that some day.
Benito MussoliniFascism should rightly be called Corporatism as it is a merge of state and corporate power.
A. J. MusteThe survival of democracy depends on the renunciation of violence and the development of nonviolent means to combat evil and advance the good.
Ralph NaderThere can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship.
Ralph NaderWhat we have now is democracy
without citizens.
No one is on the public's side.
All the buyers
are on the corporation's side.
And the bureaucrats
in the administration
don't think the government
belongs to the people.
Kathleen NorrisIn any free society, the conflict between social conformity and individual liberty is permanent, unresolvable, and necessary.
P. J. O'RourkeNow majority rule is a precious, sacred thing worth dying for. But, like other precious, sacred things…it’s not only worth dying for, it can make you wish you were dead. Imagine if all life were determined by majority rule. Every meal would be a pizza.
Mancur OlsonSometimes, when leading families or merchants organized a government for their city, they not only provided for some power sharing through voting but took pains to reduce the probability that the government's chief executive could assume autocratic power. For a time in Genoa, for example, the chief administrator of the government had to be an outsider -- and thus someone with no membership in any of the powerful families in the city. Moreover, he was constrained to a fixed term of office, forced to leave the city after the end of his term, and forbidden from marrying into any of the local families. In Venice, after a doge who attempted to make himself autocrat was beheaded for his offense, subsequent doges were followed in official processions by a sword-bearing symbolic executioner as a reminder of the punishment intended for any leader who attempted to assume dictatorial power.
George OrwellThat rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.
Thomas PaineIt has been thought a considerable advance towards establishing the principles of Freedom, to say, that government is a compact between those who govern and those that are governed: but this cannot be true, because it is putting the effect before the cause; for as man must have existed before governments existed, there necessarily was a time when governments did not exist, and consequently there could originally exist no governors to form such a compact with. The fact therefore must be, that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.
Westbrook PeglerDid I say "republic?" By God, yes, I said "republic!" Long live the glorious republic of the United States of America. Damn democracy. It is a fraudulent term used, often by ignorant persons but no less often by intellectual fakers, to describe an infamous mixture of socialism, graft, confiscation of property and denial of personal rights to individuals whose virtuous principles make them offensive.
Claude PepperOne has the right to be wrong in a democracy.
Laurence J. PeterDemocracy is a process by which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame.
PlatoDemocracy leads to anarchy, which is mob rule.
PlatoDemocracy…is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike.
Alexander PopeParty is the madness of many for the gain of a few.
Dan QuayleI believe we are on
an irreversible trend toward
more freedom and democracy.
But that will change.
Ayn RandThe smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights, cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is
precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities.
Ayn RandThe smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
Bert RandDon't forget that pure democracy is a form of collectivism -- it readily sacrifices individual rights to majority wishes. Since it involves no constitutional bill of rights, or at least, no working and effective one, the majority-of-the-moment can and does vote away the rights of the minority-of-the-moment, even of a single individual.  This has been called 'mob rule,' the 'tyranny of the majority' and many other pejorative names.  It is one of the greatest threats to liberty, the reason why America's founding fathers wrote so much so disparagingly of pure democracy.
Edmund RandolphThe general object was to produce a cure for the evils under which the United States labored; that in tracing these evils to their origins, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy.
Charley ReeseUnless they can pass the same test that immigrants must pass to become citizens, people shouldn't be allowed to vote. The idea that there is some public benefit in ignoramuses and morons pulling levers next to names on a ballot is one of the evil myths of post-modern America. The purpose of voting, in our country, is to select men and women with the competence and integrity to operate the mechanics of government fixed by our Constitution. For this process to have any public benefit requires that the choices be made on an intelligent, knowledgeable and reasoned basis.
Jean-Francois RevelDemocracy tends to ignore, even deny, threats to its existence because it loathes doing what is needed to counter them. It awakens only when the danger becomes deadly, imminent, evident. By then, either there is too little time left for it to save itself, or the price of survival has become crushingly high.
Jean-Francois RevelTo totalitarianism, an opponent is by definition subversive; democracy treats subversives as mere opponents for fear of betraying its principles.
Condoleezza RiceBut, clearly, the prime minister has laid down some ground rules which any functioning democratic state would insist upon, having to do with, you know, arms belonging to the state, not to -- not in private hands. The current circumstances come out of what I think is a very important and indeed appropriate action that the Iraqi government has taken.
H. L. RichardsonWhen a legislature decides to steal some of our rights and plans to use police force to accomplish it, what's the real difference between them and the thief? Darn little! They hide behind the excuse that they're legislating democratically. The fact they do it by a majority vote has no moral significance whatsoever. Numerical might does not constitute right, no more than a lynch mob can justify its act because a majority participated.
Georges RipertConfronted with such a tight regulation, can man pretend to be free because the tyranny he is subjected to derives from the law? Of course, the legal power is not called "tyranny" since it appears to be established by the general will in the common interest, and since, in any event, occurrences of arbitrary power are infrequent. But a master's equity does not mean that his subjects are not slaves. ... And when their servitude lasts and their thoughts follow their behavior, the state becomes totalitarian and subjection is complete. Since it is legal servitude, the regime is still said to be democratic. Such is the hypocrisy of political language.
Will RogersOn account of us being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only people in the world that has to keep a government four years no matter what it does.
Will RogersI guess truth can hurt you worse in an election than about anything that can happen to you.
Will RogersElections are a good deal like marriages, there's no accounting for anyone's taste. Every time we see a bridegroom we wonder why she ever picked him, and it's the same with Public Officials.
Will RogersOn account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does.
Franklin D. RooseveltThe creed of our democracy is that liberty is acquired and kept by men and women who are strong and self-reliant, and possessed of such wisdom as God gives mankind -- men and women who are just, and understanding, and generous to others -- men and women who are capable of disciplining themselves. For they are the rulers and they must rule themselves.
Michael RothschildFortunately, political freedom and economic progress are natural partners.  Despite capitalism's lingering reputation as the source of all the world's evils, the fact remains that every single democracy is a capitalist country.  Half a century of economic experimentation proved beyond doubt that tyranny cannot yield prosperity. ... Socialism collapsed because it is a policy of unrestrained intervention.  It tries to fix what is 'wrong' with the spontaneous, self-organizaing phenomenon called capitalism.  But, of course, a natural process cannot be 'fixed.' ... Socialism is an ideology. Capitalism is a natural phenomenon.
Bertrand RussellEnvy is the basis of Democracy.
Eric SchaubThe 'strength' of the People becomes weak when we don't 'exercise' our rights.
Lucius Annaeus SenecaDemocracy is more cruel than wars or tyrants.
Horatio SeymourThe merit of our Constitution was, not that it promotes democracy, but checks it.
George Bernard ShawAn election is a moral horror, as bad as a battle except for blood; a mud bath for every soul concerned in it.
George Bernard ShawDemocracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.
George Bernard ShawDemocracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
Richard E. Sincere, Jr.In a free society, standards of public morality can be measured only by whether physical coercion -- violence against persons or property -- occurs. There is no right not to be offended by words, actions or symbols.
Jerome H. SkolnickWhether or not legislation is truly moral is often a question of who has the power to define morality.
L. Neil SmithPeople who object to weapons aren't abolishing violence, they're begging for rule by brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically 'right.' Guns ended that, and social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work.
L. Neil Smith[N]o one’s ever been able to show me any difference between democracy and brute force. It’s just a majority ganging up on a minority with the minority giving in to avoid getting massacred.
Jan C. SmutsDemocracy, with its promise of international peace, has been no better guarantee against war than the old dynastic rule of kings.
Joseph SobranTyranny seldom announces itself. ...In fact, a tyranny may exist without an individual tyrant. A whole government, even a democratically elected one, may be tyrannical.
George SorosAlthough I have made a fortune in the financial markets, I now fear that the untrammeled intensification of laissez-faire capitalism and the spread of market values into all areas of life is endangering our open and democratic society. The main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat.
Thomas SowellThe question is not what anybody deserves. The question is who is to take on the God-like role of deciding what everybody else deserves. You can talk about 'social justice' all you want. But what death taxes boil down to is letting politicians take money from widows and orphans to pay for goodies that they will hand out to others, in order to buy votes to get re-elected. That is not social justice or any other kind of justice.
Thomas SowellCompassion is the use of public funds to buy votes.
Thomas SowellTo include freedom in the very definition of democracy is to define a process not by its actual characteristics as a process but by its hoped for results. This is not only intellectually invalid, it is, in practical terms, blinding oneself in advance to some of the unwanted consequences of the process.
Thomas SowellAny politician who starts shouting election-year demagoguery about the rich and the poor should be asked, "What about the other 90 percent of the people?
Art SpanderThe great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid.
Gerry SpenceThe Internet…has become the voice of the people in the first genuine experiment in democracy yet conducted in America. It stands ready to serve every facet, every faction.
Herbert SpencerIf men use their liberty in such a way as to surrender their liberty, are they thereafter any the less slaves? If people by a plebiscite elect a man despot over them, do they remain free because the despotism was of their own making?
Lysander SpoonerThe 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 SpoonerIf our fathers, in 1776, had acknowledged the principle that a majority had the right to rule the minority, we should never have become a nation; for they were in a small minority, as compared with those who claimed the right to rule over them.
Lysander SpoonerA man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.
Charles T. SpradingA 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. SpradingThe history of civilized man is the history of the incessant conflict between liberty and authority. Each victory for liberty marked a new step in the world's progress; so we can measure the advance of civilization by the amount of freedom acquired by human institutions.
Josef StalinThose who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.
Tom StoppardIt's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting.
Tom StoppardIt's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting.
William Graham SumnerThe great foe of democracy now and in the near future is plutocracy. Every year that passes brings out this antagonism more distinctly. It is to be the social war of the twentieth century. In that war militarism, expansion and imperialism will all favor plutocracy. In the first place, war and expansion will favor jobbery, both in the dependencies and at home. In the second place, they will take away the attention of the people from what the plutocrats are doing. In the third place, they will cause large expenditures of the people’s money, the return for which will not go into the treasury, but into the hands of a few schemers. In the fourth place, they will call for a large public debt and taxes, and these things especially tend to make men unequal, because any social burdens bear more heavily on the weak than on the strong, and so make the weak weaker and the strong stronger. Therefore expansion and imperialism are a grand onslaught on democracy.
Supreme Court of the United StatesConstitutional rights may not be infringed simply because the majority of the people choose that they be.
William Howard TaftConstitutions are checks upon the hasty action of the majority. They are the self-imposed restraints of a whole people upon a majority of them to secure sober action and a respect for the rights of the minority.
R. H. TawneyIt is probable that democracy owes more to nonconformity than to any other single movement.
A. J. P. TaylorFreedom does not always win. This is one of the bitterest lessons of history.
Margaret ThatcherAll attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail. It must be business as usual.
Margaret ThatcherThere is little hope for democracy if the hearts of men and women in democratic societies cannot be touched by a call to something greater than themselves.
Henry David ThoreauA wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men. When the majority shall at length vote for the abolition of slavery, it will be because they are indifferent to slavery, or because there is but little slavery left to be abolished by their vote. They will then be the only slaves. Only his vote can hasten the abolition of slavery who asserts his own freedom by his vote.
Henry David ThoreauIs a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at least which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.
Henry David ThoreauTo speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it. After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule, is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest. But a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it. Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience? -- in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience. Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice.
Laurence Tribe[The Bill of Rights is] designed to protect individuals and minorities against the tyranny of the majority, but it's also designed to protect the people against bureaucracy, against the government.
Harry S. TrumanIt's not the hand that signs the laws that holds the destiny of America. It's the hand that casts the ballot.
St. George TuckerCivil rights, as we may remember, are reducible to three primary heads; the right of personal security; the right of personal liberty; and the right of private property. In a state of slavery, the two last are wholly abolished, the person of the slave being at the absolute disposal of his master; and property, what he is incapable, in that state, either of acquiring, or holding, in his own use. Hence, it will appear how perfectly irreconcilable a state of slavery is to the principles of a democracy, which form the basis and foundation of our government.
Gordon TullockCharacteristically, however, the overthrow of the dictator simply means that there will be another dictator. ... the policies they follow will probably not be radically different. If we look around the world, we quickly realize that these policies will not be radically different from those that would be followed by a democracy either.
Mark TwainWhenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Mark TwainWe are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. We have two opinions: one private, which we are afraid to express; and another one - the one we use - which we force ourselves to wear to please Mrs. Grundy, until habit makes us comfortable in it, and the custom of defending it presently makes us love it, adore it, and forget how pitifully we came by it. Look at it in politics.
Mark TwainWe are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove.
Mark TwainWhenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
William Marcy TweedAs long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?
William Marcy TweedI don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating.
Sir Alex Fraser TytlerA democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
Sir Alex Fraser TytlerA democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship....

The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from great courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependency back again to bondage.
UnknownWe need a law that will allow a voter to sue a candidate for breach of promise.
U. S. Army Training Manual No. 2000-25Democracy, 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].
Armando ValladaresJust as there is a very short distance between the U.S. and Cuba, there is a very short distance between a democracy and a dictatorship where the government gets to decide what to do, how to think, and how to live. And sometimes your freedom is not taken away at gunpoint, but instead it is done one piece of paper at a time, one seemingly meaningless rule at a time, one small silencing at a time. Never allow the government – or anyone else – to tell you what you can or cannot believe or what you can and cannot say or what your conscience tells you to have to do or not do.
Royce Van NormanIs it not ironical that in a planned society of controlled workers given compulsory assignments, where religious expression is suppressed, the press controlled, and all media of communication censored, where a puppet government is encouraged but denied any real authority, where great attention is given to efficiency and character reports, and attendance at cultural assemblies is mandatory, where it is avowed that all will be administered to each according to his needs and performance required from each according to his abilities, and where those who flee are tracked down, returned, and punished for trying to escape - in short in the milieu of the typical large American secondary school - we attempt to teach 'the democratic system'?
Bill VaughanA citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election.
Peter ViereckDemocracy, though slowly attained and never by revolutionary jumps, is the best government on earth when it tries to make all its citizens aristocrats. But not when it guillotines whoever is individual, superior, or just different.
VoltaireThe ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination.
VoltaireThe tyranny of the many would be when one body takes over the rights of others, and then exercises its power to change the laws in its favor.
Erik von Kuehnelt-LeddihnFifty-one percent of a nation can establish a totalitarian regime,  suppress minorities and still remain democratic.
Clemens von MetternichTen million ignorances do not constitute one knowledge.
Ludwig von MisesThe struggle for freedom ... is not the struggle of the many against the few, but of minorities -- sometimes of a minority of but one man -- against the majority.
Ludwig von MisesSpiritual movements are revolts of thought against inertia, of the few against the many; of those who because they are strong in spirit are strongest alone against those who can express themselves only in the mass and the mob, and who are significant only because they are numerous.
Ludwig von MisesThe champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau. What an alluring utopia! What a noble cause to fight!
Ludwig von MisesViolent resistance against the power of the state is the last resort of the minority in its effort to break loose from the oppression of the majority. ... The citizen must not be so narrowly circumscribed in his activities that, if he thinks differently from those in power, his only choice is either to perish or to destroy the machinery of state.
Kenneth D. WaldGiven the ambiguity of religious texts and teachings, the mixed historical record, and the empirical evidence, it would be foolhardy to assert that religious faith necessarily upholds democratic values.
Earl WarrenA republic is not an easy form of government to live under, and when the responsibility of citizenship is evaded, democracy decays and authoritarianism takes over.
Henry Grady WeaverThe Greeks... labored under the delusion that their democracy was a guarantee of peace and plenty, not realizing that unrestrained majority rule always destroys freedom, puts the minority at the mercy of the mob, and works at cross-purposes to the effective use of human energy and individual initiative.
Daniel WebsterWhatever government is not a government of laws, is a despotism, let it be called what they may.
Noah WebsterWhen you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, 'just men who will rule in the fear of God.' The preservation of [our] government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty; if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded. If [our] government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Laws.
H. G. Wells... when the struggle seems to be drifting definitely towards a world social democracy, there may still be very great delays and disappointments before it becomes an efficient and beneficent world system. Countless people ... will hate the new world order ... and will die protesting it. When we attempt to evaluate its promise, we have to bear in mind the distress of a generation or so of malcontents, many of them quite gallant and graceful-looking people.
H. G. Wells... when the struggle seems to be drifting definitely towards a world social democracy, there may still be very great delays and disappointments before it becomes an efficient and beneficent world system. Countless people ... will hate the new world order ... and will die protesting against it. When we attempt to evaluate its promise, we have to bear in mind the distress of a generation or so of malcontents, many of them quite gallant and graceful-looking people.
E. B. WhiteDemocracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time.
Alfred North WhiteheadDemocracy...is a society in which the unbeliever feels undisturbed and at home. If there were only a half dozen unbelievers in America, their well-being would be a test of our democracy.
John Greenleaf WhittierThe slave will be free. Democracy in America will yet be a glorious reality; and when the top-stone of that temple of freedom which our fathers left unfinished shall be brought forth with shoutings and cries of grace unto it, when our now drooping Liberty lifts up her head and prospers, happy will he be who can say, with John Milton, "Among those who have something more than wished her welfare, I, too, have my charter and freehold of rejoicing to me and my heirs."
Oscar WildeDemocracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
Walter E. WilliamsThe War between the States... produced the foundation for the kind of government we have today: consolidated and absolute, based on the unrestrained will of the majority, with force, threats, and intimidation being the order of the day. Today's federal government is considerably at odds with that envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. ... [The War] also laid to rest the great principle enunciated in the Declaration of Independence that 'Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed'.
Walter E. WilliamsDemocracy and liberty are not the same. Democracy is little more than mob rule, while liberty refers to the sovereignty of the individual.
Woodrow WilsonThe government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.
Woodrow WilsonThe world must be made safe for democracy.
Alexander WoollcottI'm tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn't work. Of course it doesn't work. We are supposed to work it.
Wyoming Declaration of Rights Art. I, Sec. 7Absolute, arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic, not even in the largest majority.
Edward ZehrI wouldn't call it fascism exactly, but a political system nominally controlled by an irresponsible, dumbed down electorate who are manipulated by dishonest, cynical, controlled mass media that dispense the propaganda of a corrupt political establishment can hardly be described as democracy either.
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