None of the modes by which a magistrate is appointed, popular election, the accident of the lot, or the accident of birth, affords, as far as we can perceive, much security for his being wiser than any of his neighbours. The chance of his being wiser than all his neighbours together is still smaller.
more Thomas Babington Macaulay quotes
There 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….
more James Madison quotes
But I go on this great republican principle, that the people will have virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom. Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks -- no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.
more James Madison quotes
Complaints 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.
more James Madison quotes
I believe that if the people of this nation fully understood what Congress has done to them over the last 49 years, they would move on Washington; they would not wait for an election... It adds up to a preconceived plan to destroy the economic and social independence of the United States!
more George W. Malone quotes
In literature as in love, we are astonished by what is chosen by others.
more Andre Maurois quotes
There is danger in the concentration of control in the television and radio networks, especially in the large television and radio stations; danger in the concentration of ownership in the press…and danger in the increasing concentration of selection by book publishers and reviewers and by the producers of radio and television programs.
more Eugene McCarthy quotes
American youth attributes much more importance to arriving at driver's-license age than at voting age.
more Marshall McLuhan quotes
Under 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.
more H. L. Mencken quotes
Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
more H. L. Mencken quotes
This truth is well known among our principal men now engaged in forming an imperialism of Capital to govern the world. By dividing the voters through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance. Thus by discreet action we can secure for ourselves what has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished.
more Sir Denison Miller quotes
Sometimes, 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.
more Mancur Olson quotes
[Transcription of some of the signs in Washington during the peace march January 18, 2003]
more Peace March Signs quotes
Now that eighteen-year-olds have the right to vote, it is obvious that they must be allowed the freedom to form their political views on the basis of uncensored speech before they turn eighteen, so that their minds are not a blank when they first exercise the franchise. And since an eighteen-year-old’s right to vote is a right personal to him rather than a right to be exercised on his behalf by his parents, the right of parents to enlist the aid of the state to shield their children from ideas of which the parents disapprove cannot be plenary either. People are unlikely to become well-functioning, independent-minded adults and responsible citizens if they are raised in an intellectual bubble.
more Richard Posner quotes
Our government has found that the most effective way to control a person is not by the ballot or the bullet, but rather by the 'bucket'. Today, in a country that fought a revolution to rid itself of a repressive government and excessive taxes, government takes 40 percent of everything we earn in the form of taxes.
more Byron C. Radaker quotes
The 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.
more Ayn Rand quotes
Unless 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.
more Charley Reese quotes
When 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.
more H. L. Richardson quotes
The tax that was supposed to soak the rich has instead soaked America. The beneficiary of the income tax has not been the poor, but big government. The income tax has given us a government bureaucracy that outnumbers the manufacturing work force. It has created welfare dependencies that have entrapped millions of Americans in an underclass that is forced to live a sordid existence of trading votes for government handouts.
more Paul Craig Roberts quotes
Elections 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.
more Will Rogers quotes
The short memories of the American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.
more Will Rogers quotes
I guess truth can hurt you worse in an election than about anything that can happen to you.
more Will Rogers quotes
Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
more George Bernard Shaw quotes
An election is a moral horror, as bad as a battle except for blood; a mud bath for every soul concerned in it.
more George Bernard Shaw quotes
You have to choose [as a voter] between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the Government. And, with due respect for these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the Capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.
more George Bernard Shaw quotes
It is the right of our people to organize to oppose any law and any part of the constitution with which they are not in sympathy.
more Alfred E. Smith quotes
The entire American political system is a con, a sleazy mix of legalized bribes, auctioning off of favors, revolving doors between government agencies and the corporations they enrich and the blatant hypocrisy of snake-oil salespeople who know the marks (voters) face a false choice between two parties that are the same poison sold under different labels.
more Charles Hugh Smith quotes
Any 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?
more Thomas Sowell quotes
The 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.
more Thomas Sowell quotes
Compassion is the use of public funds to buy votes.
more Thomas Sowell quotes
The great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid.
more Art Spander quotes
In truth, in the case of individuals, their actual voting is not to be taken as proof of consent, even for the time being. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, without his consent having ever been asked, a man finds himself environed by a government that he cannot resist; a government that forces him to pay money, render service, and forego the exercise of many of his natural rights, under peril of weighty punishments. He sees, too, that other men practise this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, he finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he use the ballot, he may become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave. And he has no other alternative than these two. In self-defence, he attempts the former. His case is analogous to that of a man who has been forced into battle, where he must either kill others, or be killed himself. Because, to save his own life in battle, a man attempts to take the lives of his opponents, it is not to be inferred that the battle is one of his own choosing. Neither in contests with the ballot -- which is a mere substitute for a bullet -- because, as his only chance of self-preservation, a man uses a ballot, is it to be inferred that the contest is one into which he voluntarily entered; that he voluntarily set up all his own natural rights, as a stake against those of others, to be lost or won by the mere power of numbers. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, in an exigency, into which he had been forced by others, and in which no other means of self-defence offered, he, as a matter of necessity, used the only one that was left to him.
more Lysander Spooner quotes
In truth, in the case of individuals, their actual voting is not to be taken as proof of consent, even for the time being. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, without his consent having ever been asked, a man finds himself environed by a government that he cannot resist; a government that forces him to pay money, render service, and forego the exercise of many of his natural rights, under peril of weighty punishments. He sees, too, that other men practise this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, he finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he use the ballot, he may become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave. And he has no other alternative than these two. In self-defence, he attempts the former. His case is analogous to that of a man who has been forced into battle, where he must either kill others, or be killed himself. Because, to save his own life in battle, a man attempts to take the lives of his opponents, it is not to be inferred that the battle is one of his own choosing. Neither in contests with the ballot -- which is a mere substitute for a bullet -- because, as his only chance of self-preservation, a man uses a ballot, is it to be inferred that the contest is one into which he voluntarily entered; that he voluntarily set up all his own natural rights, as a stake against those of others, to be lost or won by the mere power of numbers. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, in an exigency, into which he had been forced by others, and in which no other means of self-defence offered, he, as a matter of necessity, used the only one that was left to him.
more Lysander Spooner quotes
A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.
more Lysander Spooner quotes
The ostensible supporters of the Constitution, like the ostensible supporters of most other governments, are made up of three classes, viz.:
1. Knaves, a numerous and active class, who see in the government an instrument which they can use for their own aggrandizement or wealth.
2. Dupes—a large class, no doubt—each of whom, because he is allowed one voice out of millions in deciding what he may do with his own person and his own property, and because he is permitted to have the same voice in robbing, enslaving, and murdering others, that others have in robbing, enslaving, and murdering himself, is stupid enough to imagine that he is a “free man,” a “sovereign”; that this is “a free government”; “a government of equal rights,” “the best government on earth,” and such like absurdities.
3. A class who have some appreciation of the evils of government, but either do not see how to get rid of them, or do not choose to so far sacrifice their private interests as to give themselves seriously and earnestly to the work of making a change.

more Lysander Spooner quotes
Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.
more Josef Stalin quotes
Comrades, I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how. But what is extraordinarily important is this: who will count the votes, and how.
more Josef Stalin quotes
It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting.
more Tom Stoppard quotes
Is 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.
more Henry David Thoreau quotes
The fate of the country does not depend on how you vote at the polls -- the worst man is as strong as the best at that game; it does not depend on what kind of paper you drop into the ballot-box once a year, but on what kind of man you drop from your chamber into the street every morning.
more Henry David Thoreau quotes
A 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.
more Henry David Thoreau quotes
It's not the hand that signs the laws that holds the destiny of America. It's the hand that casts the ballot.
more Harry S. Truman quotes
As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?
more William Marcy Tweed quotes
I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating.
more William Marcy Tweed quotes
A 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.
more Sir Alex Fraser Tytler quotes
A 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.
more Sir Alex Fraser Tytler quotes
We need a law that will allow a voter to sue a candidate for breach of promise.
more Unknown quotes
A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election.
more Bill Vaughan quotes
...So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.
more Voltaire quotes
Ten million ignorances do not constitute one knowledge.
more Clemens von Metternich quotes
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