Quotes with democracy
Democracy is not something you put away for ten years, and then in the 11th year you wake up and start practicing again. We have to begin to learn to rule ourselves again.
Ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate among their dupes, but which no democracy can afford among its citizens.
Full Employment in a Free Society (1944)
Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
I'm struck by how laughter connects you with people. It's almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you're just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for democracy.
The Human Face, BBC Television (2001)
We cannot be discouraged by a Supreme Court decision that said we don’t need this critical provision of the Voting Rights Act because, look at the states, it made it harder for African Americans and Hispanics and students and the elderly and the infirm and poor working folks to vote. What do you know; they showed up, stood in line for hours and voted anyway. So, obviously we don’t need any kind of law. But a great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon.
Speech on the 50th anniversary commemoration of the March on Washington (August 28, 2013)
There cannot be true democracy unless women’s voices are heard. There cannot be true democracy unless women are given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own lives. There cannot be true democracy unless all citizens are able to participate fully in the lives of their country.
I renounce war for its consequences, for the lies it lives on and propagates, for the undying hatred it arouses, for the dictatorships it puts in place of democracy, for the starvation that stalks after it. I renounce war, and never again, directly or indirectly, will I sanction or support another.
Armistice Day sermon (November 11, 1933)
Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.
There is not a state with a democracy except Libya on the whole planet.
Video lecture at Columbia University (March 23, 2006)
Popular congresses are the only means to achieve popular democracy. Any system of government other than popular congresses is undemocratic.
The Green Book (1975)
The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots.
Constitutional Convention, May 31, 1787
Perhaps myself the first, at some expense of popularity, to unfold the true character of Jefferson, it is too late for me to become his apologist. Nor can I have any disposition to do it. I admit that his politics are tinctured with fanaticism, that he is too much in earnest in his democracy, that he has been a mischievous enemy to the principle measures of our past administration, that he is crafty & persevering in his objects, that he is not scrupulous about the means of success, nor very mindful of truth, and that he is a contemptible hypocrite.
Moderates don't make themselves heard on public issues. It's too bad because moderates make democracy work.
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy.
Social Studies (1981)
Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. No one in this world, so far as I know -- and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me -- has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.
'Notes On Journalism' in the Chicago Tribune (19 September 1926)
Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.
In Defense of Women (1918)
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
A Little Book in C major (1916)
Democrats are always happy. Democracy is a sort of laughing gas. It will not cure anything, perhaps, but it unquestionably stops the pain.
"The Master Illusion" in the The American Mercury (March 1925)
Liberty and democracy are eternal enemies, and every one knows it who has ever given any sober reflection to the matter.
"Liberty and Democracy" in the Baltimore Evening Sun (April 13, 1925)
If experience teaches us anything at all, it teaches us this: that a good politician, under democracy, is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
As a rule, dictatorships guarantee safe streets and terror of the doorbell. In democracy the streets may be unsafe after dark, but the most likely visitor in the early hours will be the milkman.
To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy.
Power: A New Social Analysis (1938)
The whole notion of loyalty inquisitions is a national characteristic of the police state, not of democracy. The history of Soviet Russia is a modern example of this ancient practice. I must, in good conscience, protest against any unnecessary suppression of our rights as free men. We must not burn down the house to kill the rats.
In opposition to the McCarran Internal Security Act of 1950.
Democracy is based on the conviction that man has the moral and intellectual capacity, as well as the inalienable right, to govern himself with reason and justice.