when you are ready for intelligent politics

Democracy Quotes


“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

/Winston Churchill (Could be misattributed quote)


“Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

/ Abraham Lincoln


“Can it be believed that the democracy which overthrew the feudal system and vanquished kings will retreat before tradesmen and capitalists?”

/ Alexis de Tocqueville


“… the globalisation of information makes people aware of what they have – and have not. Problems and oppression are impossible to hide, and the new and powerful tools of information provide us with more opportunities than ever to react and act.”

/Anna Lindh

“… the world has got more democracies than ever, and human rights are high on almost every country’s agenda. Still, corruption and oppression are far too common threats to the democratic society. And we have seen a dramatic increase, the last 10-15 years, of ethnical conflicts and humanitarian crises with human rights violations as important elements., but also more of corruption. Human rights are praised more than ever – and violated as much as ever.”

/Anna Lindh


“If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.”

/ Aristotele


“The threats against democracy today are in general completely normal. They walk around in costume and tie.”

/ Carl Hamilton


“Where a government has come into power through some form of popular vote, fraudulent or not, and maintains at least an appearance of constitutional legality, the guerrilla outbreak cannot be promoted, since the possibilities of peaceful struggle have not yet been exhausted.”

/ Che Guevara


“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.”

/ Elwyn Brooks White


“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.”

/ Elwyn Brooks White


“I’d rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don’t want, and get it.”

/ Eugene V Debs


“Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.”
/ George Bernard Shaw

“Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.”

/ George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionists


“Which is the best form of rule? The one that teaches us to rule ourselves.”

/ Goethe


“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos.”

/H. L. Mencken

“As [representative] democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land [USA]will reach their hearts desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

/ Henry Louis Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920

“A good politician under [representative] democracy is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.” / Henry Louis Mencken


“Voting is the most precious right of every citizen, and we have a moral obligation to ensure the integrity of our voting process.”

/ Hillary Clinton

“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.”

/ Hillary Clinton


“Voting is one of the few things where boycotting in protest clearly makes the problem worse rather than better.”

/ Jane Auer (later Jane Bowles)


“In politics, an organized minority is a political majority.”

/ Jesse Jackson

Deliberation and debate is the way you stir the soul of our democracy.”

/ Jesse Jackson


“The aim of education is to enable individuals to continue their education … (and) the object and reward of learning is continued capacity for growth. Now this idea cannot be applied to all the members of a society except where intercourse of man with man is mutual, and except where there is adequate provision for the reconstruction of social habits and institutions by means of wide stimulation arising from equitably distributed interests. And this means a democratic society.”

/ John Dewey


“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

/ John F Kennedy


“The citizen can bring our political and governmental institutions back to life, make them responsive and accountable, and keep them honest. No one else can.”

/ John Gardner


“We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

/ Louis Brandeis


“The very essence of democracy is that every person represents all the varied interests which compose the nation.”

/ Mahatma Gandhi

“Democracy is an impossible thing until the power is shared by all,”…

/ Mahatma Gandhi

“Evolution of democracy is not possible if we are not prepared to hear the other side.”

/ Mahatma Gandhi

“Democracy disciplined and enlightened is the finest thing in the world. A democracy prejudiced, ignorant, superstitious, will land itself in chaos and may be self-destroyed.”

/ Mahatma Gandhi

“My nation of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest.”

/ Mahatma Gandhi

“Intolerance, discourtesy and harshness….. are taboo in all good society and are surely contrary to the spirit of democracy.”

/ Mahatma Gandhi

“In true democracy every man and women is taught to think for himself or herself.”

/ Mahatma Gandhi

“To safeguard democracy the people must have a keen sense of independence, self-respect, and their oneness.

/ Mahatma Gandhi

“The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within.”

/ Mahatma Gandhi

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, ALWAYS.”

/ Mahatma Gandhi


“Everybody’s for democracy in principle. It’s only in practice that the thing gives rise to stiff objections.”

/ Meg Greenfield


“The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.”

/ Noam Chomsky

“In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued – they may be essential to survival.”

/ Noam Chomsky


“We say yes to the society of solidarity and democracy where free people together, in mutual respect and under mutual responsibility, shape a life where everyone has equal opportunities and equal value.”

/Olof Palme

“History provides many examples of democracy crushed by people who said to be the champion of “genuine democracy” and “the people’s real meaning”. The realization about this may lead us to a defence position that conceals that democracy is an extraordinarily demanding way of rule. It must constantly find new ways to revitalize, to reach out to people and make them active. Dictatorships offers a machinery of obedience, closed and externally well-oiled. Democracy is based on fairness, openness and pulsating life. Therefore it must constantly be won again.”

/Olof Palme


“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”

/ Paulo Freire


“The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness. …This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”

/ Plato

“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.”

/ Plato


“If you’re not turned on by politics, politics will turn on you.”

/ Ralph Nader


“Democracy, thus [French revolution], was not invented by philosophic theory nor by the bourgeois leadership. It was discovered by the masses in their method of action.”

/ Raya Dunayevskaya


“If you give me a fish, you have feed me for a day. If you teach me to fish, then you have fed me until the river is contaminated or the shore line seized for development. But if teach me to organize, then whatever the challenge I can join together with my peers and we will fashion our own solution.”

/ Ricardo Levins Morales


“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.”

/ Robert M Hutchins


“Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element.”

/ Rosa Luxemburg


“The perspective that many today are beginning to see as fully realistic is that democracy in our country, and in our part of the world, will suffer the same fate as the Swedish monarchy did before. The democracy is beeing emptied of all power political content at the same time as the forms remain, treated with reverence and preservasion.”

/ Torbjörn Tännsjö

“The democratic thought is based on that ‘ordinary people’ are suitable to rule themselves.”

/ Torbjörn Tännsjö


“Den som vill nå socialismen genom en annan väg än den politiska demokratin kommer oundvikligen att komma fram till slutsatser som är absurda och reaktionära både i den ekonomiska och den politiska betydelsen.”

/Vladimir Lenin

“To decide once every few years which members of the ruling class is to repress and crush the people through parliament–this is the real essence of bourgeois parliamentarism, not only in parliamentary- constitutional monarchies, but also in the most democratic republics.”

/Vladimir Lenin


“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.”

/ Voltaire


“Did you, too, O friend, suppose democracy was only for elections, for politics, and for a party name? I say democracy is only of use there that it may pass on and come to its flower and fruit in manners, in the highest forms of interaction between [people], and their beliefs — in religion, literature, colleges and schools — democracy in all public and private life…”

/ Walt Whitman


“No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

/ Yoda”

“Size matters not. Look at me! Judge me by my size do you?”

/ Yoda”

“For my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. The force surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you. Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock…everywhere!”

/ Yoda


“Democracy is not being, it is becoming. It is easily lost, but never finally won.”

/ William Hastie


Big thanks to wikiquote and wikipedia.

More quotes about democracy:



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