On Democracy

There is Liberty, and there are many forms of tyranny.  Democracy is one form of tyranny.  It is another name for mob rule.  Our Founding Fathers understood that clearly and they attempted to control the dangers of democracy by strictly limiting the sphere of government action and by proclaiming that each individual had inviolable rights that were not subject to a vote.

It was a nice try; the best the world has ever seen.  But our government has broken many of the bonds limiting its power.  And our government is increasingly willing to abrogate individual rights, especially property rights.  As our gargantuan government grows, liberty shrinks.

Thomas Jefferson knew history very well.   He knew that the task of limiting the power of government would be very difficult because, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground”.

Even though we often hear that democracy is the ideal form of government, that is simply not true    …at least for those of us who value individual liberty.  Starting with our Founding Fathers and ending with Karl Marx, here are some insights on democracy:

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.  John Adams

A 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 Jefferson

The Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.   Thomas Jefferson

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 death.  James Madison

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result 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 200 years.   Alexis de Tocqueville

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.   James Bovard

All government is, in its essence, organized exploitation, and in virtually all of its existing forms it is the implacable enemy of every industrious and well-disposed man.  H.L. Mencken

Every election is a sort of advance auction of stolen goods.   H.L. Mencken

The 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 Spooner

A healthy democracy requires a decent society; it requires that we are honorable, generous, tolerant and respectful.     Charles W. Pickering

A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.   Theodore Roosevelt

In a democracy, the majority of the citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority.    Edmund Burke

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.   Winston Churchill

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 for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.   Winston Churchill

Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.  Franklin D. Roosevelt

Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.   Isaac Asimov

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. H. L. Mencken

The natural tendency of every government is to grow steadily worse – that is, to grow more satisfactory to those who constitute it and less satisfactory to those who support it.  H.L. Mencken

The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.   John F. Kennedy

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.   Noam Chomsky

The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting.  Charles Bukowski

Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve. George Bernard Shaw

Democracy passes into despotism.    Plato

Democracy is the road to socialism.   Karl Marx

These quotes are not an explanation of what might happen in America if we are not careful.

These quotes are an explanation of what did happen. 

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