Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Related Quotes

Walter Lippmann

No amount of charters, direct primaries, or short ballots will make a democracy out of an illiterate people.

Democracy | People | Will | Wisdom |

Walter Lippmann

Successful democratic politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle, or otherwise manage to manipulate the demanding and threatening elements in their constituencies. The decisive consideration is not whether the proposition is good but whether it is popular -- not whether it will work well and prove itself but whether the active talking constituents like it immediately. Politicians rationalize this servitude by saying that in a democracy public men are the servants of the people.

Consideration | Democracy | Good | Men | Public | Servitude | Talking | Will | Wisdom | Work |

Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

The principle of democracy is corrupted not only when the spirit of equality is extinct, but likewise when they fall into a spirit of extreme equality, and when each citizen would fain to be upon a level with those whom he has chosen to command him. Then the people, incapable of bearing the very power they have delegated, want to manage everything themselves, to debate for the senate, to execute for the magistrate, and to decide for the judges.

Democracy | Equality | Extreme | People | Power | Spirit | Wisdom |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

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.

Democracy | Right | Rule | Wisdom |

Alexis de Tocqueville, fully Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville

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 treasure. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasure, with the result that a democracy collapses over loose fiscal policy.

Democracy | Government | Majority | Policy | Public | Wisdom |

Alexis de Tocqueville, fully Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville

A democracy can obtain truth only as the result of experience; and many nations may perish while they are awaiting the consequences of their errors.

Consequences | Democracy | Experience | Nations | Truth | Wisdom |

Clement Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, fully Clement Richard Attlee

The greatest challenge for democracy is to persuade people not to eat the seed corn of tomorrow's harvest.

Challenge | Democracy | People | Tomorrow |

Alfred E. Wiggam

The final test of democracy is its capacity to breed leaders.

Capacity | Democracy | Wisdom |

Winston Churchill, fully Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill

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

Argument | Conversation | Democracy |

Winston Churchill, fully Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill

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.

Democracy | Government | Time | Government |

Christopher Henry Dawson

The great fault of modern democracy - a fault that is common to the capitalist and the socialist - is that it accepts economic wealth as the end of society and the standard of personal happiness.

Democracy | Fault | Society | Wealth | Society | Fault |

J. W. Fulbright, fully James William Fulbright

In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but in its effects.

Democracy | Dissent | Faith | Taste | Value |

Mario Vargas Llosa, fully Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa, 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa

No democracy is born perfect, and none ever gets to be perfect. Yet democracy is superior to authoritarian and totalitarian regimes because, unlike them, democracy is perfectible.

Democracy |

Jean Piaget

How are we to bring children to the spirit of citizenship and humanity which is postulated by democratic societies? By the actual practice of democracy at school. It is unbelievable that at a time when democratic ideas enter into every phase of life, they should have been so little utilized as instruments of education.

Children | Citizenship | Democracy | Education | Humanity | Ideas | Life | Life | Little | Practice | Spirit | Time |

Gore Vidal, fully Eugene Luther Gore Vidal

Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.

Cost | Democracy |