Democracy

It required the Great Depression to open the eyes of the American people to the economic, cultural, social, political, and spiritual values inherent in a great democracy. For this I am thankful. As a distinctly finite being, man learns only through tragic experiences. Progress and Pain are Siamese twins.

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

Democracy is moral before it is political.

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

So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy.

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

Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy… means government by the badly educated.

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.

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

Chairman Mao once said that political power comes from the barrel of a gun. He was only partly right: power that comes from the barrel of a gun can be effective only for a short time. In the end, people’s love for truth, justice, freedom, and democracy will triumph. No matter what governments do, the human spirit will always prevail.

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.

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 is not a mere consequence, a certain stage in the development of society. It is the condition on which the survival of productive forces depends.

Crisis demands dictatorship, centralization, concentration, obedience, and bias. Intercrisis permits concessions toward democracy, decentralization, dispersion, originality, and objectivity.

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.

In the so-called Western secular democracy… a divorce has been effected between politics and religion, and as a result of this secularization, the society and particularly its politically active elements have ceased to attach much or any importance to morality or ethics.

Democracy without education is hypocrisy without limitation.

We consider progress as legitimate only when it reinforces, rather than undermines, freedom and democracy.

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.

If virtue be the spring of popular government in times of peace, the spring of that government during a revolution is virtue combined with terror: virtue, without which terror is destructive; terror, without which virtue is impotent. Terror is the only justice prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue; it is less a distinct principle than a natural consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing wants of the country.