Democracy, it must be emphasized, is a practical necessity and not just a philosophic value.
What is needed to make democracy work as it is not now working- to bring into existence in reality a sound conception of democracy? The mass liberal education of the mass electorate. Not just schooling, but an education that involves moral training as well as training of the mind.
Man must understand his universe in order to understand his destiny. Mystery, however, is a very necessary ingredient in our lives. Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis for man’s desire to understand. Who knows what mysteries will be solved in our lifetime, and what new riddles will become the challenge of the new generations? Science has not mastered prophesy. We predict too much for next year yet far too little for the next ten. Responding to challenge is one of democracy’s great strengths. Our successes in space lead us to hope that this strength can be used in the next decade in the solution of many of our planet’s problems.
Politics is the life blood of democracy. To call politics “dirty” is to call democracy “dirty.”
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.
Changes are inseparable from democracy. To defend democracy is to defend the possibility of change; in turn, changes alone can strengthen democracy.
Democracy stands between two tyrannies: the one which it has overthrown and the one into which it will develop.
Democracy comes into being after the poor have conquered their opponents, slaughtering some and banishing some, while to the remainder they give an equal share of freedom and power; and this is the form of government in which the magistrates are commonly elected by lot.
There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship.
Information is the currency of democracy.
Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.
Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
The test of democracy is not whether the majority prevails, but whether the minority is tolerated.
If we are serious about reducing the size of government and its burdens, then we need to return economic self-determination to the people… We must do it by fostering economic democracy. We must do everything possible to assure ordinary citizens the possibility of owning a small, usable share of the country.
I believe democracy to be of all forms of government the most natural and the most consonant with individual liberty. In it no one transfers his natural right so absolutely that he has no further voice in affairs, he only hands it over to the majority of a society, whereof he is a unit. Thus all men remain, as they were in the state of nature, equals.
Of all obstacles to that complete democracy of which we dream, is there a greater than property?
The essential ingredient of democracy is not doctrine but intelligence, not authority but reason, not cynicism but faith in men, faith in God. Our strength lies in the fearless pursuit of truth by the minds of men who are free.
Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.
The primal principle of democracy is the worth and dignity of the individual