Human dignity, economic freedom, individual responsibility, these are the characteristics that distinguish democracy from all other forms devised by man.
In a democracy, the majority of the citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority.
The long fight to save wild beauty represents democracy at its best. It requires citizens to practice the hardest of virtues - self-restraint.
Democracy, the practice of self-government, is a covenant among free men to respect the rights and liberties of their fellows.
Freedom of conscience, of education, of speech, of assembly are among the very fundamentals of democracy and all of them would be nullified should freedom of the press ever be successfully challenged.
Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.
Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
Democracy is based on the conviction that people have the moral and intellectual capacity, as well as the inalienable right to govern themselves with reason and justice.
Democracy is based on the conviction that man has the moral and intellectual capacity, as well as the inalienable right, to govern himself with reason and justice.
Who are the really disloyal? Those who inflame racial hatreds, who sow religious and class dissensions. those who subvert the Constitution by violating the freedom of the ballot box. Those who make a mockery of majority rule by the use of the filibuster. Those who impair democracy by denying equal educational facilities. Those who frustrate justice by lynch law or by making a farce of jury trials. Those who deny freedom of speech and of the press and of assembly. Those who demand special favors against the interest of the commonwealth. Those who regard public office as a source of private gain. Those who exalt the military over the civil. Those who for selfish and private purposes stir up national antagonisms and expose the world to the ruin of war.
If our democracy is to flourish, it must have criticism; if our government is to function it must have dissent.
Democracy is not just a counting up of votes – it is a counting up of actions. Without those on the bottom acting out there desires for justice – as the government acts out its needs, and those with power and privilege act out theirs – the scales of democracy will be off. That is why civil disobedience is not just to be tolerated – if we are to have a truly democratic society it is a necessity.
Here in the United States, we are brought up to believe that our nation is different from others, an exception in the world, uniquely moral; that we expand into other lands in order to bring civilization, liberty, democracy. But if you know some history you know that's not true.
Today we all realize that democracy is not a self-perpetuating virus adapted to any body politic - that was the assumption of a previous generation. Democracy as we know to be a special type of organism requiring specific nutriment materials - some economic, some social and cultural.
Democracy and socialism are means to an end, not the end itself.
Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives… From an Industrial Society to an Information Society... From Forced Technology to High Tech/High Tech/High Touch... From a National Economy to a World Economy… From Short Term to Long Term… From Centralization to Decentralization… From Institutional Help to Self-Help… From Representative Democracy to Participatory Democracy… From Hierarchies to Networking… From North to South… From Either/Or to Multiple Option.
One of the greatest dangers... of democracy, as of all other forms of government, lies in the sinister interest of the holders of power: it is the danger of class legislation; of government intended for (whether really effecting it or not) the immediate benefit of the dominant class, to the lasting detriment of the whole. And one of the most important questions demanding consideration, in determining the best constitution of a representative government, is how to provide efficacious securities against this evil.
We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.
What are the American ideals? They are the development of the individual through liberty and the attainment of the common good through democracy and social justice.
Of the many things we have done to democracy in the past, the worst has been the indignity of taking it for granted.