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Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.
Dictators can fix up their entire families in good jobs, in or around government, and often do. In democracies, such a practice is frowned upon. Privileged access to the corridors of power through family connections and a kind of old boys' network, is also deemed an abuse of power, and so it is.
Democracy needs support, and the best support for democracy comes from other democracies.
The genius of democracies is seen not only in the great number of new words introduced but even more in the new ideas they express.
Alexis de Tocqueville
A vibrant civil society can challenge those in power by documenting corruption or uncovering activities like the murder of political enemies. In democracies, this function is mostly performed by the media, NGOs or opposition parties.
The United States is unusual among the industrial democracies in the rigidity of the system of ideological control - 'indoctrination', we might say - exercised through the mass media.
You can't have an industrial revolution, you can't have democracies, you can't have populations who can govern themselves until you have literacy. The printing press simply unlocked literacy.
The way people in democracies think of the government as something different from themselves is a real handicap. And, of course, sometimes the government confirms their opinion.
In a world of democracies, in a world where the great projects that have set humanity on fire are the projects of the emancipation of individuals from entrenched social division and hierarchy; in such a world individuals must never be puppets or prisoners of the societies or cultures into which they have been born.
Why should the Negroes ever fight against the only nations of the world where racial discrimination is prohibited, and where the people can live freely? Never! I can assure you, they will never fight against either the Soviet Union or the peoples' democracies.
What makes me worry today is the alarming decline in the trust in democratic institutions - political parties, Parliaments, political leaders. Less and less people are going to the polls in most advanced democracies.
To balance China, the democracies will need new friends - and India with its fast-growing economy, youthful population, and democratic politics seems the obvious candidate.
These fledgling democracies in the Middle East, they're actually fighting for their freedom. And what are they rioting for in England? Leisurewear.
Democracies do not go to war. War is not our expression of thought.
Asif Ali Zardari
If you look at weak democracies, the oligarchies that have taken undue control of them always seek to tamper with the vote. It is important for oligarchs to have elections to give their guy a veneer of legitimacy - and important for the vote always to turn out 'their way.'
Democracies can't handle austerity measures very well.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Most liberal democracies don't try to figure out what the truth is.
We know that dismantling old oppressive regimes is a great deal faster and easier than building new flourishing democracies. Chinggis Khaan once said, 'It was easier to conquer the world on horseback than to dismount and govern.' True validation of democracy lies less in what we tear down, and more in what we build.
We have to realize that science is a double-edged sword. One edge of the sword can cut against poverty, illness, disease and give us more democracies, and democracies never war with other democracies, but the other side of the sword could give us nuclear proliferation, biogerms and even forces of darkness.
Democracies are indeed slow to make war, but once embarked upon a martial venture are equally slow to make peace and reluctant to make a tolerable, rather than a vindictive, peace.
I've often thought that the gauntlet of American politics is more individualistic, more expensive, more unpredictable than in many other democracies.
I believe that democracies do not go to war; that's the lesson of history, and I think that a democratic Pakistan is the world community's best guarantee of stability in Asia.
It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny.
James F. Cooper
First of all, the world criticizes American foreign policy because Americans criticize American foreign policy. We shouldn't be surprised about that. Criticizing government is a God-given right - at least in democracies.
Flawed as they may be, science and the secular Enlightenment values expressed in Western democracies are our best hope for survival.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Image of the Moment
I do not judge, I only chronicle.
John Singer Sargent
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