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Democracy Quotes

"Democracy" is one of the most important principles for a better world. In its truest sense, a democracy is a community in which all members have an equal say in the running of that community. Unfortunately in reality, democratic societies have fallen short of this ideal. Nevertheless, because of its very nature, once a democracy is established, its citizens can work together to make their society more and more democratic, if they choose to do so.
-- Robert Alan Silverstein

The first and continuing argument for the curtailment of working hours and the raising of the minimum age was that education was necessary in a democracy and working children could not attend school.
-- Grace Abbott

* We have learned to say that the good must be extended to all of society before it can be held secure by any one person or any one class. But we have not yet learned to add to that statement, that unless all [people] and all classes contribute to a good, we cannot even be sure that it is worth having.
-- Jane Addams

The USA was founded in the name of democracy, equality and individual freedom, but is failing to deliver the fundamental promise of protecting rights for all.
-- Amnesty International

 

* "No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline."
-- Kofi Annan

"Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development."
~ Kofi Annan

* “If liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.”
-- Aristotle
...democracy cannot survive overpopulation...
-- Isaac Asimov

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

* Now the first step has to be taken, the step towards democracy. This step is full of risks, and requires trust on all sides. We don't know where it will lead. But if we just stand still, we will have no chance of escaping the violence.
-- Daniel Barenboim

At the heart of the WTO is an assault on everything left standing in the commons, in the public realm. Everything is now for sale. Even those areas of life that we once considered sacred like health and education, food and water and air and seeds and genes and a heritage. It is all now for sale. Economic freedom -- not democracy, and not ecological stewardship -- is the defining metaphor of the WTO and its central goal is humanity's mastery of the natural world through its total commodification.
-- Maude Barlow

* "Anti-democracy...is a virus that exists, and pro-democracy is the antibody to that virus, and I think we have to become vigilant, and we have to stay on top of the issues of democracy and freedom."
-- Harry Belafonte

The primal principle of democracy
is the worth and dignity of the individual.
-- Edward Bellamy

* Changing the structure and rules of the global economy will require a mass movement based on messages of compassion, justice, and equality, as well as collaborative and democratic processes ... If we stay positive, inclusive, and democratic, we have a truly historic opportunity to build a global movement for social justice.
-- Medea Benjamin

* Democracy is necessary to peace and to undermining the forces of terrorism.
-- Benazir Bhutto

Democracy needs support and the best support for democracy comes from other democracies. Democratic nations should come together in an association designed to help each other and promote what is a universal value -- democracy.
-- Benazir Bhutto

Democracy is the ultimate, positive revolution because it gives each and every individual the power to control their lives. And we can work together to create a just, sustainable world.
-- Bill Blackman

* Democracy is an objective. Democratization is a process. Democratization serves the cause of peace because it offers the possibility of justice and of progressive change without force.
-- Boutros Boutros-Ghali
* To win the cause we all believe in, the spread of true democracy all over the world, we need to win by example, not just with speeches but by example; not just with military might but by gaining the respect of the world.
-- Barbara Boxer

"We can have a democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both."
-- Justice Louis D. Brandeis

"The only title in our democracy superior to that of President is the title of citizen."
Justice Louis D. Brandeis

 

There can be no real growth without healthy populations. No sustainable development without tackling disease and malnutrition. No international security without assisting crisis-ridden countries. And no hope for the spread of freedom, democracy and human dignity unless we treat health as a basic human right.
-- Gro Brundtland

Democracy is not the law of the majority but the protection of the minority.
-- Albert Camus

 

* Democracy is not just a question of having a vote. It consists of strengthening each citizen’s possibility and capacity to participate in the deliberations involved in life in society.
-- Fernando Cardoso

It is impossible to build enduring institutions without solid values. For us, the fundamental value is that associated with democracy.
-- Fernando Cardoso

Let us continue to strive together for a more inclusive, democratic, and peaceful future for us all.
-- Fernando Cardoso

... the 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.
-- Alex Carey, Australian social scientist

 

There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.
~ Andrew Carnegie

* Everybody counts in applying democracy. And there will never be a true democracy until every responsible and law-abiding adult in it, without regard to race, sex, color or creed has his or her own inalienable and unpurchasable voice in government.
-- Carrie Chapman Catt

* The road to democracy may be winding and is like a river taking many curves, but eventually the river will reach the ocean.
-- Chen Shui-bian

* The real world of American society is one which it is very misleading to call simply a democracy. Of course, it is in a sense a democracy, but it is one in which there are enormous inequities in the distribution of power and force. For example, the entire commercial and industrial system is in principle excluded from the democratic process, including everything that goes on within it -- Noam Chomsky

* under capitalism, we can't have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. -- Noam Chomsky

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. -- Noam Chomsky

The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.
-- Noam Chomsky

Representative democracy, as in, say, the United States or Great Britain, would be criticized by an anarchist of this school on two grounds. First of all because there is a monopoly of power centralized in the State, and secondly -and critically - because representative democracy is limited to the political sphere and in no serious way encroaches on the economic sphere. Anarchists of this tradition have always held that democratic control of one's productive life is at the core of any serious human liberation, or, for that matter, of any significant democratic practice. That is, as long as individuals are compelled to rent themselves on the market to those who are willing to hire them, as long as their role in production is simply that of ancillary tools, then there are striking elements of coercion and oppression that make talk of democracy very limited, if even meaningful.
-- Noam Chomsky

 
* "Democracy is just a word. You have to give it meaning. The US is not a democracy. Most Americans do not vote. We haven't had a real choice for a long, long time now. Wealth rules. Corporations rule. The US is a plutocracy -- government by wealthy people. Certain people control multinational corporations. You couldn't get elected in the US without lots of money."
-- Ramsey Clark

 

"If our modern world should be able to recapture this power, the earth's natural resources and web of life would not be irrevocably wasted within the Twentieth century…..True democracy founded in neighborhoods and reaching over the world become the realized heaven on earth. And living peace, not just an interlude between wars, would be born and would last through the ages."
-- John Collier


* “In a democracy, the individual enjoys not only the ultimate power but carries the ultimate responsibility.”
-- Norman Cousins

* I think it is absolutely essential in a democracy to have competition in the media, a lot of competition, and we seem to be moving away from that.
-- Walter Cronkite

It seems to rise again when the crisis times come, and this is a time of most severe crisis, as we all know, not just for the history of the United States and the survival indeed of our democracy, but for the future peace of the world. And never before probably has the need for interfaith commitment been nearly as great as it is at this very moment.
-- Walter Cronkite

* We have a global economy that is not structured around democratizing and including people in the decision-making. It's operated in secret.
-- Kevin Danaher

it is necessary to stay on the march, to be on the journey, to work for peace wherever we are at all times, because the liberty we cherish, which we would share with the world, demands eternal vigilance. And democracy is no easy path, but those of us who believe in it must be prepared to sacrifice in its cause more willingly than those who are prepared to die in the wars of aggression. We, too, must be dedicated to the cause of freedom.
-- Ossie Davis
When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are right.
-- Eugene V. Debs

The aim of education is to enable individuals to continue their education ... (and) the object and reward of learning is continued capacity for growth. Now this idea cannot be applied to all the members of a society except where intercourse of man with man is mutual, and except where there is adequate provision for the reconstruction of social habits and institutions by means of wide stimulation arising from equitably distributed interests. And this means a democratic society.
-- John Dewey
* Democracy doesn't recognize east or west; democracy is simply people's will. Therefore, I do not acknowledge that there are various models of democracy; there is just democracy itself.
-- Shirin Ebadi

* … we believe in the vocation of communion and participation of our people, who day to day awaken to their political conscience and express their desire for change and profound democratization of society. A change based on justice, built with love, and which will bring us the most anxiously desired fruits of peace.
-- Adolfo Perez Esquivel

The idea of allowing corporations to have unlimited influence on our democracy is very dangerous, obviously.
-- Russ Feingold

* I understand democracy as something that gives the weak the same chance as the strong.
-- Mohandas K. Gandhi

To safeguard democracy the people must have a keen sense of independence, self-respect, and their oneness.
-- Mohandas Gandhi

In true democracy every man and women is taught to think for himself or herself. -- Mohandas Gandhi

The spirit of democracy cannot be established in the midst of terrorism, whether governmental or popular.
-- Mohandas Gandhi

The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within.
-- Mohandas Gandhi

"What does it matter to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?"
-- Mohandas Gandhi

* "You cannot bring democracy to a country by attacking it."
~ Akbar Ganji

When there is a crisis, the first thing that gets damaged and gets harmed is democracy.
~ Akbar Ganji

* The modern infrastructures that exists in the world all contribute to the advancement of human rights and democracy.
~ Akbar Ganji

* Ultimately, I believe -- because energy is so central to our lives -- that a common global project to rewire the world with clean energy could be the first step on a path to global peace and global democracy -- even in today's deeply troubled world.
-- Ross Gelbspan

"The citizens of Love Canal provided an example of how a blue-collar community with few resources can win against great odds (a multi-billion-dollar international corporation and an unresponsive government), using the power of the people in our democratic system."
~ Lois Gibbs


"The freedom and human capacities of individuals must be developed to their maximum but individual powers must be linked to democracy in the sense that social betterment must be the necessary consequence of individual flourishing."
-- Henry Giroux

* The media is absolutely essential to the functioning of a democracy. It's not our job to cozy up to power. We're supposed to be the check and balance on government.
-- Amy Goodman

* Freedom means to build a democratic system enshrined with the respect for fundamental rights of Man, of the human being, of the individuals.
-- Xanana Gusmão

Think of the millions of young men who died fighting for democracy. We spit on their graves when we let democracy slip away into the sewer of illegal money."
-- Doris Haddock (Granny D)

We should know that only replacing the economics of competition and greed with the economics of equitable cooperation will guarantee a globalization that takes advantage of potential efficiency gains in ways that also promote environmental protection, international equity, economic democracy, and variety.
-- Robin Hahnel

We should insist that governments receiving American aid live up to standards of accountability and transparency, and we should support countries that embrace market reforms, democracy, and the rule of law.
-- Lee H. Hamilton

“We need to be activating deep democracy because democracy is fleeting through our fingers, and most people are unaware of it. Democracy is about dispersing power among the interconnected people. As a people, we need to rise to the level of forcing our leaders to abide by our stated principles - really exercise democracy, not only on our behalf but on behalf of the world. We need to continue, as part and parcel of the American experience created by the founding forefathers, and now the foremothers, to insist, "We want democracy to work, and that means every voice counts."
-- Dr. Azizah al-Hibri

Democracy is not something you believe in or a place to hang your hat, but it's something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles.
-- Abbie Hoffman

"If you look back in history, you will find the core mission of public education in America was to create places of civic virtue for our children and for our society. As education undergoes the rigors of re-examination and the need for reinvention, it is cruicial to remember that the key role of public schools is to preserve democracy and, that as battered as we might be, our mission is central to the future of this county."
-- Paul D. Houston, Executive director of the American Association of School Administrators

"A generation that acquires knowledge without ever understanding how that knowledge can benefit the community is a generation that is not learning what it means to be citizens in a democracy."
-- Elizabeth L. Hollander (1817-1885)

 
* We can enhance democracy by making it in line with its original vision. Read the dollar bill - E pluribus unum, out of many, one; novus ordo seclorum, a new order of the ages. That's democracy.
-- Barbara Marx Hubbard

"America is a country ready to be taken—in fact, longing to be taken—by political leaders ready to restore democracy and trust to the political process."
-- Arianna Huffington

* I swear to the Lord
I still can't see
Why Democracy means
Everybody but me.
-- Langston Hughes

* "Full democracy requires the full participation of women. Your voices are vital. The word 'vital' means necessary for life. A democracy, to be fully alive, must include all its citizens."
-- Swanee Hunt

* The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.
-- Robert Maynard Hutchins
* “All democracies are based on the proposition that power is very dangerous and that it is extremely important not to let any one person or small group have too much power for too long a time”
~ Aldous Huxley

* The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.
-- Molly Ivins

* Deliberation and debate is the way you stir the soul of our democracy.
-- Jesse Jackson

* Since an informed citizenry is the basis for a healthy democracy, independent, non-corporate media are more crucial today than ever before
-- Dahr Jamail

* “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”
-- Thomas Jefferson

I know of no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take the power from them, but to inform them by education.
-- Thomas Jefferson

It is my principle that the will of the majority should always prevail.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
-- Thomas Jefferson

The lesson of history is clear: democracy always wins in the end.
-- Marjorie Kelly

* if we wish to accomplish in the next 15 years what we failed to accomplish in the last 15, we would do well to focus on democratizing structures of power. That means imagining, and then creating, economic democracy.
-- Marjorie Kelly

Democracy is about two things. First, it is about purpose. In the political realm, it's about an overriding concern for the common good. In the economic realm, it's about having the common good trump the narrow self-interest of the financial elite. It's about broadening corporate purpose from serving shareholders to serving stakeholders, and releasing executives from the destructive mandate to maximize shareholder gain at any cost. Second, democracy is about structures that bring this purpose to life. It's not about separating good corporations from bad, but about shaping the system forces that act on all corporations. It's about consciously crafting new democratic system structures, structures of voice, structures of decision making, structures of conflict resolution, structures of accountability.
-- Marjorie Kelly

We are experiencing a unique convergence of forces, not only the forces of scandal, but the forces of change. We can use this moment to take corporate social responsibility to the next level, the level of economic democracy. We can become a new founding generation, completing the design in the economic realm that our forefathers began in the political realm. Instead of chasing one form of corporate wrongdoing at a time, we can put in place enduring structures of justice, effective structures of checks and balances. For it is only in this way that we can truly safeguard the common good, not only for today, but for generation after generation to come.
-- Marjorie Kelly

* "The vision I see is not only a movement of direct democracy, of self- and co-determination and non-violence, but a movement in which politics means the power to love and the power to feel united on the spaceship Earth... In a world struggling in violence and dishonesty, the further development of non-violence - not only as a philosophy but as a way of life, as a force on the streets, in the market squares, outside the missile bases, inside the chemical plants and inside the war industry - becomes one of the most urgent priorities."
-- Petra Kelly

* We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
-- John F. Kennedy

Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours, and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor.
-- John F. Kennedy

"America now stands as the world's foremost power. We should be proud: Not since the age of the Romans have one people achieved such preeminence. But we are not Romans; we do not seek an empire. We are Americans, trustees of a vision and a heritage that commit us to the values of democracy and the universal cause of human rights."
-- Senator John Kerry

 

* "Democracy is the absolute value that makes for human dignity, as well as the only road to sustained economic development and social justice."
-- Kim Dae-jung

* the anti-war movement should turn itself into a pro-democracy movement
-- Naomi Klein


Students should not only be trained to live in a democracy when they grow up; they should have the chance to live in one today.
-- Alfie Kohn

 

The proper goal of an economic democracy agenda is to replace the global suicide economy ruled by rapacious and unaccountable global corporations with a planetary system of local living economies comprised of human-scale enterprise rooted in the communities they serve and locally owned by the people whose wellbeing depends on them.
-- David Korten

* "The ideas and principles of democracy should not be limited to politics, but must pervade all areas of social life."
-- Bruno Kreisky

We, as citizens or members of people's organisations, can preserve and nourish basic principles needed for long-term efforts aimed at transforming a totalitarian and war-torn society into a democratic one."
-- Katarina Kruhonja

* freedom rings resoundingly in a democracy each time we speak freely.
-- Dennis Kucinich

* Some believe that the only way to remove the authoritarian regime and replace it with a democratic one is through violent means. I would like to set the precedent of political change through political settlement, not through violence.
-- Aung San Suu Kyi

* "No society has fulfilled its democratic promise if people go hungry... If some go without food they have surely been deprived of all power. The existence of hunger belies the existence of democracy."
-- Frances Moore Lappe

* We’ve come a long way, but we still have a distance to go before all of our citizens embrace the idea of a truly interracial democracy, what I like to call the Beloved Community, a nation at peace with itself.
-- John R. Lewis

* “We want harmonious development, ... We should work together for more democratic and law-based international relations, and a harmonious environment in which countries respect one another, treat one another as equals, and different cultures can emulate and interchange with each other.”
-- Li Zhaoxing

* “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people”
-- Abraham Lincoln

* Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element.
-- Rosa Luxemburg

* We need now to build a culture of geniune nonviolence and real democracy.
-- Mairead Corrigan Maguire


"Democracy is never a thing done. Democracy is always something that a nation must be doing."
-- Archibald MacLeish, American poet, public official (1892-1982)

 
"I have tremendous confidence in the capacity of the poor to transform not only their own lives but also to build a just, humane, and democratic society."
-- Ruth Manorama

* "Democracy is the most demanding of all forms of government in terms of the energy, imagination, and public spirit required of the individual."
-- George C. Marshall (1880-1959)

"America: Socializing the risks, Privatizing the profits, Putting business in the democracy, Taking the democracy out of the business."
-- Christopher Masterjohn

* Ensuring the access of all citizens to government information and to essential information for human development is a must for every democratic society.
-- Koïchiro Matsuura, UNESCO Director-General

Dictatorships are one-way streets. Democracy boasts twox-way traffic.
-- Albert Moravia

 * We must construct a new set of values and attitudes to replace the culture of war which, for centuries, has been influencing the course of civilization. Winning peace means the triumph of our pledge to establish, on a democratic basis, a new social framework of tolerance and generosity from which no one will feel excluded.
-- Federico Mayor
* "One cannot have a trade union or a democratic election without freedom of speech, freedom of association and assembly. Without a democratic election, whereby people choose and remove their rulers, there is no method of securing human rights against the state. No democracy without human rights, no human rights without democracy, and no trade union rights without either. That is our belief; that is our creed."
-- George Meany

* "Peace cannot exist without justice, justice cannot exist without fairness, fairness cannot exist without development, development cannot exist without democracy, democracy cannot exist without respect for the identity and worth of cultures and peoples."
-- Rigoberta Menchu

I don't accept armed struggle. Maybe it was the way in the '50s and '60s, but we want a democratic revolution...
-- Evo Morales

You can't have a people's democracy as long as corporations are considered people. -- Bill Moyers

* The quality of democracy and the quality of journalism are deeply entwined. -- Bill Moyers

“I believe democracy requires a ‘sacred contract’ between journalists and those who put their trust in us to tell them what we can about how the world really works.” -- Bill Moyers

But there is nothing idealized or romantic about the difference between a society whose arrangements roughly serve all its citizens (something otherwise known as social justice) and one whose institutions have been converted into a stupendous fraud. That can be the difference between democracy and plutocracy. -- Bill Moyers

The Interfaith Alliance has to become an ongoing sustaining and powerful movement whose interest is to prove that religion has a healing side as well as a killing side, and that democracy is the consequence of conscience
-- Bill Moyers

An unconscious people, an indoctrinated people, a people fed only partisan information and opinion that confirm their own bias, a people made morbidly obese in mind and spirit by the junk food of propaganda is less inclined to put up a fight, ask questions and be skeptical. And just as a democracy can die of too many lies, that kind of orthodoxy can kill us, too.
-- Bill Moyers

"Neither democracy nor effective representation is possible until each participant in the group...devotes a measurable part of his life to furthering its existence."
-- Lewis Mumford, American social philosopher (1895-1990)

 

* The survival of democracy depends on the renunciation of violence and the development of nonviolent means to combat evil and advance the good.
-- A. J. Muste

There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship.
-- Ralph Nader

* The essence of globalization is a subordination of human rights, of labor rights, consumer, environmental rights, democracy rights, to the imperatives of global trade and investment.
-- Ralph Nader

”Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.”
-- Reinhold Niebuhr

* I always believe that ultimately, if people are paying attention, then we get good government and good leadership. And when we get lazy, as a democracy and civically start taking shortcuts, then it results in bad government and politics.
-- Barack Obama

* "This leads to a question -- if a great many people are for a certain project, is it necessarily right? If the vast majority is for it, is it even more certainly right? This, to be sure, is one of the tricky points of democracy. The minority often turns out to be right, and though one believes in the efficacy of the democratic process, one has also to recognize that the demand of the many for a particular project at a particular time may mean only disaster."
-- Frances Perkins

* "A community is democratic only when the humblest and weakest person can enjoy the highest civil, economic, and social rights that the biggest and most powerful possess."
-- A. Philip Randolph

 

"'If democracy and self-rule are the fundamentals, then why should people give up these rights when they enter their workplace? In politics we fight like tigers for freedom, for the right to elect our leaders, for freedom of movement, choice of residence, choice of what work to pursue - control of our lives, in short. And then we wake up in the morning and go to work, and all those rights disappear. We no longer insist on them. And so for most of the day we return to feudalism. That is what capitalism is - a version of feudalism in which capital replaces land, and business leaders replace kings. But the hierarchy remains. And so we still hand over our lives' labor, under duress, to feed rulers who do no real work.... 'So. We must challenge. It is time. If self-rule is a fundamental value, if simple justice is a value, then they are values everywhere, including in the workplace where we spend so much of our lives'...."
-- Kim Stanley Robinson

* “The motivating force of the theory of a Democratic way of life is still a belief that as individuals we live cooperatively, and, to the best of our ability, serve the community in which we live..."
-- Eleanor Roosevelt
* "The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing."
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt

The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt

* “A great democracy must be progressive or it will soon cease to be a great democracy”
-- Theodore Roosevelt

Our civilization is locked in the grip of an ideology - corporatism. An ideology that denies and undermines the legitimacy of individuals as the citizen in a democracy. The particular imbalance of this ideology leads to a worship of self-interest and a denial of the public good. The practical effects on the individual are passivity and conformism in the areas that matter, and non-conformism in the areas that don't
-- John Ralston Saul

* The spread of democracy is a wonderful thing—it is a necessary foundation for peace—and it can happen. But it cannot be advanced by force, and still less by the creation of a new empire, an idea that is as unworkable as it morally mistaken. Empire, the embodiment of force, violates equity on a global scale. No lover of freedom can give it support. It is especially contrary to the founding principles of the United States.
-- Jonathan Schell
* Democracy is a universal value
-- Amartya Sen

* Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.
-- George Bernard Shaw

We must add our voices to those who cry out that there is a standard below which we will not allow human beings to live, and that that standard is not at the freezing nor starving point....In a democracy all are responsible.
-- Hannah Solomon

* Most of the poverty and misery in the world is due to bad government, lack of democracy, weak states, internal strife, and so on.
-- George Soros

We can no longer allow multi-nationalists to parade as agents of progress and democracy in the newspapers, even as they subvert it at the workplace.
—John Sweeney

Democracy and capitalism have very different beliefs about the proper distribution of power. One believes in a completely equal distribution of political power, 'one man, one vote', while the other believes that it is the duty of the economically fit to drive the unfit out of business and into economic extinction. 'Survival of the fittest' and inequalities in purchasing power is what capitalist efficiency is all about. Individuals and firms become efficient to be rich. To put it in its starkest form, capitalism is perfectly compatible with slavery. The American South had such a system for more than two centuries. Democracy is not comparable with slavery.
-- Lester Thurow

The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colours breaking through.
-- Alexis De Tocqueville

* Democracy is constructed like an edifice, freedom by freedom, right by right, until it reaches its snapping point.
-- Abdoulaye Wade

* Democratic principles are the result of equality of condition.
-- Mercy Otis Warren

* "You cannot have peace without human rights, democracy, gender equality, and clean water. Look to the root causes of war and you will find, in their reverse, the root foundations of peace."
-- Cora Weiss

* As free citizens in a political democracy, we have a responsibility to be interested and involved in the affairs of the human community, be it at the local or the global level.
-- Paul Wellstone

“There are three critical ingredients to democratic renewal and progressive change in America: good public policy, grassroots organizing and electoral politics.”
-- Paul Wellstone

Education and democracy have the same goal: the fullest possible development of human capabilities.
-- Paul Wellstone

* Democracy is itself, a religious faith. For some it comes close to being the only formal religion they have.
~ E. B. White

I still have great faith in democracy. I have great belief in the power of community.
~ Terry Tempest Williams

* The human heart is the first home of democracy. It is where we embrace our questions: Can we be equitable? Can we be generous? Can we listen with our whole beings, not just our minds, and offer our attention rather than our opinion? And do we have enough resolve in our hearts to act courageously, relentlessly, without giving up, trusting our fellow citizens to join us in our determined pursuit—a living democracy?
~ Terry Tempest Williams

We have to speak out now on behalf of our community and on behalf of the land and say they're the same thing and say "No, we are not rolling over" and "No, this is not a corporate enterprise." This is democracy in the fullest sense and we must have regard and reverence and those are the cornerstones of a just society.
~ Terry Tempest Williams

I feel like we are at a time of great creativity if we choose to embrace it as such, if we choose to engage the will of our imaginations and imagine another way of being in the world. Democracy requires our participation. The land trust movement in this country is a beautiful example of how we can find hope within our own communities because it bypasses government and creates a diverse and truly bipartisan conversation on behalf of the land. We dare to define community to include all life—rocks, rivers, plants, and animals, alongside human beings. Whether it is the Castle Rock Collaboration in the red rock desert of southern Utah or the Blue Hill Heritage Trust in coastal Maine, these small groups made up of neighbors and friends from all walks of life are having an extraordinary influence on our creation of an ethic of place. I believe radical change occurs through the care of our relationships.
~ Terry Tempest Williams

 

* "The whole purpose of democracy is that we may hold counsel with one another, so as not to depend upon the understanding of one man."
-- Woodrow Wilson

In our so-called democracy we are accustomed to give the majority what they want rather than educate them to understand what is best for them.
~Carter Woodson

A free America... means just this: individual freedom for all, rich or poor, or else this system of government we call democracy is only an expedient to enslave man to the machine and make him like it.
-- Frank Lloyd Wright

* I have defended democracy, human rights, and brotherhood between peoples. And I’ll keep doing so for as long as I live.
-- Leyla Zana

Democracy Day - October 18

Quotes for a Better World

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