Quotes on Democracy

Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom; socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.

— Alexis de Tocqueville, Discours pronounce a l’assemblee constituante le 12 septembre 1848 sur la question du droit at travail

The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state controlled police and the military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an ‘equalizer.’ Egalite implies liberte. And always will. Let us hope our weapons are never needed –but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny.

— Edward Abbey

Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).

— Ayn Rand

Democracy can’t work. Mathematicians, peasants, and animals, that’s all there is – so democracy, a theory based on the assumption that mathematicians and peasants are equal, can never work. Wisdom is not additive; its maximum is that of the wisest man in a given group.

— Robert Heinlein

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

— Thomas Jefferson

The merit of our Constitution was, not that it promotes democracy, but checks it.

— Horatio Seymour

The free market is the only mechanism that has ever been discovered for achieving participatory democracy.

— Milton Friedman, Introduction to the Fiftieth Anniversary Edition of The Road to Serfdom

Democracy and liberty are not the same. Democracy is little more than mob rule, while liberty refers to the sovereignty of the individual.

— Walter Williams

Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man. How’s that again? I missed something.
Autocracy is based on the assumption that one man is wiser than a million men. Let’s play that over again, too. Who decides?

— Robert Heinlein

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.

— Thomas Jefferson

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

— H. L. Mencken

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule— and both commonly succeed, and are right.

— H. L. Mencken

People who object to weapons aren’t abolishing violence, they’re begging for rule by brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically ‘right.’ Guns ended that, and social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work.

— L. Neil Smith
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