Democracy for Dummies by Jack Kettler
There are many political leaders today and in recent times who say positive things about democracy. Perhaps you have heard some of them extol the supposed virtues of democracy, like: “we have to make the world safe for democracy” or, vowing to “promote democracy both at home and abroad.”
The following quotes are from a wide range of sources. They demonstrate sound thinking on the topic of democracy throughout history. Some of quotes are quite funny, other dead serious. Next time you attend a political speech and the speaker starts spouting off about democracy, ask them for comment on some of the following quotes.
This list of quotes on Democracy is one of the largest collections you can find:
“Democracy is the road to socialism.” – Karl Marx
“We believe socialism and democracy are one and indivisible.” – Socialist Party U.S.A.
“Democracy has nothing to do with freedom. Democracy is a soft variant of communism, and rarely in the history of ideas has it been taken for anything else.” – Hans-Herman Hoppe
Some thoughts from the Founding Fathers on Democracy:
“Hence it is that democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths… A republic, by which I mean a government in which a scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking.” – James Madison, Federalist Papers No. 10 (1787).
“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” – Ben Franklin
“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
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” John Adams
“Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.” – Chief Justice John Marshall
“Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state – it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.” – John Witherspoon
A collection of important insights on Democracy:
“Democracy… is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder; and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike.” – Plato
“In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme.” – Aristotle
“The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting.” – Charles Bukowski
“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” – John F. Kennedy
“Democracy is the menopause of Western society, the Grand Climacteric of the body social.” – Jean Baudrillard
Democracy is also a form of religion:
“It is the worship of jackals by jackasses.” – H. L. Mencken
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” – H.L. Mencken
“Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.” – H.L Mencken
“Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they’ve told you what you think it is you want to hear.” – Alan Corenk
“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” – Winston Churchill
“In a democracy, the majority of the citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority” – Edmund Burke
“Democratism and its allied herd movements, while remaining loyal to the principle of equality and identity, will never hesitate to sacrifice liberty.” – Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
“Despite popular rhetoric, democracy is not synonymous with freedom. Taking something without permission is theft, but not when the majority goes along with it and calls it taxation. Matters that should be of no interest to any other person (e.g., what a person chooses to do with his or her body) become matters of public policy when the majority says so. The recipe is fairly straightforward. All you have to do is appoint someone else to initiate force on your behalf, get enough people to pick the same candidate, and then hide behind the waving banner of free and open elections. The syllogism goes something like: The initiation of force is wrong, so I cannot initiate force without punishment. Democratic elections are good. I help to elect someone to public office, then he or she initiates force on my behalf.” – Brian Drake
Most people are cowardly and would not rob their neighbor with a weapon, instead as Mr. Drake has just pointed out, the people use the government to steal for them.
“Parliamentary government is simply a mild and disguised form of compulsion. We agree to try strength by counting heads instead of breaking heads, but the principle is exactly the same… The minority gives way not because it is convinced that it is wrong, but because it is convinced that it is a minority.” – James Fitzjames Stephen
“I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.” – Thomas Carlyle
“The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.” and, “It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority. For there is a reserve of latent power in the masses which, if it is called into play, the minority can seldom resist.” – Lord Acton
“It is a logical absurdity to equate democracy with freedom in the way that mainstream political philosophers and commentators typically do. A system where individuals and minorities are at the mercy of unconstrained majorities hardly constitutes freedom in any meaningful sense.” – Keith Preston
“The concept of the Will of the People is dangerously arbitrary. Certainly not worthy of being the foundation of a rational and practical political system.” – Stephen Townshend
“Democracy is mob rule with income taxes.” – Gloria Steinem
“Gang rape is democracy in action.” ~MRDA~
“Democracy plus Islam, equals, radical Islam” – unknown
“Democracy is the will of the people. Every morning I am surprised to read in the newspaper what I want.” – Wim Kan, Dutch comedian
Thoughts on the inevitable results of Democracy in the Civil Realm:
“Every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.”- H.L. Mencken
“Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” – Frederic Bastiat
“Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.” – Ludwig von Mises, Austrian economist and great free market defender
Many people agree with the following sentiments on the inability to keep government growth in check once democracy takes hold:
“The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it’s good-bye to the Bill of Rights.” – H.L. Mencken
Speaking about the hand in the neighbor’s pocket:
“Where shall we get to and how are we to maintain progress if we increasingly adopt a way of life in which no one wants any longer to assume responsibility for himself and everyone seeks security in collectivism?” Ludwig Erhard, former German Chancellor See Ludwig Erhard’s The German Miracle vs. the Welfare State.
“Democracy is majority rule at the expense of the minority. Our system has certain democratic elements, but the founders never mentioned democracy in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of Independence. In fact, our most important protections are decidedly undemocratic. For example, the First Amendment protects free speech. It doesn’t – or shouldn’t – matter if that speech is abhorrent to 51% or even 99% of the people. Speech is not subject to majority approval. Under our republican form of government, the individual, the smallest of minorities, is protected from the mob” – Ron Paul
“Democracy? I want nothing to do with a system which operates on the premise that my rights don’t exist simply because I am outnumbered.” – R. Lee Wrights
“The problem with [democracy] socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” – Margaret Thatcher
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.” – Sir Alexander Fraser Tyler, Scottish historian
Consider two quotes by economic professor Hans-Herman Hoppe author of the powerful book; Democracy – The God that Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order.
“What is true, just, and beautiful is not determined by popular vote. The masses everywhere are ignorant, short-sighted, motivated by envy, and easy to fool. Democratic politicians must appeal to these masses in order to be elected. Whoever is the best demagogue will win. Almost by necessity, then, democracy will lead to the perversion of truth, justice and beauty.” – Hanse-Hermann Hoppe
“Thus, if one is indeed concerned about America’s moral decay and wants to restore normalcy to society and culture, one must oppose all aspects of the modern social-welfare state. A return to normalcy requires no less than the complete elimination of the present social security system: of unemployment insurance, social security, medicare, medicaid, public education, etc.- and thus the near complete dissolution and deconstruction of the current state apparatus and government power. If one is ever to restore normalcy, government funds and power must dwindle to or even fall below their nineteenth century levels. Hence, true conservatives must be hard-line libertarians (antistatists).” – Hanse-Hermann Hoppe
“You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe.” – John Adams
It is significant that Adams grounds these rights in the biblical God and not from government!
The following article is a good theological analysis of democracy:
THE HERESY OF DEMOCRACY WITH GOD
By Rousas John Rushdoony [From Chalcedon Position Paper No.6]
A YOUNG woman, mother of a girl of six years, described conditions in the grade school (K-6) across from their church. One teacher is openly a lesbian. Some boys regularly drag screaming girls into the boys’ restroom to expose themselves to the girls, and nothing is done about it. The leading church officer had an answer to her call for a Christian School: he did not believe in spiritual isolationism for Christians, and this is what Christian Schools represent. Unusual? On the contrary, all too common an attitude.
In Chalcedon Position Paper no. 2, I wrote on “Can We Tithe Our Children?”, I quoted Psalm 128:1,
“Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.”
This fell into the hands of a minister, who was apparently very upset by it. He corrected the word of God, and wrote to declare, “I do not like the word feareth, Rather loveth the Lord.” Unusual? No, all too common.
A pastor, planning to speak on Biblical authority had the word “authority” altered in the church bulletin by members to read “leadership.” A prominent church publication spoke with ridicule and hatred of all who would believe in anything so “primitive” as Biblical law. Another pastor, planning to discipline a seriously sinning member, was attacked by his fellow pastors at a church meeting; somehow, it is unloving to deal with sin as God’s word requires it.
Is it necessary to give further examples? More pastors lose pulpits for their faithfulness to Scripture than for any other reason. Trifling excuses are found to make possible the dissolution of a pastoral relationship. Open sin is condoned, and simple faithfulness is despised. The telephone rings regularly to bring reports of fresh instances of churches in revolt against God and His word. Gary North is right. Humanism’s accomplices are in the church (Christian Reconstruction, III,2).
Much of this stems from one of the great heresies of our day, the belief in democracy. At the beginning of the century, some churchmen began talking about the democracy of God, i.e., that God wants a universe where He and His creatures can work and plan together in a democratic way. Of course, if our relationship with God is a democratic one, we can correct the Bible where it displeases us, eliminate what we cannot correct, and use other standards and tests for the church and the clergy than God’s enscriptured word. Then, logically, our word is as good as God’s word, and as authoritative as God’s.
In his important study, The Heresy of Democracy (1955), Lord Percy of Newcastle declared of democracy that it is “philosophy which is nothing less than a new religion” (p. 16). The justification for all things is not to be found in the triune God but in the people. Virtue means meeting people’s needs, and the democratic state, church, and God have one function, to supply human wants. State, school, church, and God become chaplains to man, called upon to bow down before man’s authority. In fact, Lord Percy said of state schools, “This is, indeed, democracy’s characteristic Mark of the Beast… of all means of assimilation, the most essential to democracy is a uniform State-controlled education” (p.13). To challenge that system is to shake democracy’s structure, including its state and church. Earlier, Fichte saw statist education in messianic terms: “Progress is that perfection of education by which the Nation is made Man.”
Within the church, the modernists first advocated the state as God’s voice and instrument. Wellhausen, the German leader of the higher criticism of the Old Testament, declared: “We must acknowledge that the Nation is more certainly created by God than the Church, and that God works more powerfully in the history of nations than in Church history.”
Behind all this is the question of authority: is it from God, or from man? If God is the sovereign authority over all things, then His law-word alone can govern all things. Religion, politics, economics, science, education, law and all things else must be under God, or they are in revolt!
If the ultimate authority is man, then all things must serve man and bow down before man’s authority. As T. Robert Ingram has so clearly pointed out in What’s Wrong with Human Rights (1979), the doctrine of human rights is the humanistic replacement for Biblical law. Man now being regarded as sovereign, his rights have replaced God’s law as the binding force and authority over man and his world.
The cultural effects of this change have been far reaching. In a remarkably brilliant and telling study, Ann Douglas, in The Feminization of American Culture (I977), has shown the effects of Unitarianism and religious liberalism on American culture. From a God-centred emphasis (not necessarily consistent or thorough in application), a man centred focus emerged. The new justification of women became the cult of motherhood (a humanistic, man centred focus), and for men and women alike, “doing good” for one’s fellow men. With this new emphasis, men left the church, or regarded it as peripheral to their lives, and the liberal clergy developed the fundamentals of what we have today as soap opera religion. In Ann Douglas’ delightfully incisive wording, it’s hardly accidental that soap opera, an increasing speciality of nineteenth century liberal Protestantism, is a “phenomenon which we associate with the special needs of feminine subculture” (p.48). Liberal religion feminized the clergy, made women and Christianity irrelevant to life, and created a spineless, gutless clergy for whom the faith is sentimental talk and not the power of God unto salvation. To quote Dr. Douglas again, “The liberal minister who abandoned theology lost his right to start from the ‘facts’ of the Bible as his predecessors understood them: that God made man, man sinned against him, and God had and has the right to assign any punishment he judges fit for the offences” (p. 200).
This humanistic soap-opera religion conquered other areas of the church. Arminianism quickly adopted it, as did much of Calvinism, as their emphases shifted from God’s sovereign act of salvation to man’s ostensible choice, or man’s experience, and from the centrality and authority of the word, to an emotional, experientially governed “heart-religion.”
In this humanist parody of Christianity, man’s experience has priority over God’s word. One “Christian worker” told me that it was unwise for people to read the Bible without the guidance of a “real” experience of “Spirit-filled” heart religion. Of course, for him the Spirit freed him from the word, a heretical opinion. One pastor, who announced a series of sermons on authority, i.e., the authority of God, of His word, authority under God, etc., was told bluntly that he should preach on “fellowship” with God, not God’s authority. When churchmen are hostile to God’s authority, they are not Christians. Fellowship with God through Christ is on His terms and under His grace and authority.
“If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” (I John 1:6).
A church which denies God’s authority will be in no position to resist the state’s authority. It will look to authorities other than the Lord’s for its justification, and, in yielding to the state, it will do so in the spirit of cooperation, not compromise, because its true fellowship is with man and the state, not the Lord. Ambrose, in A.D. 385, resisted the state’s requisition of a church in Milan, declaring, “What belongs to God is outside the emperor’s power.” Ambrose said further, in his ‘Sermon Against Auxentius’, “We pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. Tribute is due to Caesar, we do not deny it. The Church belongs to God, therefore it ought not to be assigned to Caesar. For the temple of God cannot be Caesar’s by right.” The emperor, he added, could be in the church by faith, but never above or over it.
Chrysostom, in dealing also with conflict with Caesar, warned his people, in Concerning the Statutes, Homily III, 19:
“This certainly I foretell and testify, that although this cloud should pass away, and we yet remain in the same condition of listlessness, we shall again have to suffer much heavier evils than those we are now dreading; for I do not so much fear the wrath of the Emperor, as your own listlessness.”
Here Chrysostom put his finger on the heart of the matter: the threat was less the emperor and more a listless and indifferent church. The same problem confronts us today. The greater majority of church members do not feel that Christianity is worth fighting for, let alone dying for. They only want the freedom to be irrelevant, and to emit pious gush as a substitute for faithfulness and obedience. In soap opera religion, life is without dominion; instead, it is a forever abounding mess, met with a sensitive and bleeding heart. Soap opera religion is the faith of the castrated, of the impotent, and the irrelevant. The devotees of soap opera religion are full of impotent self-pity and rage over the human predicament, but are devoid of any constructive action; only destruction and negation become them.
The heresy of democracy leads to the triumph of sentimental religion. Dr. Douglas defines sentimentalism thus:
“Sentimentalism is a cluster of ostensibly private feelings which always attains public and conspicuous expression” (p. 307). The focus in sentimental religion shifts from God’s word to man’s feelings, and from basic doctrine to psychology and human needs. The doctrine of the sovereignty of man means the sovereignty of the total man, and all his feelings. We have a generation now whose concern is themselves, whose self-love blots out reality and truth.
So great is this self-absorption that, in any office, faculty, church group, or other fellowship, there are commonly persons who give their momentous personal communiques on purely private matters: “I didn’t sleep well last night … I’m so tired today…Nothing I eat agrees with me lately, and I’m always gassy… I saw the film and used oodles of Kleenex. … The colour green always upsets me… I can’t bear to have children around …” and so on and on. Purely private feelings are announced as though the world should react, be concerned, and be governed by them.
Even worse, God is approached with a similar endless gush of private feelings, as though God should be concerned and upset when an egomaniac is distressed. Few people pray, asking, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6). Rather, they pray with a list of demands on God, for Him to supply. Now Paul declares that God will supply all our needs “according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19), but that promise is preceded by an epistle which speaks at length of God’s requirements of us, and also calls for contentment on our parts with our God-decreed lot (Philippians 4: 11).
Basic also to the heresy of democracy in the church is its belief, not only in man’s needs as against God’s requirements, but its belief in the irrelevance of God’s law. If man is sovereign, God’s law cannot bind man, and both hell and justice fade away. God, then, is allowed only one approach to man – love. He is portrayed as needing, yearning for, and calling for man’s love.
Man is in the driver’s seat, to accept or reject that plea. Lord Percy stated it succinctly: “A mere breaker of law… may always be saved; but there is no salvation for the deniers of law” (p.108). They have denied God’s sovereignty and His power to save. Their only logical relationship to God, then, is not by salvation but by man-ordained fellowship. Then, too, what man has ordained, man can destroy, so there is efficacious salvation, and no perseverance of the saints.
This brings us to the conclusion of sovereign man. On both sides of the “Iron curtain,” politicians trumpet the claim that theirs is the free world. “The free world” is a curious and popular term in the twentieth century, so commonly used that its meaning is hardly considered. What is the free world free from? First of all, it means freedom from the other side. The enemy represents bondage, “our side” freedom, although all the while freedom decreases in the West, even as its relics grow fewer behind the Iron Curtain. The less free we become, the more we are told of the virtues of our freedom. But, second, the whole world is not free in its more basic sense, “free” from God. For the Marxists, religion, Biblical faith in particular, is the opium of the masses. For democratic thinkers like John Dewey and James Bryant Conant, Christianity and the family are anti-democratic and aristocratic, and hence incompatible with democracy. (See R.J. Rushdoony: Messianic Character of American Education.) The Death of God School of a few years ago did not say that God is dead in Himself but that God is dead for us, because, they declared, we find Him “non-historical” and irrelevant to our purposes in this world. Only that which meets man’s needs and purposes is alive for man, and therefore man wants to be free from the sovereign God.
The man who did not believe in “spiritual isolationism,” of which he accused the Christian Schools, was emphatic on one point: we must obey the powers that be, the state, because God ordains it. Peter’s words, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts3:29), brought little response from him. Obedience to many other things in Scripture, such as tithing, bring no similar strong demand for obedience, but all such are ready to call their compromise with Caesar a faithfulness to God.
But to obey in the Hebrew Scripture means essentially to hear the word of God, to believe it, and to act on it. Therefore, W.A.Whitehouse said that the word obey has “the closest possible association with ‘believe’” (A. Richardson, editor: A Theological Word Book of the Bible, p. 160.).
Contrary to the humanistic, democratic mood in religious thought today, Christianity is an authoritative faith. It is held, throughout all Scripture, that all human authority is derived or conferred (or falsely claimed) and is always subject to the sovereign and absolute authority of God and is always subject to the terms of His law-word.
We have an age that wants (if it has anything to do with God) only His fellowship, on man’s terms, and without His sovereignty and lordship. lt dares to correct and amend God’s word; it refuses to hear Him but offers, rather, to love Him. (One Hollywood “Christian” leader of a few years back spoke of God as “a living doll.”) It wants a universe in which man plays sovereign and creator, endeavouring to create a brave new world out of sinful man, or out of self-centered churchmen, and it produces a fair facsimile of hell. Such a world is begging for judgment, and then as now “judgment must begin at the house of God” (I Peter 4:17). As always, judgment precedes salvation.
End of article
Final quotes on the evil form of government known as Democracy:
“Democracy is the great love of the failures and cowards of life.” – R.J. Rushdoony
“Democracy and liberty are not the same. Democracy is little more than mob rule, while liberty refers to the sovereignty of the individual.” – Walter E. Williams
“The tendency of liberals is to create bodies of men and women-of all classes-detached from tradition, alienated from religion, and susceptible to mass suggestion-mob rule. And a mob will be no less a mob if it is well fed, well clothed, well housed, and well disciplined.” – T. S. Eliot
“Democracy is no solution – it’s just 51% bossing the other 49% around. For God’s sake, Hitler was democratically elected! Democracy is just mob rule dressed up in a coat and tie.” – Doug Casey
At first, some democracies are very particular on who is allowed to immigrate into the country. There are strictly enforced immigration laws only allowing in people who have something to positively contribute to the country.
In the late stages before a democracy collapses, the politicians who promise people free things to get elected, find that many people are starting to recognize the voting scam for what it is. In order to keep the scam of democracy going, the politicians need more stupid people who cannot not recognize the political lies. In the case of the U.S. the corrupt vote buying political prostitutes (most politicians) create an open boarder disaster and start flooding the country with millions of stupid people who fall victim to specious promises of the vote buying prostitutes. The new waves of immigrant law breakers are coming for government handouts, taken from people who producers and given to non-producing bums and parasites.
Theological problems with Democracy:
Democracy forces you to be in conformity with the demands of the “will of the people,” regardless of what economic realism, common sense, or what biblical law says. Democracy obligates you to relinquish your freedom and your assets including property for the so-called “general welfare” clause in the constitution which proponents of democracy have grossly distorted. Democracy in the end, destroys freedom and property.
Democracy springs forth from the desires of depraved men, and since man is depraved, evil is the result. Democracy seeks to make collective man like God, determining right and wrong for himself. The result, laws are changed to permit wicked behavior. Democracy is rule by the people, for the people, and of the people. It falsely raises up man to be the lord over all things. This is a violation of God’s sovereignty. The voice and will of the people, is not the voice and will of God. To assert this, is idolatry.
“… thou shall not steal, even by majority vote …” – Gary North
Mr. Kettler is the owner of http://www.Undergroundnotes.com web site where his theological, philosophical and political articles can be read.