Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas. April 25, 2007. Demagogue. Democracy.

Demagogue 149 The persuasiveness of the intellectual demagogue consists not so much in convincing people of the vileness of the established order as in demonstrating its helpless incompetence. Hoffer, The True Believer

Democracy viii Peter Gay, quoting Bracher: “The German dictatorship has failed, but German democracy has not yet been secured.” Bracher, The German Dictatorship

Democracy 496 Whereas the old national idea emphasized divisiveness, the present demands that nationalism everywhere be replaced by an international policy attuned to the rules of democracies, to discussion and compromise. Bracher, The German Dictatorship.

Democracy 697 JFK: “For there is no place in democratic life for institutions which benefit the few while denying the needs of the many….” Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Democracy 91 The spokesmen of democracy offer no holy cause to cling to and no corporate whole to lose oneself in. Hoffer, The True Believer

Democracy 173 When its existence is threatened and it has to unify its people and generate in them a spirit of utmost self-sacrifice, the democratic nation must transform itself into something akin to a militant church or a revolutionary party. Hoffer, The True Believer

Democracy 73 Lincoln: For my own part, I consider the first necessity that is upon us, is of proving that popular government is not an absurdity…must settle this question now—whether in a free government the minority have the right to break it up whenever they choose; if we fail, it will go far to prove the incapability of the people to govern themselves. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

Democracy 4 …the Athenian oligarchic party, led by Critias, advocated the abandonment of democracy on the score of its inefficiency in war…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

Democracy 20 But even democracy ruins itself by excess--of democracy. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

Democracy 32 Democracy means perfect equality of opportunity.... Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

Democracy 88 …because men are equally free they claim to be absolutely equal. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

Democracy 195 Spinoza: The defect of democracy is its tendency to put mediocrity into power…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Democracy 431 Nietzsche: Worst of all are the English; it is they who corrupted the French mind with the democratic delusion; “shop-keepers, Christians, cows, women, Englishmen, and other democrats belong together.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Nietzsche.

Democracy 432 Nietzsche: Democracy...the enthronement of liberty and chaos. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Nietzsche.

Democracy 521 Dewey: ...fellowship in occupation makes for a democracy. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, John Dewey.

Democracy 27 [In a democracy] the man who is barely human is treated as if he were the peer of Aristotle. Mencken, Minority Report.

Democracy 119 The elements in democracy that are sound in logic and of genuine cultural value may be briefly listed: equality before the law; the limitation of government; free speech. Mencken, Minority Report.

Democracy 139 …democracy…the heavy stressing of self-reliance, the doctrine of equality before the law, government by laws not men, the insistence upon free competition. Mencken, Minority Report.

Democracy 197 [Democracy] is, at its best, only a scheme to counteract the natural differences between man and man by setting up artificial likenesses…a relentless hatred of every sort of superiority. Mencken, Minority Report.

Democracy 202 The masses of the people are quite as incapable of deciding questions of government as they are of deciding questions of medicine. Mencken, Minority Report.

Democracy 219 We must grasp the idea that democracy is really not final and absolute, and that totalitarianism in some form or other may succeed it. Mencken, Minority Report.

Democracy 620 At first the critics were told that they should not be critics because it was not really going to be a war and it would be brief, anyway; then, when it became clear that it was a war, they were told not to be critics because it hurt our boys and helped the other side. Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest.

Democracy 250 Lincoln: As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master…expresses my idea of democracy…whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years.

Democracy and totalitarianism 147 The totalitarian paternalism of the Jesuits apparently fitted South American conditions enormously better than democracy[;] nevertheless, democratic theory prevailed, and the whole of Latin America has been racked by turmoil and corruption ever since. Mencken, Minority Report.

Democracy vs. aristocracy 504 Santayana wonders was there not more happiness for men in the old aristocratic doctrine that the good is not liberty, but wisdom, and contentment with one’s natural restrictions; the classical tradition knew that only a few can win[;] but now that democracy has opened the great free-for-all, catch-as-catch-can wrestling match of laissez-faire industrialism, every soul is torn with climbing, and no one knows content. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Santayana.

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