Democracy can mean a government or organization where all the citizens or members have a say in decisions, usually with majority rule. Democracy can also be used to communicate a general spirit of social equality. Democracy is “rule by the people” — and how democratic a government is depends on who is really included in “the people.” Thus, in the ancient seat of democracy, Greece, women and slaves didn’t have a say in the decisions about public power. Today, many would assert that wealth gives more power to some in political decisions. Today, political democracy is generally used to mean inclusion of all citizens with equal voices in decision-making.
I swear to the Lord I still can’t see what democracy means to everybody but me.
Nobody black or white who really believes in democracy can stand aside now; everybody’s got to stand up and be counted.
We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a comparative few, but we cannot have both.
The function of the press is very high. It is almost holy. It ought to serve as a forum for the people, through which the people may know freely what is going on. To misstate or suppress the news is a breach of trust.
We preach the virtues of democracy abroad. We must practice its duties here at home. Voting is the first duty of democracy.
The capacity to combine commitment with skepticism is essential to democracy.
Given the power and influence that science increasingly has in our daily lives, it is important that we as citizens of an open and democratic society learn to separate good science from bunk. This is not just a matter of intellectual curiosity, as it affects where large portions of our tax money go, and in some cases even whether people’s lives are lost as a result of nonsense.
Capitalism is against the things that we say we believe in – democracy, freedom of choice, fairness. It’s not about any of those things now. It’s about protecting the wealthy and legalizing greed.
Here’s what I don’t think works: An economic system that was founded in the 16th century and another that was founded in the 19th century. I’m tired of this discussion of capitalism and socialism; we live in the 21st century; we need an economic system that has democracy as its underpinnings and an ethical code.
Capitalism is an evil, and you cannot regulate evil. You have to eliminate it and replace it with something that is good for all people and that something is democracy.
Capitalism and democracy are the opposite of each other. Capitalism is a system that guarantees that a few are going to do very well, and everybody else is going to serve the few. Democracy means everybody has a seat at the table. Everybody.
The family meal is really the nursery of democracy. It’s where we learn to share; it’s where we learn to argue without offending.
What difference does it make 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 and democracy.
What difference does it make 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?
The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.
I am blessed to live in a democracy, not a totalitarian state. But the democracy I cherish is constantly threatened by a brand of politics that clothes avarice and the arrogance of power in patriotic and religious garb.
A politician who brings personal integrity into leadership helps us reclaim the popular trust that distinguishes true democracy from its cheap imitations.
Democracy, like love, can survive any attack—save neglect and indifference.
Any situation in which some men prevent others from engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence;. . . to alienate humans from their own decision making is to change them into objects.
If the structure does not permit dialogue the structure must be changed.
To glorify democracy and to silence the people is a farce; to discourse on humanism and to negate people is a lie.
The educator with a democratic vision or posture cannot avoid in his teaching praxis insisting on the critical capacity, curiosity, and autonomy of the learner.
Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.
And these words shall then become
Like Oppression’s thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain,
Heard again – again – again –
‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number –
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you –
Ye are many – they are few.’
Shall we then judge a country by the majority, or by the minority? By the minority, surely.
We have to act now to take steps so that the next time there is a razor-thin election — and there will be one, sooner or later — our civil society is strong enough to withstand foreign and domestic efforts to tear it apart.
Abraham Lincoln did not go to Gettysburg having commissioned a poll to find out what would sell in Gettysburg. There were no people with percentages for him, cautioning him about this group or that group or what they found in exit polls a year earlier. When will we have the courage of Lincoln?
[D]emocracy is a hope zone where we pull out the weeds that strangle our possibilities and where we plant seeds that grow our lives and the lives of others.
Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus — the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers’ enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this apparatus and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.
Liberal democracy – as you know, in the old days, we were saying we want socialism with a human face. Today’s left effectively offers global capitalism with a human face, more tolerance, more rights and so on. So the question is, is this enough or not? Here I remain a Marxist: I think not.