Democracy in Transition: Spins #2 Print
Thursday, 20 July 2006 14:41


 PEJ News - Richard Walpole - Democracy has always been in transition, and probably always will be. The challenges facing all of us now are monumental. These insights are presented to help define those challenges and the path ahead.


Richard Walpole

PEJ News
July 20, 2006

The challenges facing all of us now are monumental. These insights are presented to help define those challenges and the path ahead. 


------ Citizenship ------

 'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.'  Edmund Burke, 1729 - 1797

 'The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.' Sir Winston Churchill

 'That's what democracy is all about - defending one another.' Anon. middle-aged man at a protest in Duncan, BC Feb 11/02

 'People who want to understand democracy should spend less time in the library with Aristotle and more time on the buses and in the subway.'  Simeon Strunskey  1878-1958

 'No one is good enough to be someone else's master.'  Christopher Hitchens, author

 'The most important office in a democracy is the office of citizen.'  US Justice Louis Brandels

 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inaliable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To ensure these rights, governments were instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.'  The American Declaration of Independence

 ----- Odd -----

 'Envy is the basis of democracy.'  Bertrand Russell

 'A born leader of men is someone who is afraid to go anywhere by himself.'  Clifford Hanley in Scottish Quotations

 'All men are equal - all men, that is to say, who possess umbrellas.'  E.M. Forster 1879-1970 in Howards End

------ "Well I believe...."  ------

'Ideology is the curse of public affairs because it converts politics into a branch of theology and sacrifices human beings on the altar of dogma.' Arthur Schlesinger

'One has only to think of the sinister possibilities of the radio, state-controlled education and so forth, to realize that "the truth is great and will prevail" is a prayer rather than an axiom.'  George Orwell

'Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.'  A. J. Liebling

'It is possible that people need to believe that they are unmanaged if they are to be managed effectively.'  John Kenneth Galbraith, economist

'Lenin was literate. Stalin was literate, so was Hitler. As for Mao Zedong, he even wrote verse. What all these men had in common, though, was that their hit list was longer than their reading list.'  Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky

'Every dogma has its day, but ideals are eternal.'  Israel Zangwill

------ Foolishness ------

'Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? and ain't that a big enough majority in any town?'  Mark Twain

'If you try to please everybody, somebody is not going to like it.'  Don Rumsfield

'I'd like to see government get out of war altogether and leave the whole field to private industry.'  Joseph Heller in Catch 22

'The wrong sort of people are always in power, because they would not be in power if they were not the wrong sort of people.'  Jon Wynne-Tyson.

'One day the don't-knows will get in, and then where will we be?'  Spike Milligan

~~~~~  Money ~~~~~

'Is something a blow against freedom just because it can seriously damage your wealth?'  Jonathan Lynn & Sir Anthony Jay

'Democracy is the epitome of laziness: we elect other people to spend our money.'  Gerry Beaubier

'I think it's hard to get money from people who've been tear-gassed and clubbed.' Thomas Griffin

'It is one thing to have the right to the possession of money, and another to have the right to the use of money as one pleases.'  Pope Leo XIII in 1891

'The critical question for citizens then becomes: who sets our standards for our public institutions? Is accountability imposed by the state or negotiated through open, democratic process? And, do we have the capacity to negotiate accountability? Much of the democratic debate of the next decade will turn on whether accountability is imposed or negotiated. It is the new battleground in the construction of democratic society.'  Janice Gross Stein, in The Cult of Efficiency Massey Lectures.

Compiled by Richard Walpole
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Last Updated on Thursday, 20 July 2006 14:41