„Every attempt to develop systematic democratic theory has to confront the elementary fact that democracy can be, and in practice has been, interpreted as an ideal political system, perhaps (or probably, or certainly) unattainable in full, and also as an actual, historically existing system, a set of political institutions or processes that are attainable at least under some limiting conditions.“

— Robert Alan Dahl, Foreword : Reflections on A Preface to Democratic Theory

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Robert Alan Dahl
1915 - 2014
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„In capitalist society, providing it develops under the most favorable conditions, we have a more or less complete democracy in the democratic republic. But this democracy is always hemmed in by the narrow limits set by capitalist exploitation and consequently always remains, in effect, a democracy for the minority, only for the propertied classes, only for the rich. Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slaveowners. Owing to the conditions of capitalist exploitation, the modern wage slaves are so crushed by want and poverty that “they cannot be bothered with democracy,” “cannot be bothered with politics”; in the ordinary, peaceful course of events, the majority of the population is debarred from participation in public and political life. The“

— Vladimir Lenin, State and Revolution
Context: Democracy for an insignificant minority, democracy for the rich – that is the democracy of capitalist society. If we look more closely into the machinery of capitalist democracy, we see everywhere, in the "petty" – supposedly petty – details of the suffrage (residential qualifications, exclusion of women, etc.), in the technique of the representative institutions, in the actual obstacles to the right of assembly (public buildings are not for "paupers"!), in the purely capitalist organization of the daily press, etc., etc., – we see restriction after restriction upon democracy. These restrictions, exceptions, exclusions, obstacles for the poor seem slight, especially in the eyes of one who has never known want himself and has never been in close contact with the oppressed classes in their mass life (and nine out of 10, if not 99 out of 100, bourgeois publicists and politicians come under this category); but in their sum total these restrictions exclude and squeeze out the poor from politics, from active participation in democracy. Ch. 5

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„Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this:
"You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination.“

— Doris Lessing British novelist, poet, playwright, librettist, biographer and short story writer 1919 - 2013
Context: Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: "You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society." Introduction (1971)

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„God has not given to us (in this state of existence) more than very limited powers of expression of one's ideas and feelings“

— Ada Lovelace English mathematician, considered the first computer programmer 1815 - 1852
Context: Circumstances have been such, that I have lived almost entirely secluded for some time. Those who are much in earnest and with single minds devoted to any great object in life, must find this occasionally inevitable.... You will wonder at having heard nothing from me; but you have experience and candour enough to perceive and know that God has not given to us (in this state of existence) more than very limited powers of expression of one's ideas and feelings... I shall be very desirous of again seeing you. You know what that means from me, and that it is no form, but the simple expression and result of the respect and attraction I feel for a mind that ventures to read direct in God's own book, and not merely thro' man's translation of that same vast and mighty work. In a letter to Andrew Crosse, as quoted in Eugen Kölbing's Englische Studien, Volume 19 https://archive.org/stream/englischestudien19leipuoft#page/157/mode/1up (1894), Leipzig; O.R. Reisland, "Byron's Daughter", p. 157.

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