„Democracy begins as an act of imagination about people. For this reason democracy is a doctrine of social criticism.“

Elmer Eric Schattschneider8
American political scientist 1892 - 1971
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Wilhelm Liebknecht photo

„Socialism without democracy is pseudo-socialism, just as democracy without socialism is pseudo-democracy.“

—  Wilhelm Liebknecht German socialist politician 1826 - 1900
Wilhelm Liebknecht, On The Political Position of Social-Democracy https://www.marxists.org/archive/liebknecht-w/1889/political-position.htm (1869 & 1889)

Tommy Douglas photo
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Roberto Mangabeira Unger photo
Wilhelm Liebknecht photo
Terry Eagleton photo

„Socialism is the completion of democracy, not the negation of it.“

—  Terry Eagleton British writer, academic and educator 1943
Chapter 9, p. 202

Karl Marx photo

„Democracy is the road to socialism.“

—  Karl Marx German philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist and revolutionary socialist 1818 - 1883
Attributed to Marx in recent years, including in Communism (2007) by Tom Lansford, p. 48, but the earliest occurrence of this yet located is in The Communist Review (1952) by the Communist Party of Great Britain, p. 15, where it is used to characterize the Communist agenda.

Wilhelm Liebknecht photo
Aung San Suu Kyi photo

„Democracy allows people to have different views, and democracy“

—  Aung San Suu Kyi State Counsellor of Myanmar and Leader of the National League for Democracy 1945
Context: Democracy allows people to have different views, and democracy makes it also -- makes us also responsible for negotiating an answer for those views. [... ] So we would like to -- it’s not just a matter of debating the case in parliament and winning Brownie points or Boy Scout points, or whatever they’re called. But it’s just a case of standing up for what we think our country needs. And we would like to talk to those who disagree with us. That, again, is what democracy is about. You talk to those who disagree with you; you don’t beat them down. You exchange views. And you come to a compromise, a settlement that would be best for the country. I’ve always said that dialogues and debates are not aimed at achieving victory for one particular party or the other, but victory for our people as a whole. [... ] We want to build up a strong foundation for national reconciliation, which means reconciliation not just between the different ethnic groups and between different religious groups, but between different ideas -- for example, between the idea of military supremacy and the idea of civilian authority over the military, which is the foundation of democracy. Remarks by President Obama and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma in Joint Press Conference at Aung San Suu Kyi Residence in Rangoon, Burma on November 14, 2014 http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/14/remarks-president-obama-and-daw-aung-san-suu-kyi-burma-joint-press-confe

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Joseph Stalin photo

„Social democracy is objectively the moderate wing of fascism“

—  Joseph Stalin General secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union 1878 - 1953
Context: Social democracy is objectively the moderate wing of fascism.... These organisations (ie Fascism and social democracy) are not antipodes, they are twins. “Concerning the International Situation,” Works, Vol. 6, January-November, 1924, pp. 293-314.

Jawaharlal Nehru photo

„Democracy and socialism are means to an end, not the end itself.“

—  Jawaharlal Nehru Indian lawyer, statesman, and writer, first Prime Minister of India 1889 - 1964
Context: Democracy and socialism are means to an end, not the end itself. We talk of the good of society. Is this something apart from, and transcending, the good of the individuals composing it? If the individual is ignored and sacrificed for what is considered the good of the society, is that the right objective to have? It was agreed that the individual should not be sacrificed and indeed that real social progress will come only when opportunity is given to the individual to develop, provided "the individual" is not a selected group but comprises the whole community. The touchstone, therefore, should be how far any political or social theory enables the individual to rise above his petty self and thus think in terms of the good of all. The law of life should not be competition or acquisitiveness but cooperation, the good of each contributing to the good of all. As quoted in World Marxist Review : Problems of Peace and Socialism (1958), p. 40

Augusto Boal photo
Oscar Wilde photo

„High hopes were once formed of democracy; but democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.“

—  Oscar Wilde Irish writer and poet 1854 - 1900
Context: All modes of government are failures. Despotism is unjust to everybody, including the despot, who was probably made for better things. Oligarchies are unjust to the many, and ochlocracies are unjust to the few. High hopes were once formed of democracy; but democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.

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K. R. Narayanan photo
Vladímir Putin photo

„People are always teaching us democracy but the people who teach us democracy don't want to learn it themselves.“

—  Vladímir Putin President of Russia, former Prime Minister 1952
MUNICH, February 10, 2007. http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/02/a50c8a12-b6a8-44ad-92dd-58183e78a032.html

George Orwell photo

„Since pacifists have more freedom of action in countries where traces of democracy survive, pacifism can act more effectively against democracy than for it.“

—  George Orwell English author and journalist 1903 - 1950
Context: Since pacifists have more freedom of action in countries where traces of democracy survive, pacifism can act more effectively against democracy than for it. Objectively the pacifist is pro-Nazi. "No, Not One," The Adelphi (October 1941) See his later thoughts on this statement below from "As I Please," Tribune (8 December 1944)

Alexis De Tocqueville photo

„Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.“

—  Alexis De Tocqueville French political thinker and historian 1805 - 1859
12 September 1848, "Discours prononcé à l'assemblée constituante le 12 Septembre 1848 sur la question du droit au travail", Oeuvres complètes, vol. IX, p. 546 https://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/Page:Tocqueville_-_%C5%92uvres_compl%C3%A8tes,_%C3%A9dition_1866,_volume_9.djvu/564; Translation (from Hayek, The Road to Serfdom): Original text: La démocratie étend la sphère de l'indépendance individuelle, le socialisme la resserre. La démocratie donne toute sa valeur possible à chaque homme, le socialisme fait de chaque homme un agent, un instrument, un chiffre. La démocratie et le socialisme ne se tiennent que par un mot, l'égalité ; mais remarquez la différence : la démocratie veut l'égalité dans la liberté, et le socialisme veut l'égalité dans la gêne et dans la servitude.

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