„Theoretically "democracy" means popular government; government by all for everybody by the efforts of all.“

—  Errico Malatesta, Context: Theoretically "democracy" means popular government; government by all for everybody by the efforts of all. In a democracy the people must be able to say what they want, to nominate the executors of their wishes, to monitor their performance and remove them when they see fit. Naturally this presumes that all the individuals that make up a people are able to form an opinion and express it on all the subjects that interest them. It implies that everyone is politically and economically independent and therefore no-one, to live, would be obliged to submit to the will of others. <!-- If classes and individuals exist that are deprived of the means of production and therefore dependent on others with a monopoly over those means, the so-called democratic system can only be a lie, and one which serves to deceive the mass of the people and keep them docile with an outward show of sovereignty, while the rule of the privileged and dominant class is in fact salvaged and consolidated. Such is democracy and such it always has been in a capitalist structure, whatever form it takes, from constitutional monarchy to so-called direct rule.
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Errico Malatesta
1853 - 1932
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„Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.“

—  Winston S. Churchill Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1874 - 1965
Context: Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. Speech in the House of Commons (11 November 1947), published in 206–07 The Official Report, House of Commons (5th Series), 11 November 1947, vol. 444, cc. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1947/nov/11/parliament-bill#column_206

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„As far as domestic democracy, all here present know that democracy means government of the people by the people. While we agree that consultation and participation are essential to every democracy, this is seldom achieved in practice.“

—  Alfred de Zayas American United Nations official 1947
Statement by the Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Prof. Dr. Alfred de Zayas. Brussels Conference on a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, 16/17 October 2013 http://www.unpacampaign.org/documents/en/2013UNPA_zayas.pdf.

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„This idea demands, as the proximate organization thereof, a democracy, that is, a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; of course, a government after the principles of eternal justice, the unchanging law of God; for shortness' sake, I will call it the idea of Freedom.“

—  Theodore Parker abolitionist 1810 - 1860
Context: There is what I call the American idea. I so name it, because it seems to me to lie at the basis of all our truly original, distinctive, and American institutions. It is itself a complex idea, composed of three subordinate and more simple ideas, namely: The idea that all men have unalienable rights; that in respect thereof, all men are created equal; and that government is to be established and sustained for the purpose of giving every man an opportunity for the enjoyment and development of all these unalienable rights. This idea demands, as the proximate organization thereof, a democracy, that is, a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; of course, a government after the principles of eternal justice, the unchanging law of God; for shortness' sake, I will call it the idea of Freedom. The American Idea https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Discourses_of_Slavery/Speech_in_Boston,_May_29,_1850,_on_Slave_Power_in_America, a speech at New England Anti-Slavery Convention, Boston (29 May 1850) Variant : This is what I call the American idea of freedom — a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; of course, a government of the principles of eternal justice — the unchanging law of God. As quoted in A Dictionary of Thoughts: Being a Cyclopedia of Laconic Quotations from the Best Authors of the World, Both Ancient and Modern (1891) by Tryon Edwards, p. 17; an earlier statement of such sentiments was made by Benjamin Disraeli in Vivian Grey (1826), Book VI, Ch. 7: "all power is a trust; that we are accountable for its exercise; that from the people and for the people all springs, and all must exist." Parker was also very likely familiar with Daniel Webster's statements referring to "The people's government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people" in a speech on Foot's Resolution (26 January 1830); the most famous use of such phrasing came in Abraham Lincoln's, Gettysburg Address (19 November 1863) when using words probably inspired by Parker's he declared: "we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Fifty eight years later, in 1921, Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), Founder of Modern China, credited Lincoln's immortal words as the inspiration of his Three Principles of the People (三民主义) articulated in a speech delivered on March 6, 1921, at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National People’s Party in Guangzhou. The Three Principles of the People are still enshrined in the Constitution of Taiwan. According to Lyon Sharman, "Sun Yat-sen: His Life and Its Meaning, a Critical Biography" (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1934), Dr. Sun wrote that his own three principles “correspond with the principles stated by President Lincoln—‘government of the people, by the people, for the people.’ I translated them into … the people (are) to have . . . the people (are) to govern and . . . the people (are) to enjoy.”

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„Democracy, which means despair of finding any Heroes to govern you, and contented putting up with the want of them,“

—  Thomas Carlyle Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher 1795 - 1881
Context: Democracy, which means despair of finding any Heroes to govern you, and contented putting up with the want of them,—alas, thou too, mein Lieber, seest well how close it is of kin to Atheism, and other sad Isms: he who discovers no God whatever, how shall he discover Heroes, the visible Temples of God?

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„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“