Democracy

This entry is part 22 of 62 in the series 2010

Posted Aug 8, 2010

Larry W:
Also, many of your quotes are wrong. JJ will be correcting you on
this, I’ve seen him do it before.

JJ
Looks like you’re a prophet. Here goes.

Blayne:
Might want to review what the founders had to say about democracy. there is a reason why it is not mentioned in the constitution. The founders deplored it.

JJ
Not so fast. First let us look at your quotes from Thomas Jefferson

First quote: “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%.”

JJ
This is a fabricated quote, evidently made up by someone who didn’t like what Jefferson really had to say about Democracy.

Check this out:
Click Here

Let us look at your second Jefferson quote:
“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

Again this is a fabricated quote.
Click Here

It seems to be a true statement though that says nothing negative about democracy itself.

Here are a few of many examples of what Jefferson really thought about democracy.

“The fundamental principle of [a common government of associated States] is that the will of the majority is to prevail.” Thomas
Jefferson to William Eustis, 1809.

“I subscribe to the principle, that the will of the majority honestly expressed should give law.” Thomas Jefferson: The Anas, 1793.

“Where the law of the majority ceases to be acknowledged, there government ends; the law of the strongest takes its place, and life and property are his who can take them.” Thomas Jefferson to Annapolis Citizens, 1809.

“[Bear] always in mind that a nation ceases to be republican only when the will of the majority ceases to be the law.” Thomas Jefferson: Reply to the Citizens of Adams County, Pa., 1808.

“Absolute acquiescence in the decision of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism, ” Thomas
Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801.

There are more in my book The Lost Key of the Buddha

Now let us look at the rest of the quotes.
Benjamin Franklin: When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.

JJ
This is also most probably a false quote and the closest thing to it was originated by Alexander Fraser Tytler, a contemporary with Franklin. No one seems to find this quote being attributed to Franklin before 1988
More information here

That said, let us see if this applies to democracy in our age. It doesn’t, but it does apply to our Republic for this is happening in the here and now before our eyes. We have a small minority having power to vote themselves money and benefits and this, not the majority, is causing our financial ruin. The majority of the people are very concerned over this abuse.

Benjamin Franklin:
“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

Another false quote. There is no record of Franklin saying this.
Click Here

There are a lot of flaws in this quote that Franklin would have seen. For example what we have now is a dozen wolves voting what to have for dinner with none of the lambs being able to vote at all. Since lambs outnumber wolves then a democracy would wind up protecting the lambs.

I’ll assume the rest of these quotes are accurate, as I do not have time to check each one. So far it looks like anti democracy people just make up quotes to fit their need.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Papers: We are a Republican Government, Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of democracy…it has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.

JJ
Hamilton is dead wrong on this. Where has there ever been a democracy that was a tyranny? Never. Mainly because there has never been a democracy in the history of the world. The closest thing to one was Athens, but even this was a representative government with each potential voter representing at least a dozen people who could not vote.

Even so Athens created the greatest example of freedom and enlightenment the world had seen up to that time. Nearby Sparta was a dictatorship and very little light came from there compared to the more democratic Athens.

John Adams: “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

JJ
Adams didn’t know what he was talking about. There has never been a democracy.

James Madison: “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death.”

JJ
Yeah, right and the opposite of democracy like North Korea, Cuba and the old Soviet Union are really compatible with personal security and property rights.

John Quincy Adams: The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.

JJ
The same could be said of freedom. Wherever freedom surfaced in our world history it only lasted for a short while because all the powers of the beast fought against it. The one great example of a group seeking freedom during the Roman Empire was led by Spartacus. It was short lived and failed. Did this make it wrong?

No. never.

The human spirit will pursue freedom and true workable democracy until they are achieved.

James Madison: Democracy was the right of the people to choose their own tyrant.

JJ
Tyranny is always a possibility in any system, however without the right of the people to vote they will have a tyrant by default. The more democratic the government the less likely is tyranny for what people will vote to elect or re-elect a known tyrant?

John Adams: That the desires of the majority of the people are often for injustice and inhumanity against the minority, is demonstrated by every page of the history of the world.

JJ
And where is there a great injustice that the majority of the people of the United States desire?

I can’t think of any.

I can, however think of many that minorities desire. Here are a few.

Murder, rape, racism, slavery, dictatorship, more stimulus, forced socialism and communism, no free speech, no guns and lots of others.

I’ll pick the will of the majority any time over the present will that the minority in our government is attempting to force upon us.
Copyright 2010 by J J Dewey

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