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The Best Quotes About Democracy

Updated June 14, 2019 2.9k votes 1.1k voters 50.1k views

List RulesMust be a famous or well-known quote. Vote for the democracy sayings that strongly resonate with you, and downvote any you didn't like.

A list of the best democracy quotes and sayings, including the names of each speaker or author when available. This list is sorted by popularity, so only the most famous democracy quotes are at the top. The authors of these historic democracy quotes are displayed next to each quote, so if you see one you like be sure to check out other inspirational democracy quotes from that same writer.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best quotes about democracy?" and "What are inspirational democracy quotes?"

This list includes notable democracy quotes by various authors, writers, playwrights, speakers, politicians, athletes, poets, and more. Vote on your favorites so that the greatest democracy quotes rise to the top, as the order of the list changes dynamically based on votes. Don't let your favorite democracy sayings get to the bottom of the list.
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  • 1
    252
    99

    No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent.

    Abraham Lincoln
  • 2
    104
    57

    The cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy.

    H. L. Mencken
  • 3
    139
    102

    Democracy give every man the right to be his own oppressor.

    James Russell Lowell
  • 4
    61
    30
  • 5
    89
    57

    The majority is never right. Never, I tell you! That's one of these lies in society that no free and intelligent man can help rebelling against. Who are the people that make up the biggest proportion of the population -- the intelligent ones or the fools? I think we can agree it's the fools, no matter where you go in this world, it's the fools that form the overwhelming majority.

    Henrik Ibsen
  • 6
    54
    24

    Democracy is a process by which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame.

    Laurence J. Peter
  • 7
    51
    22

    Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.

    John Adams
  • 8
    55
    27

    Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.

    Harry Emerson Fosdick
  • 9
    36
    10

    Democracy is never a thing done. Democracy is always something that a nation must be doing. What is necessary now is one thing and one thing only that democracy become again democracy in action, not democracy accomplished and piled up in goods and gold.

    Archibald MacLeish
  • 10
    46
    21

    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.

    Winston Churchill
  • 11
    57
    33

    Let the people think they govern and they will be governed.

    William Penn
  • 12
    46
    25
  • 13
    56
    39

    Democracy means the opportunity to be everyone's slave.

    Karl Kraus
  • 14
    30
    12

    Democracy is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequal alike.

    Plato
  • 15
    34
    17

    As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.

    Abraham Lincoln
  • 16
    34
    18

    Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.

    G. K. Chesterton
  • 17
    26
    12

    Two cheers for Democracy: one because it admits variety and two because it permits criticism.

    E. M. Forster
  • 18
    33
    21

    When people put their ballots in the boxes, they are, by that act, inoculated against the feeling that the government is not theirs. They then accept, in some measure, that its errors are their errors, its aberrations their aberrations, that any revolt will be against them. It's a remarkably shrewd and rather conservative arrangement when one thinks of it.

    John Kenneth Galbraith
  • 19
    23
    9

    Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.

    Reinhold Niebuhr
  • 20
    18
    5

    There is a limit to the application of democratic methods. You can inquire of all the passengers as to what type of car they like to ride in, but it is impossible to question them as to whether to apply the brakes when the train is at full speed and accident threatens.

    Leon Trotsky
  • 21
    18
    5

    This is one of the paradoxes of the democratic movement -- that it loves a crowd and fears the individuals who compose it -- that the religion of humanity should have no faith in human beings.

    Walter Lippmann
  • 22
    23
    13

    These, then, will be some of the features of democracy... it will be, in all likelihood, an agreeable, lawless, parti-colored commonwealth, dealing with all alike on a footing of equality, whether they be really equal or not.

    Plato
  • 23
    19
    9

    Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.

    Winston Churchill
  • 24
    19
    10

    Democracy is the theory that the common people know what They want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

    H. L. Mencken
  • 25
    20
    12

    The ship of Democracy, which has weathered all storms, may sink through the mutiny of those aboard.

    Grover Cleveland