From John Marshall, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, 1801 to 1835: “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”
From James R. Lowell, American poet: “democracy gives every man the right to be his own oppressor.”
From Ralph Waldo Emerson: “democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.”
From British statesman Thomas B. Macauly: “I have long been convinced that institutions purely democratic must, sooner or later, destroy liberty or civilization, or both.”
Lord Acton, another Briton: “The one prevailing evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.”
From the United States War Department’s 1928 “Training Manual No. 2000-25” we have this little gem of a definition of democracy: A government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of “direct expression.” Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic negating property rights. Attitude of the law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.
The training manual also stated that the Founding Fathers “made a very marked distinction between a republic and a democracy and said repeatedly and emphatically that they had formed a republic.”
Somewhere between the late 1920’s and the early 1950’s the press had contorted the meanings of “republic” and "democracy, and we soon had this Orwellian twist of truth, printed in the US Army Field Manual 21-13, The Soldier’s Guide: “Because the United States is a democracy, the majority of the people decide how our Government will be organized and run…”
This is inherently false. We elect representatives to make laws that guide us in our actions. We are ruled by law, not by the whims of a majority.
England’s Duke of Northumberland, in 1931: “The adoption of Democracy as a form of Government by all European nations is fatal to good Government, to liberty, to law and order, to respect for authority, and to religion, and must eventually produce a state of chaos from which a new world tyranny will arise.”
Historian Charles beard, in 1939: “At no time, at no place, in solemn convention assembled, through no chosen agents, had the American people officially proclaimed the United States to be a democracy. The Constitution did not contain the word or any word lending countenance to it, except possibly the mention of “We, the People,” in the preamble… When the Constitution was framed no respectable person called himself or herself a democrat.”
From the Dean of Notre Dame’s Law School, Clarence Manion, in the 1950’s: “The honest and serious student of American history will recall that our Founding Fathers managed to write both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution without using the term “democracy” even once. No part of any of the existing state Constitutions contains any reference to the word. [The men] who were most influential in the institution and formulation of our government refer to “democracy” only to distinguish it sharply from the republican form of our American Constitutional system.”
A few notes from the “other side”…
Karl Marx, in the Communist Manifesto: "the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to win the battle of democracy…: to “abolish private property,” to “wrest, by degrees, capitol from the bourgeoisie,” to “centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state.”
Mao Tse-tung: “Taken as a whole, the Chinese revolutionary movement led by the Communist Party embraces the two stages, i.e., the democratic and the socialist revolutions, which are essentially different revolutionary processes, and the second process can be carried through only after the first has been completed. The democratic revolution is the necessary preparation for the socialist revolution, and the socialist revolution is the inevitable sequel to the democratic revolution. The ultimate aim for which all communists strive is to bring about a socialist and communist society.”
Mikhail Gorbachev: “according to Lenin, socialism and democracy are indivisible… The essence of perestroika lies in the fact that it unites socialism with democracy and revives the Leninist concept… We want more socialism and, therefore, more democracy.”