Democracy Is The Best Revenge Essay Competition

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Quotes on Democracy

Selected Quotes on Democracy

“I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.” 
― Alexis de Tocqueville

“In politics as in philosophy, my tenets are few and simple. The leading one of which, and indeed that which embraces most others, is to be honest and just ourselves and to exact it from others, meddling as little as possible in their affairs where our own are not involved. If this maxim was generally adopted, wars would cease and our swords would soon be converted into reap hooks and our harvests be more peaceful, abundant, and happy.” 
― George Washington

“It is an axiom in my mind, that our liberty can never be safe but in the hands of the people themselves, and that too of the people with a certain degree of instruction. This it is the business of the State to effect, and on a general plan.” 
― Thomas Jefferson

“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” 
― Abraham Lincoln

“I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.” 
― Alexis de Tocqueville

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” 
― Isaac Asimov

“The executive power in our government is not the only, perhaps not even the principal, object of my solicitude. The tyranny of the legislature is really the danger most to be feared, and will continue to be so for many years to come. The tyranny of the executive power will come in its turn, but at a more distant period.” 
― Thomas Jefferson

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” 
― Winston S. Churchill 

 "Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!” 
― Charlie Chaplin

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” 
― H.L. Mencken 

“If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.” 
― Mark Twain

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.” 
― H.L. Mencken

“Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them.” 
― Bertrand RussellNew Hopes for a Changing World

“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” 
― Abraham Lincoln

The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys the commonwealth - that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community - and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means.” 
― Wendell BerryThe Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays 

“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.” 
― Elmer Theodore Peterson 

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” 
― Abraham Lincoln

“A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.” 
― Theodore Roosevelt

“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 for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
― Winston S. Churchill

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.” 
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
― John F. Kennedy

“Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.” 
― George Bernard Shaw 

“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history.”

- John Adams

“The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.” 
― Alexis de Tocqueville

“And when I speak, I don't speak as a Democrat. Or a Republican. Nor an American. I speak as a victim of America's so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy - all we've seen is hypocrisy. When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism. We see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We don't see any American dream. We've experienced only the American nightmare.” 
― Malcolm X

“Democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.” 
― Ronald Reagan

“To view the opposition as dangerous is to misunderstand the basic concepts of democracy. To oppress the opposition is to assault the very foundation of democracy.” 
― Aung San Suu Kyi

“A great democracy has got to be progressive or it will soon cease to be great or a democracy.” 
― Theodore Roosevelt

“I believe in political equality. But there are two opposite reasons for being a democrat. You may think all men so good that they deserve a share in the government of the commonwealth, and so wise that the commonwealth needs their advice. That is, in my opinion, the false, romantic doctrine of democracy. On the other hand, you may believe fallen men to be so wicked that not one of them can be trusted with any irresponsible power over his fellows.
That I believe to be the true ground of democracy.”

-C.S. Lewis

“Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.” 
― Reinhold Niebuhr

“The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletariat to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeoisie.” 
― Gustave Flaubert

“As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.” 
― Abraham Lincoln

I believe Gandhi is the only person who knew about real democracy — not democracy as the right to go and buy what you want, but democracy as the responsibility to be accountable to everyone around you. Democracy begins with freedom from hunger, freedom from unemployment, freedom from fear, and freedom from hatred. To me, those are the real freedoms on the basis of which good human societies are based.” 
― Vandana Shiva

“In a democracy, someone who fails to get elected to office can always console himself with the thought that there was something not quite fair about it.” 
― Thucydides

“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” 
― Thomas Jefferson

“Here's what we're not taught [about the Declaration and Constitution]: Those words at the time they were written were blazingly, electrifyingly subversive. If you understand them truly now, they still are. You are not taught - and it is a disgrace that you aren't - that these men and women were radicals for liberty; that they had a vision of equality that was a slap in the face of what the rest of their world understood to be the unchanging, God-given order of nations; and that they were willing to die to make that desperate vision into a reality for people like us, whom they would never live to see. ” 
― Naomi Wolf

“The answer to 1984 is 1776” 
― Alex E. Jones

“Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” 
― Abraham Lincoln

“Democracy arose from men's thinking that if they are equal in any respect, they are equal absolutely.” 
― Aristotle

“Democracy is the best revenge.” 
― Benazir Bhutto

“Honest and earnest criticism from those whose interests are most nearly touched,- criticism of writers by readers, of government by those governed, of leaders by those led, - this is the soul of democracy and the safeguard of modern society” 
― W.E.B. Du Bois

“You don't spread democracy with a barrel of a gun.” 
― Helen Thomas

“Constitutional democracy, you see, is no romantic notion. It's our defense against ourselves, the one foe who might defeat us.” 
― Bill Moyers

“When a library is open, no matter its size or shape, democracy is open, too.” 
― Bill Moyers

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” 
― Thomas Jefferson

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“Democracy is the best revenge” — famous words of shaheed Benazir Bhutto, the builder of the PPP post judicial murder of her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The founder of the PPP was ousted by his wily army chief General Zia-ul-Haq exactly 38 years ago on 5 July 1977.

Apart from suffering Zia’s eleven long years’ ideological dictatorship, the country also endured another coupster General Pervez Musharraf’s authoritarian rule in the name of true democracy for full nine years. The period has also seen the PPP and PML–N taking turns to rule in the name of democracy.

Now Nawaz Sharif is prime minister for the third time. Previously Ms Bhutto was elected twice prime minister and after her assassination in December 2007 her widower Asif Ali Zardari ruled for full five years of the PPP’s term, a first in Pakistan’s messy political history.

But today not only the PPP itself but also democracy is at the crossroads in Pakistan. Most analysts are in a state of self-doubt, asking the obvious question: is democracy the best revenge? And if so, for whom? The cruel joke is that it is the hapless people of the country who are the sufferers both under dictatorship and democracy.

The present state of affairs is pathetic. The PPP is in complete disarray and clueless in the wake of mass defections in Punjab to the new kid on the block, an ascendant PTI headed by the charismatic Imran Khan.

So far as the ruling PML-N is concerned, its optics are better than its predecessor PPP government. However Prime Minister Sharif, instead of bringing transparency and inclusiveness in his style of governance, is ruling in a highly personalised manner. At times he even looks detached and burnt out.

The present state of affairs is pathetic. The PPP is in complete disarray and clueless in the wake of mass defections in Punjab to the new kid on the block, an ascendant PTI headed by the charismatic Imran Khan

The only winner in the milieu seems to be the omnipresent military under General Raheel Sharif. Thanks to the ongoing war on terror in the form of Zarb-e-Azb and in some ways even before the operation against terrorism started last year in June, the army had started asserting itself.

But now thanks to the NAP (National Action Plan) and the apex committees in the provinces — ostensibly formed to root out terrorists — the military’s footprint is becoming more and more pronounced. In the context of the Karachi operation the MQM is at the wrong end of the stick.

However, the ruling PPP is also feeling the heat. Zardari, after an emotional fusillade against the generals and Prime Minister Sharif distancing from him by refusing to meet him, is in Dubai for the time being.

But back home the PPP is in complete disarray. Perhaps partly owing to its top leadership’s benign neglect of Punjab post the rout it suffered in May 2013 elections. Even in Sindh it is wary of the probing eyes of the Rangers.

These are not good optics for traditional Punjabi politicians who now dominate the party in the province. Inqilabi (revolutionary) politics is a relic of the past for the PPP. Headed by a quintessentially pro establishment politician Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, it has nothing new to offer to the jiyalas.

In the past two years Mr Zardari and political heir-apparent Bilawal have hardly visited Punjab despite promises to the contrary. Resultantly Wattoo, who is part of the problem rather than the solution, is ruling the roost.

The PPP, failing to get its act together in the largest province, is increasingly become marginalised. Winning substantial number of seats in Punjab — the jewel in the crown — in the National Assembly is a sine qua non for any party worth its salt to form its government at the federal level.

But it seems that the PPP, after retreating to rural Sindh, has simply lost the stomach to fight in the rest of the country. It’s a pity that a party with a liberal voice and countrywide grass-root support-base was trounced by the PML-N in the May 2013 general elections. And now the PPP is being haemorrhaged by the PTI in Punjab through mass defections.

In any future general elections the two pro establishment parties will slug it out in Punjab. Both have no ideological qualms in ceding space to the military.

Of course gross mishandling by the civilians can precipitate a takeover bid. But for the time being, despite a partly orchestrated state of uncertainty, there is no clear and present danger of the military overtly intervening

For that matter Mr Zardari completed his five-year term by cohabiting with the military under General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. However, no matter how much the PPP leadership bends over backwards, the military establishment has never given it the benefit of doubt. Culturally and ideologically speaking it is more comfortable being in bed with right wing and Isalmic parties.

Despite the fact that the traditional camel’s nose is already in the tent, some voices amongst the commentarati are clamouring for packing up the civilian setup. According to the narrative the so-called civilian rulers have completely failed to deliver. Hence the answer is not in more democracy but another bout of military rule.

This self-serving logic is completely flawed in the sense that it conveniently papers over the dark military rules Pakistan has suffered during almost half of the period since its inception. Each military dictator without exception brought the country further down during his rule in the name of reforming the system.

Pakistan fared no better under civilian rulers but military rulers certainly left it poorer, not only in the literal sense but also by destroying the very ethos of the nation. Now hopes are being pinned on General Raheel Sharif. A soldier who shoots straight from the hip, the general has expressed no inclination to oblige.

And why should he? Governance is certainly not the military’s cup of tea. And if the army is ruling the roost and its image and approval rating is sky high why should it soil its hands by indulging in an overt intervention?

Of course gross mishandling by the civilians can precipitate a takeover bid. But for the time being, despite a partly orchestrated state of uncertainty, there is no clear and present danger of the military overtly intervening.

According to a recent study by Freedom House, an advocacy group, reproduced by the Economist, freedom and growth make for a pretty unbeatable combination. The study, after looking at data for 175 countries from 1960 to 2010, finds that a “permanent” democratisation — where there is no slide back to autocracy — leads to an increase of about 20 percent in GDP in the subsequent 25 years.

So yes; the answer is more democracy than winding up the system. But politicians reading the writing on the wall should get their act altogether without further ado.

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