Democracy

"Is it then a truth so universally acknowledged, that a pure democracy is the only tolerable form into which human society can be thrown, that a man is not permitted to hesitate about its merits without the suspicion of being a friend to tyranny, that is, of being a foe to mankind?…The antients were better acquainted with them. Not being wholly unread in the authors, who had seen the most of these constitutions, and who best understood them, I cannot help concurring with their opinion, that an absolute democracy, no more than an absolute monarchy, is to be reckoned among the legitimate forms of government. They think it rather the corruption and degeneracy, than the sound constitution of a republic. If I recollect rightly, Aristotle observes, that a democracy has many striking points of resemblance with a tyranny. Of this I am certain, that in a democracy, the majority of the citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions of the minority, whenever strong divisions prevail in that kind of polity, as they often must; and that oppression of the minority will extend to far greater numbers, and will be carried on with much greater fury, than can almost ever be apprehended from the dominion of a single sceptre." -Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France

Comments

Erica said…
I just noticed it started out with "a truth universally acknowledged"...which is rather amusing. Anyways...going on to read the rest of the Burke quotes.
...by the way, did my onion-cutting method help Mary Beth at all??