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Democracy is the only system that persists in asking
by Sydney J. Harris

Democracy is the only system that persists in asking
the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be.
- Sydney J. Harris

Related topics: Government

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
- Sydney J. Harris

Men make counterfeit money; in many more cases,
money makes counterfeit men.
- Sydney J. Harris

If a small thing has the power to make you angry,
does that not indicate something about your size?
- Sydney J. Harris

 

The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men,
but that men will begin to think like computers.
- Sydney J. Harris

Nothing is as easy to make as a promise this winter
to do something next summer;
this is how commencement speakers are caught.
- Sydney J. Harris

Almost no one is foolish enough to imagine that he
automatically deserves great success in any field of activity;
yet almost everyone believes that he automatically
deserves success in marriage.
- Sydney J. Harris

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The art of living consists in knowing which impulses
to obey and which must be made to obey.
- Sydney J. Harris

Intolerance is the most socially acceptable form of egotism,
for it permits us to assume superiority without personal boasting.
- Sydney J. Harris

When we have 'second thoughts' about something,
our first thoughts don't seem like thoughts at all -
just feelings.
- Sydney J. Harris

Any philosophy that can be put in a nutshell belongs there.
- Sydney J. Harris

Many a secret that cannot be pried out by curiosity
can be drawn out by indifference.
- Sydney J. Harris

The primary purpose of a liberal education is to make
one's mind a pleasant place in which to spend one's leisure.
- Sydney J. Harris

A winner rebukes and forgives; a loser is too timid
to rebuke and too petty to forgive.
- Sydney J. Harris

Sometimes the best, and only effective,
way to kill an idea is to put it into practice.
- Sydney J. Harris

Ignorance per se is not nearly as dangerous as ignorance of ignorance.
- Sydney J. Harris

Enemies, as well as lovers, come to resemble each other over a period of time.
- Sydney J. Harris

Happiness is a direction, not a place.
- Sydney J. Harris

Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man
who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own.
- Sydney J. Harris

The greatest enemy of progress is not stagnation,
but false progress.
- Sydney J. Harris

People who think they're generous to a fault usually
think that's their only fault.
- Sydney J. Harris

Middle Age is that perplexing time of life when we
hear two voices calling us,
one saying, "Why not?" and the other,
"Why bother?"
- Sydney J. Harris

Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time;
what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.
- Sydney J. Harris

Knowledge fills a large brain; it merely inflates a small one.
- Sydney J. Harris

There's no point in burying a hatchet if you're going
to put up a marker on the site.
- Sydney J. Harris

Somebody who never got over the embarrassing fact that
he was born in bed with a lady.
- Sydney J. Harris

The beauty of "spacing" children many years apart lies
in the fact that parents have time to learn the mistakes
that were made with the older ones -
which permits them to make exactly the opposite mistakes with the younger ones.
- Sydney J. Harris

The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical
feats nor intellectual achievements,
but moral acts: to return love for hate,
to include the excluded, and to say,
"I was wrong".
- Sydney J. Harris

When you run into someone who is disagreeable to others,
you may be sure he is uncomfortable with himself;
the amount of pain we inflict upon others is directly
proportional to the amount we feel within us.
- Sydney J. Harris

Ninety per cent of the world's woe comes from people not knowing themselves,
their abilities, their frailties, and even their real virtues.
Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves -
so how can we know anyone else?
- Sydney J. Harris

It's surprising how many persons go through life without
ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people
are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves,
and if you're not comfortable within yourself,
you can't be comfortable with others.
- Sydney J. Harris

The two words 'information' and 'communication' are
often used interchangeably,
but they signify quite different things.
Information is giving out; communication is getting through.
- Sydney J. Harris

An idealist believes the short run doesn't count.
A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter.
A realist believes that what is done or left undone
in the short run determines the long run.
- Sydney J. Harris

The most important thing in an argument,
next to being right, is to leave an escape hatch for your opponent,
so that he can gracefully swing over to your side without
too much apparent loss of face.
- Sydney J. Harris

Every government is a parliament of whores.
The trouble is, in a democracy, the whores are us.
- P. J. O'Rourke

A healthy democracy requires a decent society;
it requires that we are honorable,
generous, tolerant and respectful.
- Charles W. Pickering

Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.
- H. L. Mencken

In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith.
- J. William Fulbright

Reading builds the educated and informed electorate
so vital to our democracy.
- Brad Henry

Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least.
- Robert Byrne

Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections
are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.
- Gore Vidal

So long as we have enough people in this country willing
to fight for their rights,
we'll be called a democracy.
- Roger Nash Baldwin

When the body of the people is possessed of the supreme power,
it is called a democracy.
- Charles de Secondat

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some,
are chiefly to be found in democracy,
they will be best attained when all persons alike share
in government to the utmost.
- Aristotle

Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property,
are the rulers.
- Aristotle

Democracy gives every man the right to be his own oppressor.
- James Russell Lowell

I'm tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn't work.
Of course it doesn't work.
We are supposed to work it.
- Alexander Woollcott

Democracy is an abuse of statistics.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people
by the people for the people.
- Oscar Wilde

The flood of money that gushes into politics today
is a pollution of democracy.
- Theodore White

Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions -
it only guarantees equality of opportunity.
- Irving Kristol

A pure democracy is a society consisting of a small number of citizens,
who assemble and administer the government in person.
- James Madison

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

Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than
half of the people are right more than half of the time.
- E. B. White

Television is democracy at its ugliest.
- Paddy Chayefsky

The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush.
It will be a slow extinction from apathy,
indifference, and undernourishment.
- Robert M. Hutchins

In a democracy, the majority of the citizens is capable
of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority.
- Edmund Burke

In remembering those who lost their lives in the London
attacks and the September 11th attacks we continue
our commitment to fighting for freedom,
democracy and justice.
- Doc Hastings

I am more convinced than ever that a lively two party
system is essential to our democracy.
- Stockwell Day

Voters must have faith in the electoral process for
our democracy to succeed.
- Blanche Lincoln

The return of democracy in our land has indeed thrown
the problems of development into bolder relief.
- Ibrahim Babangida

Democracy derailed is democracy denied.
- Chaka Fattah

In a constitutional democracy the moral content of
law must be given by the morality of the framer or legislator,
never by the morality of the judge.
- Robert Bork

In order to build basic democracy here we'll need lives of two generations -
at least forty years.
- Aleksandr Lebed

Christianity is the root of all democracy,
the highest fact in the rights of men.
- Novalis

Nevertheless, I resist cynicism and continue to believe
in the possibilities for genuine democracy.
- William Greider

Small use it will be to save democracy for the race
if we cannot save the race for democracy.
- Jeanette Rankin

I think the Iraqi people have shown extraordinary patience
and courage in the last few months.
They have really put a political system on the way to success,
to a real democracy here.
- Paul Bremer

Democracy and socialism are means to an end,
not the end itself.
- Jawaharlal Nehru

A global democracy works only when countries trust one another.
- Armstrong Williams

I like the noise of democracy.
- James Buchanan


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