05 November 2003

Two views of democracy

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 all those others that have been tried from time to time (Sir Winston Churchill, 1947).

All the ills of democracy can be cured by more democracy (New York Governor Al Smith, 1933).

In his statement, Smith shows himself to be an adherent of what I have labelled ideological democracy or democracy as creed, or what Russell Kirk somewhat inelegantly called "democratism." As Churchill's expressed appreciation for democracy is much more modest, he could probably not be similarly categorized and is thus relatively free of this ideology.

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