“Democracy is the worst form of Government…” – except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

“Democracy is the worst form of Government…”

by RICHARD LANGWORTH on 26 JUNE 2009

democracy

The young orator, 1907.

Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others. “It is frequently claimed that Churchill said this (or words to that effect). I have tried to locate the source of that quote, but I have not been able to trace it. Is it genuine, and if so, where and when?” —D.C., Bogotá, Colombia

He said it (House of Commons, 11 November 1947)—but he was quoting an unknown predecessor. FromChurchill by Himself, 574:

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.…

So, although these are Churchill’s words, he clearly did not originate the famous remark about democracy. William F. Buckley, Jr., commenting on trickery in presidential debates, reminded us of Churchill’s reflection when he wrote in June 2007: “We are made to ask what it is that political democracy gives us. The system is utilitarian. But is it a fit object of faith and hope?” Credit Churchill as publicist for an unsourced aphorism.Churchill By Himself (book cover)

Democracy: Churchillisms

But here are some original things (included in Churchill by Himself) that Churchill did say about democracy:

If I had to sum up the immediate future of democratic politics in a single word I should say “insurance.” That is the future—insurance against dangers from abroad, insurance against dangers scarcely less grave and much more near and constant which threaten us here at home in our own island. —Free Trade Hall, Manchester, 23 May 1909

At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper—no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of that point. —House of Commons, 31 October 1944

How is that word “democracy” to be interpreted? My idea of it is that the plain, humble, common man, just the ordinary man who keeps a wife and family, who goes off to fight for his country when it is in trouble, goes to the poll at the appropriate time, and puts his cross on the ballot paper showing the candidate he wishes to be elected to Parliament—that he is the foundation of democracy. And it is also essential to this foundation that this man or woman should do this without fear, and without any form of intimidation or victimization. He marks his ballot paper in strict secrecy, and then elected representatives and together decide what government, or even in times of stress, what form of government they wish to have in their country. If that is democracy, I salute it. I espouse it. I would work for it.” —House of Commons, 8 December 1944.

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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 other forms that have been tried from time to time.

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Winston S. Churchill

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

Winston S. Churchill

Read more quotes from Winston S. Churchill

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DEMOCRACY:

Democracy and Churchill


Kurt Gaubatz recalls Churchill’s famous dictum: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” (from a House of Commons speech on Nov. 11, 1947)

RH:
The timing of this famous remark is significant. Churchill won the war, but in the election of July 1945, he was defeated. At the time I thought the public showed gross ingratitude, but I am willing to accept the interpretation that Churchill was not the man to organize the peace.

When the news came out, Churchill was taking a bath (was there ever a statesman who spent more time in the bath?) He remarked “They have a perfect right to kick me out. That is democracy”. When he was offered the Order of the Garter, he asked “Why should I accept the Order of the Garter, when the British people have just given me the Order of the Boot?”.

He returned to power in 1951. The remark about democracy was made when he had lost power and had every reason to be bitter. Fortunately he kept his sense of humor even in the most trying circumstances.

Ronald Hilton – 09.05.03

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The Churchill Hypothesis

From: Journal of Democracy
Volume 10, Number 3, July 1999
pp. 169-173 | 10.1353/jod.1999.0046

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

The Churchill Hypothesis
Democracy and Its Alternatives: Understanding Post-Communist Societies. By Richard Rose, William Mishler, and Christian Haerpfer. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. 270 pp.

Everyone knows that Winston Churchill said something to the effect that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others, but few people check the exact citation. It goes as follows: “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 other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Richard Rose, William Mishler, and Christian Haerpfer did check. Moreover, they saw this statement as not just a clever bon mot, but also an empirically testable hypothesis. If people who have personally experienced the shortcomings of both democratic and undemocratic regimes opt in favor of the former, then the “Churchill hypothesis” stands. If, however, those people prefer the undemocratic alternatives to the imperfections of democracy, then the Churchill hypothesis is false: Democracy falls short of even the “lesser evil” threshold.

Recent history has provided the authors with an excellent testing ground for their hypothesis. The communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe fell, one after another, within a span of two years, and new democracies began to emerge, albeit not without difficulties. Rose, Mishler, and Haerpfer recognize these difficulties. They recognize also that communism was once perceived by many as a viable (if not outright superior) alternative to democracy. It failed because it did not fulfill its promise of an efficient, prosperous economy and a more just society. This supply-and-demand analytical framework can also be used, the authors claim, to assess democratic regimes. “[J]ust as macro-economic theories have no relevance to everyday life if they cannot be related to micro-economic activities of individuals, so constitutional forms are lifeless or irrelevant if they do not have the support of the people. That is why even though the elites propose, the masses dispose” (p. 8). Policies that alienate significant segments of the population may not only bring down a particular government, they may even undermine popular support for democracy itself. Earlier this century, democracies across the region gave way to authoritarian governments precisely because they failed to meet popular expectations. Will history repeat itself?

To answer this question, the authors performed elaborate analyses of public-opinion data for nine postcommunist states in East-Central Europe: [End Page 169] Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slo-vakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. The data have been gathered as part of the New Democracies Barometer (NDB) project, initiated in 1991 by the Paul Lazarsfeld Society of Vienna, in parallel with the well-established Euro-barometer. Since its inception, the NDB has conducted public-opinion surveys in individual Central and Eastern European states (similar projects also cover Russia and the Baltic states). For their investigation, the authors chose the survey conducted in the fall of 1993 and winter of 1994.

The authors selected two core dependent variables, assessment of the current regime (adding, when appropriate, evaluation of the communist past and hopes for the future) and opinions on the alternatives to democ-racy (a composite of five variables), which they examined in relation to a host of independent variables. This procedure allowed the authors to measure the impact that factors such as social structure, the political lega-cies of the past, the performance of the new regimes, the microeconomic and macroeconomic dimensions of economic transformation, and finally, historical context and country-specific idiosyncrasies have had on opin-ions about democracy and its alternatives.

In their presentation of cross-national survey data, the authors go far beyond the usual comparisons of apples to oranges. All too often, researchers limit their discussion of data collected in comparative studies of postcommunist countries to the cross-national comparison of frequen-cies and means, without any regard to historical, cultural, social, economic, or political context. By using multiple regression analysis (a relatively simple statistical procedure), the authors were able to demonstrate not only the intensity of particular opinions…

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Why did Churchill say that democracy is the worst form of government?

1) People are asked to vote their leaders who have no responsibility/accountability to the progress/failures of their countries.
2) If the voters are unhappy with the elected leaders, they have to wait for remaining years to elect other leaders who have no responsibility/accountability either.
3) The elected leaders are not to be blamed or punished for the failures of the countries under their leadership. (Remember, it is you who selected your leaders, how can you blame? No use even if you admit that you are blinded and brainless).
4) The voters are innocent and can not be blamed either.
5) Thus, it is the only democratic system left to be blamed.
The democratic system has inherent structural defects which can not be fixed. It is the worst political system ever created in human history.
It is a system designed cleverly in such a way to let all voters fool themselves happily, but leave all leaders getting away with no accountability.
Questions here: Is the system really allowing people to rule themselves or fool themselves? and how could Churchill know it so well?
Do all politicians know it ? or just do not want to tell people the truth!
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Para trabajar por la Estadidad: https://estado51prusa.com Seminarios-pnp.com https://twitter.com/EstadoPRUSA https://www.facebook.com/EstadoPRUSA/
Para trabajar por la Estadidad: https://estado51prusa.com Seminarios-pnp.com https://twitter.com/EstadoPRUSA https://www.facebook.com/EstadoPRUSA/