Walter Lippmann Quotes
172 Sourced Quotes
The principle of majority rule is the mildest form in which the force of numbers can be exercised. It is a pacific substitute for civil war in which the opposing armies are counted and the victory is awarded to the larger before any blood is shed. Except in the sacred tests of democracy and in the incantations of the orators, we hardly take the trouble to pretend that the rule of the majority is not at bottom a rule of force.
Mr Coolidge's genius for inactivity is developed to a very high point. It is far from being an indolent activity. It is a grim, determined, alert inactivity which keeps Mr Coolidge occupied constantly. Nobody has ever worked harder at inactivity, with such force of character, with such unremitting attention to detail, with such conscientious devotion to the task.
The modern world is reversing the old virtues of authority. They aimed deliberately to make men unworldly. They did not aim to found society on a full use of the earth's resources; they did not aim to use the whole nature of man; they did not intend him to think out the full expression of his desires. Democracy is a turning point upon those ideals in a pursuit, at first unconsciously, of the richest life that men can devise for themselves.
If all power is in the people, if there is no higher law than their will, and if by counting their votes, their will may be ascertained - then the people may entrust all their power to anyone, and the power of the pretender and the usurper is then legitimate. It is not to be challenged since it came originally from the sovereign people.