Thursday, January 11, 2007

What they said about democracy...


Ariel Sharon: In terms of culture and tradition, the Arab world is not built for democratization. [Source]

Bashar Assad: "..Syria is too backward to sustain Western-style democracy. Tribalism has haunted Syria for 2000 years and sectarianism is too deeply rooted and too close to the surface of society to permit Western–style freedoms. If unleashed, these ancient loyalties would cause civil war and chaos" [Source]

Paulo Freire: "Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world".

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.”

Mohandas K. Gandhi: "In true democracy every man and women is taught to think for himself or herself".

C. S. Lewis: "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience".

Aristotle: "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 the government to the utmost".

Zbigniew Bbrzezinski: "If not genuinely accepted and reinforced by traditions of constitutionalism, democracy can degenerate into plebiscites that only add legitimacy to extremism and authoritarianism".

Hermann Goering: "Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Thomas Jefferson: "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government".

Voltairine de Cleyre: "So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men".

Alastair Farrugia: "Freedom is when the people can speak, democracy is when the government listens.”

Mahatma Gandhi: "The true democrat is he who with purely nonviolent means defends his liberty and, therefore, his country's and ultimately that of the whole of mankind”.

4 comments:

Torstein said...

Hello

I downloaded your clips about the six-day war, but i only get the sound.

I have the regular codecs installed: Xvid, DivX and AC3.

Do you know which codec I need to see the clips?

Cheers

Philip I said...

Hello torstein

I would suggest you use Microsoft Mediaplayer, from version 9 upwards. They have all the codecs you need. In any case the clips are in regular MPG format, not the highly compressed DivX.

Nobody said...

..Syria is too backward to sustain Western-style democracy. Tribalism has haunted Syria for 2000 years and sectarianism is too deeply rooted and too close to the surface of society to permit Western–style freedoms. If unleashed, these ancient loyalties would cause civil war and chaos

i am not sure i understand what it means ... i thought you are a kind of homogeneous in a sense that 75% are sunni arabs...

i know that 10% are alawaites and there are kurds, but you do have a clear ethnic majority , dont you?

Philip I said...

nobody

True, Sunnis are the majority in Syria. The minorities are Alawites Kurds, Chrsitians, Druze, Armenian, Assyrians, Circassian and Jews (tiny communities in Damascus, Al Qamishli, and Aleppo.

I think Assad was trying to exaggerate the risk of sectarian strife to justify his rule.