February 20, 2015

"It cannot be too often repeated that all real democracy is an attempt (like that of a jolly hostess) to bring the shy people out."

"For every practical purpose of a political state, for every practical purpose of a tea-party, he that abaseth himself must be exalted. At a tea-party it is equally obvious that he that exalteth himself must be abased, if possible without bodily violence. Now people talk of democracy as being coarse and turbulent: it is a self-evident error in mere history. Aristocracy is the thing that is always coarse and turbulent: for it means appealing to the self-confident people. Democracy means appealing to the different people. Democracy means getting those people to vote who would never have the cheek to govern: and (according to Christian ethics) the precise people who ought to govern are the people who have not the cheek to do it."

Something more from G.K. Chesterton's "Tremendous Trifles" (also quoted in the previous post).

13 comments:

BDNYC said...

I believe that's called populism. And it's ugly.

GOTV is aimed at morons who should have no business having a say in who runs the government.

MaxedOutMama said...

Chesterton is wonderful.

It really is the people who don't want to govern and who don't feel the need to dominate, who experience uncertainty and doubt, who see more clearly. And they should in the end set the basic agenda.

Chuck said...

Um, it's G.K. Chesterton. Not C.K. Chesterton.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936).

Graham Powell said...

Ann wrote C.K. in the previous post as well. Maybe she's trying to invent a new mashup - Louis C.K. Chesterton?

Ann Althouse said...

LOL. Sorry. That's where bad eyesight gets you. The letters should be more different from each other. G and C are hard to distinguish when not part of a known word, but in an initial like that. I'm sure I once knew it was G.K., and I probably did get infected by Louis C.K.

And I love the idea of a Louis C.K. Chesterton character.

If anyone can develop that character... well, that would take some special skill.

tim maguire said...

I once read a science fiction novel (not my normal area) where the leaders were picked by computer algorithm. One absolute selection requirement is that the person have never indicated any desire to govern.

Terms were set at 6 years, with 2 years off for good behavior.

tim maguire said...

BDNYC said...I believe that's called populism. And it's ugly.

GOTV is aimed at morons who should have no business having a say in who runs the government.


I sort of agree. People who don't care about voting should not be encouraged to vote. Not because they are morons who don't deserve a say--their interests are as important as yours or mine--but because they cannot vote according to their interests if they have not familiarized themselves with the candidates and the issues.

For them, voting is the equivalent of throwing darts at a ballot pinned to the wall.

Mick said...

The United States is not a "Democracy" it is a Republic. "Democracy" is tyranny of the majority. There is not even a "right to vote" so how can the US be a Democracy?

Unknown said...

"People who don't care about voting should not be encouraged to vote. Not because they are morons who don't deserve a say--their interests are as important as yours or mine--but because they cannot vote according to their interests if they have not familiarized themselves with the candidates and the issues."

Not fair. I don't vote if there is no candidate that I feel will represent me and my interests. I don't see the point of endorsing someone who works against me.

Anonymous said...

Appealing to the "different" people... or to the "diffident" people?

tim maguire said...

Unknown said...
"People who don't care about voting should not be encouraged to vote. Not because they are morons who don't deserve a say--their interests are as important as yours or mine--but because they cannot vote according to their interests if they have not familiarized themselves with the candidates and the issues."

Not fair. I don't vote if there is no candidate that I feel will represent me and my interests. I don't see the point of endorsing someone who works against me.


You seem to care about voting, I was talking about people who don't.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what he's talking about.

Those voices are often screaming to be heard and put down forcibly. Not shy at all. He was British. Maybe that's how he imagined it was?

(I'm not familiar with him, so I don't know if this is his wry sense of humor.)

Anonymous said...

Ah, Chesterton. Undeservedly eclipsed in the public memory.