Quote of the day


People use democracy as a free-floating abstraction disconnected from reality. Democracy in and of itself is not necessarily good. Gang rape, after all, is democracy in action.

- TERRY GOODKIND, in a recent interview

Hmmm, methinks we won't have to look too far afield to find our dumbass of the year for 2007. . . But it's early yet, and I daresay TG can beat this quote.

17 commentaires:

n. said...

But he's right, isn't he?

"All men have the right to live their own life. Democracy must be rooted in a rational philosophy that first and foremost recognizes the right of an individual. A few million Imperial Order men screaming for the lives of a much smaller number of people in the New World may win a democratic vote, but it does not give them the right to those lives, or make their calls for such killing right.

Democracy is not a synonym for justice or for freedom. Democracy is not a sacred right sanctifying mob rule. Democracy is a principle that is subordinate to the inalienable rights of the individual."

n.

Anonymous said...

i actually agree with what he's said for once. it's one of the few things he's said which is totally and utterly correct.

Iosua said...

You know, Terry has got a point with this one. "Majority" rule often leaves many disaffected.
Why all the hate? I can name hundreds of people who have said worse things.

Sean T. M. Stiennon said...

I don't normally like the guy's commmentarys, but here he's right. If you read writings from America's founding fathers and other early writers, like Tocqueville, you'll find that their biggest fear in democracy was what they called "the tyranny of the majority"--the fact that, in a perfectly democratic system, the majority of the people can do whatever they want to the minority. The gang rape analogy is brutal but accurate. Unbridled democracy means no rights for the minority.

The whole American system of government (the bicameral legislature, the Supreme Court, the electoral college, etc.) was concieved to counteract this difficulty.

Anonymous said...

Both the quote and several comments here are just wrong. For example : "in a perfectly democratic system, the majority of the people can do whatever they want to the minority. "
Well no. In a democracy, the majority of the people can not do whatever they want without the consent of the minority.
Democracy corresponds to consensus, not majority.
And yes, probably not a single country in the world is a democracy.

Anonymous said...

Goodkind is right, although he uses a particularly idiotic example to make his point.

But his point about democracy is essentially correct - hence the old saying "democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner."

I see what the previous commenter is saying about consensus, but that really isn't what i think of when i hear the words democracy these days.

Anonymous said...

The problem here is you can use this same ridiculous analogy with any governmental system, in fact, it can be used for anything. As someone said on Westeros, "Breathing, after all, is giving fellatio to the sky."

Alsem WISEMAN said...

I think this all debate is not about whether the saying is right or wrong but about the man behind it. And I dare say I understand the general reaction.
TG love to give lessons at every turn as though he possesses a desperate need to tell the world how intelligent he is (which he may or may not be) and it’s tiring.
So it is like the story of the youngling who always lied till the day he came running through the village screaming about some pirates attacking, no one believed him for he was a notorious liar, but this time they chose wrong.
If I’m not quite fond of the example, I agree with: “People use democracy as a free-floating abstraction disconnected from reality. Democracy in and of itself is not necessarily good.”

Patrick said...

I won't sit here and tell anyone that democracy is not without its flaws. There are no perfect political systems, after all...

But to bring it down to the level of gang rape degrades this concept to such a disgraceful level that there's no way for me to condone Goodkind's assertion.

The Monk said...

Goodkind is an arrogant a--. Take one peek at the rest of the interview -- he has the same preternatural intellectual self-assurance without any basis in reality as all who've drank the Objectivist Kool-Aid.

You're right Pat, the example he uses degrades democracy. It also degrades him -- a gang rape is not democracy because there is no agreement or consensus through pure force.

I'm glad I gave up his tracts after barely making it through the execrable Temple of the Winds.

Anonymous said...

What a window to the soul words are!
Remind me to never discuss politics alone in a dark alley with Terry Goodkind.

Anonymous said...

I still can't get how people can connect gang rape with democracy. :/

~The Wolf Maid

Anonymous said...

This is just another step closer to the acceptance of Fascism in Ameerica. Theese hard line Righists like Goodkind have no problem using "mob rules mentality" to bully others and get their way, but when the majority is against them.. Democracy becomes "gang rape". Just like our decider said I"It would be easier if I were a dictator".

Anonymous said...

Check out these quotes by other right-wing nazis (Google these to see how the fascist is):

"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."

FASCISM!

"Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos."

EVIL!!

"...that in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy."

NAZI!!!

"Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority."

HITLER INCARNATE!!!

"We are now forming a Republican form of government. Real Liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of dictatorship."

NOAM CHOMSKY CRIES TEARS ON THE CROSS!

Anonymous said...

More evil, in the vein Herr Goodkind:

"Democracy is a form of worship. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses."

VILE!

"It had been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience had proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity."

TIM MCVEIGH WOULD AGREE, MR. NAZI!

Anonymous said...

# "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury."
-- Alexander Tytler


# "Democracy is a form of worship. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses."
-- H.L. Mencken


# "It had been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience had proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity."
-- Alexander Hamilton


# "Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage."
-- H.L. Mencken


# "Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people."
-- Oscar Wilde


# "Any political party that includes the word 'democratic' in its name, isn't."
-- Patrick Murray


# "Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance."
-- H.L. Mencken


# "If we advert to the nature of republican government, we shall find that the censorial power is in the people over the government, and not in the government over the people."
-- James Madison


# "The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections."
-- Lord Acton


# "Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few."
-- George Bernard Shaw


# "All the civilizations we know have been created and directed by small intellectual aristocracies, never by people in the mass. The power of crowds is only to destroy."
-- Jean de la Fontaine, Fables (1668)


# "If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
-- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)


# "It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority...from the absolute will of an entire people there is no appeal, no redemption, no refuge but treason."
-- Lord Acton


# "The people as a body cannot deliberate. Nevertheless, they will feel an irresistible impulse to act, and their resolutions will be dictated to them by their demagogues... and the violent men, who are the most forward to gratify those passions, will be their favorites. What is called the government of the people is in fact too often the arbitrary power of such men. Here, then, we have the faithful portrait of democracy."
-- Fisher Ames, The Dangers of American Liberty (1805)


# "The tendencies of democracies are, in all things, to mediocrity, since the tastes, knowledge, and principles of the majority form the tribunal of appeal."
-- James Fenimore Cooper, The American Democrat (1838)

Stuart said...

Pat, of all the quotes and eye rolling moments in that interview you pick that one to mock? :)

The writers of the US constitution distrusted true democracy because it could easily become nothing more than mob rule (like the French found out a decade later). Thus, the American system of a democratic republic. It's not perfect, but no system is. It's certainly better than having the "unwashed masses" dictate policy through emotional reactions.

But thanks for posting that link. I'm always amazed how truly defensive and arrogant TG comes across in his interviews.