„Democracy is not enough. If the culture dies, the country dies.“

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„And in the years he reigned; through all the country wide,
There was no cause for weeping, save when the good man died.“

—  Pierre-Jean de Béranger French poet and chansonnier 1780 - 1857
Le Roi Yvetot; rendering of Thackeray, King of Brentford; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 683.

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„Yet the very essence of democracy is the absolute faith that while people must cooperate, the first function of democracy, its peculiar gift, is to develop each individual into everything that he might be. But I submit to you that when in each man the dream of personal greatness dies, democracy loses the real source of its future strength.“

—  Edwin H. Land American scientist and inventor 1909 - 1991
Context: I believe there are two opposing theories of history, and you have to make your choice. Either you believe that this kind of individual greatness does exist and can be nurtured and developed, that such great individuals can be part of a cooperative community while they continue to be their happy, flourishing, contributing selves — or else you believe that there is some mystical, cyclical, overriding, predetermined, cultural law — a historic determinism. The great contribution of science is to say that this second theory is nonsense. The great contribution of science is to demonstrate that a person can regard the world as chaos, but can find in himself a method of perceiving, within that chaos, small arrangements of order, that out of himself, and out of the order that previous scientists have generated, he can make things that are exciting and thrilling to make, that are deeply spiritual contributions to himself and to his friends. The scientist comes to the world and says, "I do not understand the divine source, but I know, in a way that I don't understand, that out of chaos I can make order, out of loneliness I can make friendship, out of ugliness I can make beauty." I believe that men are born this way — that all men are born this way. I know that each of the undergraduates with whom I talked shares this belief. Each of these men felt secretly — it was his very special secret and his deepest secret — that he could be great. But not many undergraduates come through our present educational system retaining this hope. Our young people, for the most part — unless they are geniuses — after a very short time in college give up any hope of being individually great. They plan, instead, to be good. They plan to be effective, They plan to do their job. They plan to take their healthy place in the community. We might say that today it takes a genius to come out great, and a great man, a merely great man, cannot survive. It has become our habit, therefore, to think that the age of greatness has passed, that the age of the great man is gone, that this is the day of group research, that this is the day of community progress. Yet the very essence of democracy is the absolute faith that while people must cooperate, the first function of democracy, its peculiar gift, is to develop each individual into everything that he might be. But I submit to you that when in each man the dream of personal greatness dies, democracy loses the real source of its future strength.

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Roger Nash Baldwin фото

„So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy.“

—  Roger Nash Baldwin American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) co-founder 1884 - 1981
quote on American Civil Liberties Union's webpage

Nanabhoy Palkhivala фото
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John Dewey фото

„Democracy means the belief that humanistic culture should prevail.“

—  John Dewey American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer 1859 - 1952
Democracy and Human Nature http://books.google.com/books?id=akasAAAAIAAJ&q=%22Democracy+means+the+belief+that+humanistic+culture+should+prevail%22&pg=PA124#v=onepage, Freedom and Culture (1939)

Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq фото

„I genuinely feel that the survival of this country lies in democracy and democracy alone.“

—  Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq 6th President of Pakistan 1924 - 1988
As quoted in "Mohammad Zia ul-Haq : Unbending Commander for Era of Atom and Islam" http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE2D71239F93BA2575BC0A96E948260, The New York Times (18 August 1988).

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„There are many democracies in our Arab and Islamic countries, but unfortunately, they are all false democracies.“

—  Yusuf Qaradawi Egyptian imam 1926
Sheik Youssef Al-Qaradhawi in Favor of Democratic Elections in the Arab World http://www.memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/129.htm June 2004.

Paul Robeson фото
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Primo Levi фото

„In countries and epochs in which communication is impeded, soon all other liberties wither; discussion dies by inanition, ignorance of the opinion of others becomes rampant, imposed opinions triumph.“

—  Primo Levi Italian chemist, memoirist, short story writer, novelist, essayist 1919 - 1987
Context: In countries and epochs in which communication is impeded, soon all other liberties wither; discussion dies by inanition, ignorance of the opinion of others becomes rampant, imposed opinions triumph. The well-known example of this is the crazy genetics preached in the USSR by Lysenko, which in the absence of discussion (his opponents were exiled to Siberia) compromised the harvests for twenty years. Intolerance is inclined to censor, and censorship promotes ignorance of the arguments of others and thus intolerance itself: a rigid, vicious circle that is hard to break.

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„But foremost, I do not subscribe to the view that Islamic culture and democracy cannot be reconciled.“

—  Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 12th President of Turkey from 2014 1954
As quoted in Erdogan: "Democracy in the Middle East, PluralIism in Europe: Turkish View" http://www.turkishweekly.net/article/8/erdogan-democracy-in-the-middle-east-pluraliism-in-europe-turkish-view-.html, The Turkish Weekly (October 12, 2004)