Democracy is just a word. You have to give it meaning. The US is not a democracy. Most Americans do not vote. We haven't had a real choice for a long, long time now. Wealth rules. Corporations rule. The US is a plutocracy - government by wealthy people. Certain people control multinational corporations. You couldn't get elected in the US without lots of money.
If democracy is destroyed in Britain it will be not the communists, Trotskyists or subversives but this House which threw it away. The rights that are entrusted to us are not for us to give away. Even if I agree with everything that is proposed, I cannot hand away powers lent to me for five years by the people of Chesterfield. I just could not do it. It would be theft of public rights.
The ideal of a perfectly functioning democracy is one person, one vote; the ideal of a perfectly functioning market is one dollar, one vote.It's a hoary superstition that democratically elected governments invariably function as instruments of the collective will.A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste.
When public men indulge themselves in abuse, when they deny others a fair trial, when they resort to innuendo and insinuation, to libel, scandal, and suspicion, then our democratic society is outraged, and democracy is baffled. It has no apparatus to deal with the boor, the liar, the lout, and the antidemocrat in general.
When we generate utopian visions and hope to make them happen soon – when we elect Barack Obama and expect all our problems to be solved, and solved quickly, by his presidency – the outcome is both predictable and tragic. That is not the way to engage social change in a democracy. And it is not the way to help democracy itself survive and thrive. Democracy is a non-stop experiment. Each generation must help sustain it, which means being in it day-by-day for the long haul.