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« Restful Sunday: a Few Artworks | Main | North Korea Sentences 2 American Journalists to 12 Years Hard Labor as Tensions Continue to Escalate »

June 08, 2009

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flowerplough

Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Committee on Foreign Relations, in Foreign Affairs: "The country's economy, infrastructure, public schools and political system have been allowed to deteriorate. The result has been diminished economic strength, a less-vital democracy, and a mediocrity of spirit." Or, as Heinlein put it, ""The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’"

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