The War and Democracy

The War and Democracy Summary

Democracy is not a mere form of government. It does not depend on ballot boxes or franchise laws or any constitutional machinery. These are but its trappings. Democracy is a spirit and an atmosphere, and its essence is trust in the moral instincts of the people. A tyrant is not a democrat, for he believes in government by force; neither is a demagogue a democrat, for he believes in government by flattery. A democratic country is a country where the government has confidence in the people and the people in the government and in itself, and where all are united in the faith that the cause of their country is not a mere matter of individual or national self-interest, but is in harmony with the great moral forces which rule the destinies of mankind. No form of government is so feeble as a democracy without faith. But a democracy armed with faith is not merely strong: it is invincible; for its cause will live on, in defeat and disaster, in the breast of every one of its citizens.

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