Discuss the links between the principles of liberalism in the following source."Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy...

Discuss the links between the principles of liberalism in the following source.

"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty."

Asked on by julia923

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the philosophy of liberalism would have some fundamental problems with the quote.  There is a basic level of optimism in liberalism that makes it collide with the tenets put forth in the quote.  The construction of individual rights is an example of this.  Liberalism sees the development of individual rights and a realm of individual entitlements as critical to its philosophical foundation because it feels that construction of these zones will allow individuals to be their very best, permitting them to do great things.  This is also why liberals tend to favor a limited form of government, as there should be nothing to impinge on the potential of human beings to do great things and to make the world better.  Liberalism was not founded on the belief that "fraud, violence, and cruelty" are the end products of human endeavors.  Rather, liberalism stresses the ability for human beings to be better than the past, only to be surpassed by the future.  In this light, this becomes the critical element for liberalism.

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