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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 172-173 of the translated remarks of Louis Rougier delivered on August 29th, 1938, at the Walter Lippmann Colloquium held in Paris, as these remarks are published in The Walter Lippmann Colloquium, Jurgen Reinhoudt and Serge Audier, Eds. (2017) (original emphasis; brackets original to Reinhoudt and Audier):

The word democracy contains a terrible ambivalence. There are two conceptions of democracy. The first is the idea of liberal democracy, based on the limitation of the powers of the State, the respect for the rights of the individual and of the citizen, the subordination of legislative and executive power to a superior legal authority. The second is the idea of socialistic democracy [la démocratie socialisante] based on the notion of popular sovereignty. The first proceeds from theorists of the law of nations [jus gentium], Protestant publicists, American and French declarations [of human rights] and affirms the principle of the sovereignty of the individual; the second proceeds from Rousseau and affirms the principle of the sovereignty of the mass. The second is the negation of the first. It leads inevitably to demagoguery, and through demagoguery, to the totalitarian State.

DBx: Indeed so. Yet this all-important distinction is seen by far too few people.


Pictured above is Louis Rougier (1889-1982).

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