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Voltaire on Democracy

From his Philosophical Dictionary:

Democracy seems suitable only to a very little country, and further it must be happily situated. Small though it be, it will make many mistakes, because it will be composed of men. Discord will reign there as in a monastery; but there will be no St. Bartholomew, no Irish massacres, no Sicilian vespers, no inquisition, no condemnation to the galleys for having taken some water from the sea without paying for it, unless one supposes this republic composed of devils in a corner of hell.

One questions every day whether a republican government is preferable to a king's government? The dispute ends always by agreeing that to govern men is very difficult. The Jews had God Himself for master; see what has happened to them on that account: nearly always have they been beaten and slaves, and to-day do you not find that they cut a pretty figure?

He seemed to think that the problem with democracy is that the people are stupid. The article cuts him off right before he got there! DLerner 09:56, 12 March 2008 (EDT)

My problem with Voltaire

Actually I like Voltaire. Especially that Jewish bisexual's musical take on his Candide.

The problem I have is not with Voltaire but rather his Catholic Christian contemporaries. You see, I'm not into burning people alive. Neither was Voltaire.

I really can't understand how a follower of Christ could justify the utter inhumanity of subjecting one of what he considered to be one of God's creatures to such agony. And In the name of Christ for Christ's sake!!

So I get annoyed - my feathers are "ruffelled" (sorry Cons) - when someone ignores the barbarity and criticises the source of the light shone onto it. AlanE 00:50, 27 November 2014 (EST)


Can the quotation "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to your death your right to say it" please be removed from this page, as there is no evidence that Voltaire said this. What Voltaire actually said was "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too". Carltonio (talk) 02:42, 10 July 2020 (EDT) I have removed the misquotation. Carltonio (talk) 02:20, 19 July 2020 (EDT)