Democracy and the Will to Power

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A. A. Knopf, 1921 - Democracy - 244 pages
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Page 13 - The forgotten factor is the populace's age-old credulity and sentimentality, its insatiable appetite for being fooled. The thing obviously goes beyond the bounds of a misfortune; too often it seems to take on the proportions of a grand passion. Let one demagogue lift the curtain ever so little, and there is always another one to pull it down again, or to choke the opening with flags, bunting and buckets of tears, or to draw attention from it by —13— giving a more familiar and hence a more charming...
Page 11 - The venality of politicians—their sole concern with their jobs—is another. The infinite credulity and sentimentality of the plain people is yet another. It is in terms of such harsh facts that the actual work of the state is carried on, even under a democracy. That work involves conflict, the , nice adjustment of varying ideas, the triumph of will over will. Despite the alarms of those who scent the process without ever understanding it, there is seldom unanimity among those concealed masters.
Page 7 - Mr. Wood believes that democracy, in actual practice, has little to do with the determination and execution of the popular will — or even the...
Page 11 - Too often they make war upon one another in a Berserker manner, and great bugaboos emerge from the conflict to startle and ride the general. I often wonder that some historian does not trace out the ultimate consequences, in public turmoil and epidemic indignation, of the old conflict between capital the —11— manufacturer and capital the merchant—that is, between the protective tariff and free trade.
Page 9 - Here a typical democratic mob-master, eager and determined to take the United States into the war, faced a populace obviously averse to war, and so he had to carry out his enterprise by posing as an advocate and guardian of peace. Once the mob had made him secure in that character, he straightway flew to arms. But maybe I...
Page 227 - His driving impulse is the will to power, and he is bound by it as remorselessly as is woman by sex. It is in the expression of this will to power, in the imposition of this will, that he finds joy. Happiness comes to him, therefore, as the result of war.
Page 14 - In the long run, the odds are inevitably upon this demogogue of the second order. The plain people distrust and dislike truth-tellers, for the truth is something harsh, and they prefer their ease. It is the most comforting soothsayer who is always on top, once the clash of tin swords is over.
Page 182 - Woe to the man of talent who permits himself to enter into an alliance with her! His life will become a struggle to escape the commonplace, to which she will ever lure him.
Page 13 - ... wills. But in the practical politics of the time there was nothing save a clash of hollow words— phrases to beguile the inflammatory and unintelligent. HG Wells, sensing this sharp distinction between the sham duel that goes on in sight of the populace and the real duel that goes on —12— behind the scenes, is full of plans, in his "Outline of History," for bringing the latter out upon the stage.

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