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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: John Buchan (1875–1940)
QUOTATION: When I examined my political faith I found that my strongest belief was in democracy according to my own definition. Democracy—the essential thing as distinguished from this or that democratic government—was primarily an attitude of mind, a spiritual testament, and not an economic structure or a political machine. The testament involved certain basic beliefs—that the personality was sacrosanct, which was the meaning of liberty; that policy should be settled by free discussion; that normally a minority should be ready to yield to a majority, which in turn should respect a minority’s sacred things. It seemed to me that democracy had been in the past too narrowly defined and had been identified illogically with some particular economic or political system such as laissez-faire or British parliamentarism. I could imagine a democracy which economically was largely socialist and which had not our constitutional pattern.
ATTRIBUTION: JOHN BUCHAN, LORD TWEEDSMUIR, Pilgrim’s Way, p. 222 (1940, reprinted 1979).
SUBJECTS: Democracy