"I am convinced that those societies (as the Indians) which live without government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under the European governments. Among the former, public opinion is in the place of law, & restrains morals as powerfully as laws ever did anywhere. Among the latter, under pretence of governing they have divided their nations into two classes, wolves & sheep. I do not exaggerate. This is a true picture of Europe. Cherish therefore the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. ... If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you & I, & Congress & Assemblies, judges & governors shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions; and experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the governments of Europe, and to the general prey of the rich on the poor. " -- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Edward Carrington - January 16, 1787
"The idea that parties are guided by policy decisions made by voters also seems to be a myth; in reality, the parties make the policies and we fall into line. To minimise cognitive dissonance – the gulf between what we perceive and what we believe – we either adjust our views to those of our favoured party or avoid discovering what the party really stands for. This is how people end up voting against their interests.
Even the less ambitious notion of democracy – that it’s a means by which people punish or reward governments – turns out to be divorced from reality. We remember only the past few months of a government’s performance (a bias known as 'duration neglect') and are hopeless at correctly attributing blame." -- George Monbiot, "Lies, fearmongering and fables: that's our democracy", The Guardian, Oct. 4, 2016.
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