Harry S. TrumanHarry S. Truman, (1884-1972), 33rd US President

Harry S. Truman Quote

“Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.”

Harry S. TrumanHarry S. Truman
~ Harry S. Truman

Speech, Columbia University, 28 April 1959

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

Besides being wrong on its face, what part of efficient is trying to be applied to what definition. Cleaning up a nuclear disaster in the old Soviet Union might seem efficient if you leave out most of the details and humanity from the report. The representative republic, constitutionally limiting government was the most efficient government at expressing the individual sovereign's self expression (government)

J Carlton, Calgary

A government might be measured only on its ability to fleece and control its people. That is the only thing a dictatorial government needs to be good at. And that requires bureacracy, Stalin knew that.

jim k, austin

Hitler had a real efficient government, as did Stalin and Mao.

cal, lewisville, tx

Wrong Harry - a dictatorship is very inefficent!

Ben, Ore
  • Reply
Ben, Ore    8/8/09

It depends on your definition of efficient

Waffler, Smith

What Harry means is that a democratic government has discussion, town meetings, contention and arguement. Like our Congress which people complain about simply for the fact that they are democratic and not efficient. Democracy may be the worst type of government but its better than all of the rest espcially those republcs some would have us bow down to.

E Archer, NYC

Waffler, that is not what Truman has said.

Waffler, Smith

I disagree with you E. Archer! As far as government functionaires their job is to apply the law evenly and efficiently to all.

Ben, Orem, UT

Wow....so Waffler just said government is to apply the law "evenly and efficiently to all"....There goes your idea of democracy Waffler. You just defeated your own argument.

Waffler, Smith

You are unable to distinguish between the legislative and the executive branches of government Ben. Why am I not surprised. Democracy is the means of enacting law. The enforcement of the law should be efficientl and evenly applied, using the principle of due process. Failing to apply the laws as passed causes severe problems. Just check out the failure to enforce immigration law. Think again Ben think again. Democracy for legislation, and efficiency for enforcement and governance.

  • Reply
Anon    4/12/10

And when you have an efficient dictatorship you have rule by the barrel of a gun.


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