Jan C. Smuts Quote

“Democracy, with its promise of international peace, has been no better guarantee against war than the old dynastic rule of kings.”

~ Jan C. Smuts

Address at St. Andrews University, 1934

Ratings and Comments


Mike, Norwalk

We hold these truths to be self evident

The Grieving Forefathers, Your Town,USA.

Why,we must ask ourselves,is this true? Again,WHY? I say that it is through no fault of Democracy as a system of governance but what makes this statement true is the fact that "democratic" "Republics" such as the USA have been governed by individuas of a less noble character and NOT fit to be in such positions of governence.These individuals have spoiled the name of Democracy and have cursed the GOD given rights of all individuals.If it were not for those individuals mentioned above,this statement would not be true.

DougMcr8, Springfield, VA

Anybody expecting such a "guarantee" from democracy is a naive moron. And Mr. Smuts' and his ilk have proved that the loser organization he helped found, with such a design built into its core, cannot guarantee against war either.

kilpeg, austin,tex

I think that "Grieving" and "Doug" have missed the point.Mr Smuts wasn't speaking against democracy , but was just stating a fact.He seemed to be saying that no matter what form of government you have, there will always be war because the wrong people will usually be in charge.

E Archer, NYC

What Smuts says about democracy is true -- the solution being offered, however, is just as dangerous to American independence (and thus individual rights) as democracy. The League of Nations and United Nations are the ruling elite's plan for global governance under the thumb of the World Bank/IMF. Read their charters -- they are not declared by the People. Sounds good in principle, but the implications are that America loses its independence to a global body of unelected representatives (mostly socialist/communist/totalitarian countries) that vote for or against other nations. American independence and sovereignty is not up for vote! Just another con using Peace as the impetus to enslave humankind to corrupt politicians and their bankers.

wan, olathe ks

Damn socialist would hate any form of government besides totalitarian socialism. I doubt he makes a difference for "democracy" or "republic".

Anonymous, PTA, South Africa

You have no clue who Smuts was..he was no socialist, nor was he a liberal..he was a realist. Smuts concluded many times that the League of Nations will never work because the USA hadn't joined the ranks of the other countries. So before you insult a true genius of a man, go and read his history and what he did. What is that saying that even Caeser abandoned democracy in times of war?? War has, and always will be a part of the state system. If not by conventional means, by economic means or other. So what kilpeg said is completely right

Wolf, Durban, South Africa

When in doubt do the courageous thing.: - Jan Smuts, my great great great Uncle ( I'm proud to say ).

Wolf, Durban, South Africa

Jan Smuts read law at Christ's College, Cambridge. Lord Todd, the Master of Christ's College said in 1970 that "in 500 years of the College's history, of all its members, past and present, three had been truly outstanding: John Milton, Charles Darwin and Jan Smuts".

Patrick Henry, Red Hill

The fault resides in fallen human nature.

Political ideologies and systems do not exist to have fundamentally transformative effects on the essential nature of Man.

They can exist to substantialize his vestigial virtues or his native frailties.

Were human beings reliably virtuous, Democracy would truly be practicable.

A verity which the Founders profoundly understood.

SCSURFR, La Mirada

Name two democratic countries that went to war with each other.

E Archer, NYC

SCSURFR, Democracy is a form of war. Mob rule is democracy. "Name two democratic countries that went to war with each other?" Firstly, two countries don't go to war with each other -- one country either attacks another or one country tries to free itself from the control of the other -- they don't say, 'hey, let's go to war.'

I stick with the general rule, "Wars are caused by undefended wealth." Switzerland -- never at war, not a democracy -- their wealth is well protected.

So have democratic countries attacked other countries? Yes! Have other democratic countries had to defend the attacks of another democratic country? Yes. Hitler was democratically elected. Has a defeated democratic country ever freed itself via democracy? Hmm - No, I can't think of one.

The misplacement of responsibility is the common trait among 'democrats' who are no less prone to desires for wealth and power (i.e. greed) than those who have it and still want more. A republican form of government is a better protection against the wiles of designing men who can wield their wealth to sway the opinion of the masses.

Taking responsibility is hard work -- with no promise of success, the pleasures in life are either found in the work itself or not at all. ;-) The worse thing that can happen is that I will have lived a relatively happy and fulfilling life -- having it all work out as planned would be a bonus, but nothing really compares to the serendipitous fruit that seems to fall ripened into my hand. And for that I am thankful and my cup runneth over -- I am truly rich with what can never be taken from me but what I can truly give, the giving of which fulfills me. This dynamic of prosperity is what powers responsible people who give of themselves as their modus operandi. This is a completely different approach than democracy.

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