Gordon Tullock Quote

“Characteristically, however, the overthrow of the dictator simply means that there will be another dictator. ... the policies they follow will probably not be radically different. If we look around the world, we quickly realize that these policies will not be radically different from those that would be followed by a democracy either.”

~ Gordon Tullock

Autocracy (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1987), p. 20.

Ratings and Comments

David L Rosenthal

Well, the Third Reich was followed by administrations sufficiently different than itself to serve as good examples of contradiction to the proposition of this quote. The phrasing of the quote itself almost made me immediately agree with it, but there are just too many contradictory examples. Batista was condemned as a dictator, but by comparison with Castro, he was a cream puff. The Czars of Russia had a justice system which was no rival in corruption or cruelty of that of the Soviets. I would say, based on this quote alone, that Tullock distorts the issue.

David L Rosenthal

On the other hand, the tendency does seem to be deterioration, rather than improvement. But there is some variation.

Mike, Norwalk

David, The original U.S. revolution was also an exception to the rule but, its pretty much the rule. If at the end of the quote he would have said Democrats instead of democracy he could have been speaking of the 2006 election.

Logan, Memphis, TN

As I said in the 2004 elections: It didn't matter who was elected, whether Bush or Kerry, I will still lose my liberty; however, at least with Bush, I would do it as an American. There are little differences between Republicans and Democracts-- the biggest being the name.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

It never fails to amaze me how people are so willing to sell their very souls to the devil who sells them on what a patriot they are...

David L Rosenthal

Reston, you are the same person who, on the page dedicated to Lenin's quote, said "Give me a commie any day." What then is your complaint about those claiming to be patriots, while you are a self-proclaimed traitor?

E Archer, NYC

This is the danger of all populist revolutions. As necessary as revolution may be, the possibility of the wrong people ending up in authority is all too real.

Ronw13, Yachats Or

Who is setting the stage, more to question ? For what other purpose than to make his presents known ! Strong Delusion that they may believe a LIE. But then someone will and does know the truth. A strong outcome on both sides, True Patriots will unite within All ranks, this with a little help ! Jacobs trouble comes. But we are not there yet ! A True Patriot will come to know the Creator, our founding Fathers so embraced ! That is the strongest medicine on the planet !

Bobble, No. Ferrisburgh, VT

So the chink in the armor is not the system, but mankind's hubris ? ( I'd agree ... consider the source(s) of whatever system is devised -- and praised. )

Jim k, Austin

The old adage is correct in "The more things change the more they stay the same".

Ronw13, Yachats Or

" The Way " pops up ! Remember the Whore, Outside the Gate ! She will lay with anything or anybody for a price ! The " Tree of Life " guarded Very Well. Interesting Bob, No. Ferrisburgh, VT.
Well Said Jim k, Austin !


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