We frequently hear it said that the ideal of community life within a state is a democracy. Good! Let us assume, that the ideal of community life in a state is a democracy, but, should this be introduced anywhere, in its last phase it would inevitably bring about its own destruction.
The tendency of democracy is inevitably such that, when the democrats are together, one is always endeavoring to overcome the other; the one always wishes to have his way against the other. This goes without saying. Transferred into the realm of reality, a democratic order leads to the opposite side. There is no other possibility in life.
Democracies will always, after a certain length of time, die as the result of their own democratic nature. These are things that are of enormous importance for an understanding of life.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 186 – The Challenge of the Times: Lecture IV: Social and Antisocial Instincts – Dornach, December 6, 1918
Translated by Olin D. Wannamaker
Previously posted on March 2, 2017