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the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried

Discussion in 'English Only' started by zbwsb, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. zbwsb

    zbwsb Senior Member

    Norwegian
    "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." by Wiston Churchill.

    I guess it means, if democracy is the worst, then others will be even worse. So, democracy is still better than other governments. Am I right?

    But, I don't know why if you have tried other governments, then you come up with democracy is the worst. How could other be even worse than the worst one? I am not sure if my sentence makes sense or not, if not please let me know I will try to explain it again.
     
  2. ghotioutofh2o Senior Member

    USA
    American English
    Grammatically and logically, no, it doesn't make sense.
    It is tongue in cheek stating that really no form of government is good government. Democracy is the least of many evils.
     
  3. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    You are right about the meaning of the sentence.

    It is an humorously ironic statement about democracy. People complain about democracy on various grounds. Churchill is agreeing that it is the worst form of government, where 'worst' means that there are a lot of problems with it. He then points out that if you compare democracy with other forms of government, it is not the worst. Others are worse.

    Democracy may have its faults, but it's better than anything else we've tried.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
  4. zbwsb

    zbwsb Senior Member

    Norwegian
    So, it means there is no good government at all, but democracy at least is a worst government; therefore, having a worst government is better than having no government? Am I right?
     
  5. zbwsb

    zbwsb Senior Member

    Norwegian

    Thanks for the explanation there! It really helps me to understand why he says that democracy is the worst form of government, when you compared with others.
     

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