„In capitalist society, providing it develops under the most favorable conditions, we have a more or less complete democracy in the democratic republic. But this democracy is always hemmed in by the narrow limits set by capitalist exploitation and consequently always remains, in effect, a democracy for the minority, only for the propertied classes, only for the rich. Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slaveowners. Owing to the conditions of capitalist exploitation, the modern wage slaves are so crushed by want and poverty that “they cannot be bothered with democracy,” “cannot be bothered with politics”; in the ordinary, peaceful course of events, the majority of the population is debarred from participation in public and political life. The“

—  Lenin

Origine: The State and Revolution (1917), Ch. 5
Contesto: Democracy for an insignificant minority, democracy for the rich – that is the democracy of capitalist society. If we look more closely into the machinery of capitalist democracy, we see everywhere, in the "petty" – supposedly petty – details of the suffrage (residential qualifications, exclusion of women, etc.), in the technique of the representative institutions, in the actual obstacles to the right of assembly (public buildings are not for "paupers"!), in the purely capitalist organization of the daily press, etc., etc., – we see restriction after restriction upon democracy. These restrictions, exceptions, exclusions, obstacles for the poor seem slight, especially in the eyes of one who has never known want himself and has never been in close contact with the oppressed classes in their mass life (and nine out of 10, if not 99 out of 100, bourgeois publicists and politicians come under this category); but in their sum total these restrictions exclude and squeeze out the poor from politics, from active participation in democracy.

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Lenin55
rivoluzionario e politico russo 1870 - 1924

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„A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.“

—  Alexander Fraser Tytler Scottish advocate, judge, writer and historian 1747 - 1813

The earliest known attribution of this quote was December 9, 1951, in what appears to be an op-ed piece in The Daily Oklahoman under the byline Elmer T. Peterson, [This is the Hard Core of Freedom, Elmer T. Peterson, Daily Oklahoman, 9 December 1951, 12A]. The quote has not been found in Tytler's work. It has also been attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville.
There are many variants circulating with various permutations of majority, voters, citizens, or public. Ronald Reagan is known to have used this in speeches, as reported in Loren Collins, "The Truth About Tytler http://lorencollins.net/tytler.html":
Other variants:
The American Republic will endure until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
Attributed

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„If wealth, power, and income continue to concentrate at the very tippy top, our society will change from a capitalist democracy to a neo-feudalist rentier society like 18th-century France. That was France before the revolution and the mobs with the pitchforks.“

—  Nick Hanauer American businessman 1959

"Beware fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming" TED (conference) August 2014 http://www.ted.com/talks/nick_hanauer_beware_fellow_plutocrats_the_pitchforks_are_coming/transcript?language=en

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—  Aristotle Classical Greek philosopher, student of Plato and founder of Western philosophy -384 - -321 a.C.

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„The capitalist system of production is an economic democracy in which every penny gives a right to vote.“

—  Ludwig von Mises, libro Bureaucracy

The consumers are the sovereign people. The capitalists, the entrepreneurs, and the farmers are the people’s mandatories. If they do not obey, if they fail to produce, at the lowest possible cost, what the consumers are asking for, they lose their office. Their task is service to the consumer. Profit and loss are the instruments by means of which the consumers keep a tight rein on all business activities.
Origine: Bureaucracy (1944), Chapter I: Profit Management, § 1: The Operation of The Market Mechanism

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—  Peter Gelderloos American anarchist 1982

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