Natan Sharansky

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Natan Sharansky (Russian: Натан Щаранский, born January 20, 1948) is a notable Soviet dissident, Israeli politician and writer.

The Case for Democracy (2004, with Ron Dermer)[edit]

  • A lack of moral clarity is also the tragedy that has befallen efforts to advance peace and security in the world. Promoting peace and security is fundamentally connected to promoting freedom and democracy.
    • Preface, page xix.
  • The conviction that freedom is a universal desire is not the property of any political camp. ... Yet those who hold it remain a precious few, outnumbered many times over by the skeptics who don't.
    • Pages 18-19.
  • A simple way to determine whether the right to dissent in a particular society is being upheld is to apply the town square test: Can a person walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm? If he can, then that person is living in a free society. If not, it's a fear society.
    • Pages 40-1.
  • Now we can see why nondemocratic regimes imperil the security of the world. They stay in power by controlling their populations. This control invariably requires an increasing amount of repression. To justify this repression and maintain internal stability, external enemies must be manufactured.
    • Page 88.
  • Freedom's skeptics must understand that the democracy that hates you is less dangerous than the dictator who loves you. Indeed, it is the absence of democracy that represents the real threat to peace.
    • Page 95.
  • The free world should not wait for dictatorial regimes to consent to reform.
    • Page 278.