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Archive of posts published in the tag: Alexis de Tocqueville

A Democratic Condiment

“It is reasonably well understood in this country that to place the word “democratic” in front of, say, “speech restrictions” or “warrantless searches” or “juryless criminal prosecutions” would be in no way to legitimize those things or to make them more compatible with the preservation of a free society.”

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Noble Adversaries of Civilization

‘Men of religion combat freedom, and the friends of freedom attack religions; noble and generous spirits vaunt slavery, and base and servile souls extol independence; honest and enlightened citizens are enemies of all progress, while men without patriotism and morality make themselves apostles of civilization and enlightenment!”

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The Weakness of All

“I see that it is government alone that inherits all the prerogatives extracted from families, from corporations, or from men: the force of a small number of citizens, sometimes oppressive, but often protective, has therefore been succeeded by the weakness of all.”

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Soft Tyranny

From Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America  (published in 1840): Thus, after taking each individual by turns in its powerful hands and kneading him as it likes, the sovereign extends its arms over society as a whole; it covers its…

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Tocqueville on the Election

from a letter to the editor in The Wall Street Journal, Tocqueville and ‘Is This the Best We Can Do?’ Responding to Joseph Epstein’s “These Five Are the Best We Can Do?” (op-ed, April 6): Alexis de Tocqueville answered Mr. Epstein’s…

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A New Kind of Servitude

“Is it too pessimistic to fear that a generation grown up under these conditions is unlikely to throw off the fetters to which it has grown used? Or does this description not rather fully bear out Tocqueville’s prediction of the…

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The Paradox of Equality

Bret Stephens writes in the Wall Street Journal Obama’s Envy Problem. Excerpts: Now about inequality. In 1835 Alexis de Tocqueville noticed what might be called the paradox of equality: As social conditions become more equal, the more people resent the…

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