View Full Version : Alexis de Tocqueville "Democracy in America"
11-19-2010, 06:02 AM
Tocqueville's examination of republican representative democracy in the United States is essential reading in my view, especially his observations of its devolving into what he termed "soft despotism," which we are fortunate to be participants of their validation today.
A lecture based off of that section:
YouTube - Alexis de Tocqueville - Despotism in America
11-21-2010, 02:50 AM
I read de Tocqueville a couple of years ago because radio talk show host Mark Levin was always quoting him.
He certainly had some interesting and almost prophetic observations about not only the American form of government, but the American psyche as well.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes.
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years."
"Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."
"Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom."
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