Tocqueville a smart guy (though he was a man of his age)

March 10, 2008

As far as I know, these are quotes from the man:

All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.

In the United States the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own 

 What is most important for democracy is not that great fortunes should not exist, but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands. In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a class.

 No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country.

There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult – to begin a war and to end it 

 As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?

I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America. 

I know of no other country where love of money has such a grip on men’s hearts or where stronger scorn is expressed for the theory of permanent equality of property. 

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money. 

However, he apparently did not say:

America is great because America is good; and if America ever ceases to be good, she will no longer be great.

The text of Democracy in America if you have a chance (I need to sometime) to read it.


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