Alexis de Tocqueville Thoughts Quotes

0
421

A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.

 

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.

 

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?

 

Consider any individual at any period of his life, and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh plans to increase his comfort.

 

Grant me thirty years of equal division of inheritances and a free press, and I will provide you with a republic.

 

History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. Alexis de Tocqueville

 

I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all.

 

In no other country in the world is the love of property keener or more alert than in the United States, and nowhere else does the majority display less inclination toward doctrines which in any way threaten the way property is owned.

 

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.

 

Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.

 

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

 

No state of society or laws can render men so much alike but that education, fortune, and tastes will interpose some differences between them; and though different men may sometimes find it their interest to combine for the same purposes, they will never make it their pleasure.

 

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

 

The French want no-one to be their superior. The English want inferiors. The Frenchman constantly raises his eyes above him with anxiety. The Englishman lowers his beneath him with satisfaction.

 

The power of the periodical press is second only to that of the people.

 

The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colours breaking through.

 

There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.

 

There is hardly a pioneer’s hut which does not contain a few odd volumes of Shakespeare. I remember reading the feudal drama of Henry V for the first time in a log cabin.

 

There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.

 

We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.

 

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.

 

When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here