Friday, August 1, 2014

“When they come preaching equality, what they want is power“

Some quotes from Alexis de Tocqueville

"The sole condition which is required in order to succeed in centralizing the supreme power in a democratic community, is to love equality, or to get men to believe you love it. Thus the science of despotism, which was once so complex, is simplified, and reduced … to a single principle."

"The man who asks of freedom anything other than itself is born to be a slave."

"The most dangerous moment for a bad government is when it begins to reform."

"There is in fact a manly and legitimate passion for equality that spurs all men to wish to be strong and esteemed. This passion tends to elevate the lesser to the rank of the greater. But one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to want to bring the strong down to their level, and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom."

"When citizens are all almost equal, it becomes difficult for them to defend their independence against the aggressions of power."

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

"The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults."

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

"In America the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them."

"Laws are always unstable unless they are founded on the manners of a nation; and manners are the only durable and resisting power in a people."

"Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot. How is it possible that society should escape destruction if the moral tie is not strengthened in proportion as the political tie is relaxed? And what can be done with a people who are their own masters if they are not submissive to the Deity?"

"Among these widely differing families of men, the first that attracts attention, the superior in intelligence, in power, and in enjoyment, is the white, or European, the MAN pre-eminently so called, below him appear the Negro and the Indian."

"The most formidable of all the ills that threaten the future of the Union arises from the presence of a black population upon its territory; and in contemplating the cause of the present embarrassments, or the future dangers of the United States, the observer is invariably led to this as a primary fact."

"You may set the Negro free, but you cannot make him otherwise than an alien to the European. Nor is this all we scarcely acknowledge the common features of humanity in this stranger whom slavery has brought among us. His physiognomy is to our eyes hideous, his understanding weak, his tastes low; and we are almost inclined to look upon him as a being intermediate between man and the brutes."

"The whole life of an American is passed like a game of chance, a revolutionary crisis, or a battle."

"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."

"Muhammad brought down from heaven and put into the Koran not religious doctrines only, but political maxims, criminal and civil laws, and scientific theories. The Gospels, on the other hand, deal only with the general relations between man and God and between man and man. Beyond that, they teach nothing and do not oblige people to believe anything. That alone, among a thousand reasons, is enough to show that Islam will not be able to hold its power long in ages of enlightenment and democracy, while Christianity is destined to reign in such ages, as in all others."

"The main business of religions is to purify, control, and restrain that excessive and exclusive taste for well-being which men acquire in times of equality."

"The principle of equality does not destroy the imagination, but lowers its flight to the level of the earth."

"If there ever are great revolutions there, they will be caused by the presence of the blacks upon American soil. That is to say, it will not be the equality of social conditions but rather their inequality which may give rise thereto."

"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."

"Every central government worships uniformity: uniformity relieves it from inquiry into an infinity of details."

"As the past has ceased to throw its light upon the future, the mind of man wanders in obscurity."

1 comment:

Quartermain said...

You might find this of interest:

http://issuesviews.blogspot.com/2008/04/its-about-power.html