Deep thought

“Our contemporaries are ever a prey to two conflicting passions:  they feel the need of guidance, and they long to stay free.  Unable to wipe out these two contradictory instincts, they try to satisfy them both together.  Their imagination conceives a government which is unitary, protective, and all-powerful, but elected by the people.  Centralization is combined with the sovereignty of the people.  They console themselves for being under schoolmasters by thinking that they have chosen them themselves.”

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America



One Response to Deep thought

  1. […] modern democracy is being corrupted by the electorate’s wish to be treated as children by a schoolmasterly government – De Tocqueville’s metaphor, far more apt, in my opinion, than ancient […]

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