Are We Not Men?

Here’s a quote from Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America:

The sovereign extends his arms over the whole society; he covers its surface with a web of small, complicated, painstaking, uniform rules through which the most original minds and the most vigorous souls are unable to emerge in order to rise above the crowd; it does not break wills but softens them, bends them, and directs them; it rarely forces men to act, but constantly opposes itself to men’s acting; it does not destroy, it prevents things from coming into being; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, it presses down upon men, it extinguishes, it stupefies, and it finally reduces each nation to no longer being anything but a herd of timid and industrious animals, whose shepherd is the government.

I have always believed that this sort of regulated, mild, and peaceful servitude, whose picture I have just painted, could be combined better than one imagines with some of the exterior forms of liberty.

Now read this.

One Comment

  1. JK says

    Hmmm, “disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate?” Sounds yummy to me.

    But I’m a bit confused, how much of either, or a combination of both constitutes a serving size?

    Posted February 28, 2010 at 12:22 am | Permalink

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