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.

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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