Monday, March 22, 2010

Democracy in America

Here are some rather amazing quotes from Alexis de Tocqueville, author of the famous 1835 work, Democracy in America (Volume 1, Volume 2).

"Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."

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

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

"The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens."

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

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

This last one can leave us a bit more hopeful, I think:
"The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults."

Let us pray that she still can.

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