Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes.
There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.
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.
There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.
A man’s admiration of absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.
No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country.
The whole life of an American is passed like a game of chance, a revolutionary crisis, or a battle.
He was as great as a man can be without morality.
A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.
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.
What is most important for democracy is not that great fortunes should not exist, but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands. In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a class.
In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end.
I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.
The power of the periodical press is second only to that of the people.
I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.
Life is to be entered upon with courage.
It is the dissimilarities and inequalities among men which give rise to the notion of honor; as such differences become less, it grows feeble; and when they disappear, it will vanish too.
The Indian knew how to live without wants, to suffer without complaint, and to die singing.
History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies.
The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other.
We can state with conviction, therefore, that a man’s support for absolute government is in direct proportion to the contempt he feels for his country.
However energetically society in general may strive to make all the citizens equal and alike, the personal pride of each individual will always make him try to escape from the common level, and he will form some inequality somewhere to his own profit.
No state of society or laws can render men so much alike but that education, fortune, and tastes will interpose some differences between them; and though different men may sometimes find it their interest to combine for the same purposes, they will never make it their pleasure.
Every central government worships uniformity: uniformity relieves it from inquiry into an infinity of details.
The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.
In other words, a democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.
It is easier for the world to accept a simple lie than a complex truth.
The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colours breaking through.
The French want no-one to be their superior. The English want inferiors. The Frenchman constantly raises his eyes above him with anxiety. The Englishman lowers his beneath him with satisfaction.
An American cannot converse, but he can discuss, and his talk falls into a dissertation. He speaks to you as if he was addressing a meeting; and if he should chance to become warm in the discussion, he will say ‘Gentlemen’ to the person with whom he is conversing.
Consider any individual at any period of his life, and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh plans to increase his comfort.
The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.
In no other country in the world is the love of property keener or more alert than in the United States, and nowhere else does the majority display less inclination toward doctrines which in any way threaten the way property is owned.
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.
Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom…. The subjection of individuals will increase amongst democratic nations, not only in the same proportion as their equality, but in the same proportion as their ignorance.
Those that despise people will never get the best out of others and themselves.