Alexis de TocquevilleAlexis de Tocqueville, [Alexis Charles Henri Maurice Clerel, le Comte de Tocqueville] (1805-1859) French historian

Alexis de Tocqueville Quote

“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.”

Alexis de TocquevilleAlexis de Tocqueville
~ Alexis de Tocqueville


Ratings and Comments


Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Sadly, his description of socialism also closely matches the totalitartian directions that the current GOP leadership is fostering upon the US (and world).

MK, Houston, TX

de Tocqueville has a keen eye,and he's not the only one. Reminds me of the observation by Churchill (that's Winston Churchill for you Anon in Reston--you've heard about him), that "Capitalism's problem is the uneven distribution of wealth, which socialism's virtue is the even distribution of misery." Amen! (Anon. in Reston. Hope you have a gerat day. By the way...if we go socialistic as you desire...what's in it for you? A position of unchallengable privilege, and power--deciding who you will take from and who you will give to? Though so. Just asking.)

E Archer, NYC

We all have the equal right to be absolutely different than anybody else. We are unequal in power, capacity, age, knowledge, and resources -- the effort to 'equalize' each other in that regard merely turns us into dumb automatons and beasts of burden. Without freedom, there is no happiness.

David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood

There are systems of democratic (voluntary) socialism, and others in which alleged democracies are ruled by whoever has the money, plutocracy. Whoever willingly dwells in a socialist atmosphere gets what he chooses. Whoever lives in a plutocracy, having no money or other tool of leverage, suffers restraint and servitude, regardless of the facade of democracy that environment sustains.

Ken, Allyn, WA

I think Reston may have had an epiphany! The GOP of today is not the conservative, right wing everyone on the left thinks they are. They have morphed over the years into the Democratic party of twenty years ago.

Clenio, Westland

Why did he mix form of government (democracy) and economical system (socialism)? Apples and oranges.

Mike, Norwalk

de Tocqueville is usually right on. With this one he is completely off. Clenio starts with that which is a bunch of, "what"? Probably the greatest NOT ! ! ! is, " democracy seeks equality in liberty" Nothing could be further from the truth. Democracy is mob rule at best where such concepts of natural law, rights, freedom, liberty or justice have absolutely NO association. The single issue, the founders of the de jure US detested more than a monarchy was Democracy. The general object was to produce a cure for the evils under which the United States labored; that in tracing these evils to their origins, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy. (Edmund Randolph; Virginia delegate at the Constitutional Convention) And, so vividly attributed to Benjamin Franklin: "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for supper. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. Both the despotic form of government (democracy) and the ANTI-natural fiscal law of socialist economics can become religions when forced upon an innocent and unwilling third party, based on moral, ethical, or it is just the right thing to do reasoning. Both the government and the economic system depend on, exist with, and labor under a system of slaves and masters.

E Archer, NYC
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E Archer, NYC Mike, Norwalk 10/31/18

De Tocqueville titles his book, "Democracy in America."  The entire book compares the American political system based upon Liberty vs. the monarchical and socialist forms in Europe at the time.  If only someone had pointed out to de Tocqueville that the Americans formed a republican form of government not really a democracy.  But that would have changed the title of the book  and possibly even prevented the mistake of calling America a democracy.  But to the outside world, America was a democracy.  It should have been titled "Liberty in America."

Mary - MI
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Mary - MI    7/8/14

Under our founded Limited Government Republic "Democracy" comes into play with everyone's individual right to vote. But, democracy only falls within and under our Limited Government to protect all of our rights to vote. When it is the sole form of government without a Limited Republic it can then become Mob Rule and thus diminish and destroy the unalienable rights of the sovereign individual.

Mike, Norwalk

Mary, please read my comments on Thomas Babington Macaulay's quote. The vote issue as you have explained it is the government schools' explanation to confuse the issue while expanding their tyranny. Lysander Spooner's quote: (A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years) followed up with Ambrose Bierce's An election is nothing more than the advanced auction of stolen goods. accurately depicts all legal positivism's many faces, including democracy. The vote itself does not determine much but, what is being voted on does. By way of example: In a democracy, the strongest (either by themselves or their agents) create law. There is also a major difference between republic and a republican form of government (see Article IV Section 4) In the de jure republican form of government people vote on how, why, what, who, where, etc. will best administer the natural laws that already exist.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Beyond being forced by the established financial/currency model to support the business and profits of the predominating multinational corporate state, can anybody detail how the democratic socialist nations of Western Europe and Scandinavia employ unseen, unreported, non-protested "restraint and servitude" on a Continental scale? Counterpoint, by John Steinbeck: "Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."

E Archer, NYC
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E Archer, NYC Mann, Kalamazoo 10/31/18

Sure, within the democratic socialist nations in the EU, there is no fundamental right to free speech, for example.  In fact, hate speech laws make critizing powerful groups a criminal act.  These are among the most censored and propagandized countries in the world, so as to appear to be shining examples of socialism.  The Germans literally invented the science of 'propaganda.'  You  won't hear about the failures of socialism from those countries, nor of the horrors of Islam.  Blasphemy is considered to be a capital crime in the Muslim world, and the EU is adopting the same policy of criminalizing any criticism of Islam or Mohammed.  Indeed,  "socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."

Ron w13, Or

It does seem the tree of Liberty is always that which is sought of to cut down. Individual sovereignty, You home is your own castle comes to mind. Ruling within the home determines mindsets of understanding. Aboard a ship there is a Captain, one, at home the monarchy. We did not vote, but drew lot, or straws. Leadership by example. Snares and traps laid at the children's feet in the walk of life. Many kingdoms and nations around the world and within our nation of states and sovereign individuals. Oppression must be understood first to embrace liberty. Much history by way of experience is made available, there are more children of the bond woman than the freewoman. It has always been as it is today. Who will test our Creator if it be so, Liberty and freedom. Socialism genders strife, as democracy, confusion. So to does liberty and freedom reside in the heart and mind of the individual. Ones faith is based upon ones knowledge. Walking in an upright manner allows one to be sure on their feet. State and standing assured. Her feet of liberty and freedom. Weak minds will always entangle themselves with the chains of slavery for the sake of a piece of bread. Divine Providence if trusted assures needs met. But who believes in our Creator and giver of natural law. For the slave puts hiss trust in man, the free sovereign trust in a Higher power which rules from the heavens ordaining liberty and freedom. He is able to hide you, reside over you, and supply thy need in times of trouble. As also make thy enemies to be at peace with you, if you cease from strife. That is take the stance. Non- compliant where able. Trust in the God of nature must be maintained. Our foundation is built upon trust in that which is not seen.

Ron w13, Or

It is one thing ' To know thyself " it is another " To thy own self be true "

Ron w13, Or

And I wish my spelling were better !

jim k, austin tx

Right on,Ken Allyn , and the democratic party is now the socialist party. No need for the socialist party to run a candidate for president as they now have everything they wanted, thanks to both the dems and the repubs.

Ron w13, Or

Through Corp Privilege !!!! Many flex muscle within a free nation ! Jim ! It is an open stage for the world !!

Ron w13, Or

Tribute to the State for half price, and a place to hide ! sells out the sovereign individual and his rights. the lest of labor ! The man with the hoe ! The Middle must stand up , or not at all !!

jim k, Austin

Socialism hasn't worked too well in Venezuela.

Durham, Birmingham,AL
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Durham, Birmingham,AL jim k, Austin 10/31/18

And de-mob-ocracy hasn't worked very well in America.  We had a republic until de Tocqueville and others changed it.

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