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

Alexis de Tocqueville Quote

“[Tyrannical] power is absolute, minute, regular, provident and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?”

Alexis de TocquevilleAlexis de Tocqueville
~ Alexis de Tocqueville

Ratings and Comments

Byron, Fort Collins

This quotation describes not only EVIL, tyrannical power, but the life-sucking nature of the Narcissistic parent. Controlling others is the expression of the desire by the controller to take the lives of others for the controller's personal use--a form of cannibalism.

Waffler, Smith

Most "normal" people want creature comforts, happiness etc all of the things that the tryrannt wants for himself and his family (reference the Gaddafy and Saddam families) but the question is how do we maximize happiness. Do we do it my impoverishing the many for the wealth and comfort of the few, and hope that we can be on the right side of equation. Balance is what we need my friends, balance.

jim k, Austin, Tx

Byron, You described our current president perfectly with the word,"narcissistic". It's always all about him.

Mike, Norwalk

Good observation with corresponding evaluating parallel. The occupying statist theocracy infesting this land is the tyrannical fulfillment of the quote's focus. Waffler, balance? Is that a reference to sharing or redistributing the wealth ? That what we need is less statist theocracy with its tyrannical canons and, more law, justice, display of inalienable rights, freedom, and liberty ! ! !

Ken, Spokane

Looks like a perfect description of Barak Hussein Obama. Now can you categorize his master George Soros? Would Pure Evil suffice? Wake up America!

E Archer, NYC

And this is the vicious circle we are in, whereby the government has assumed so much power over us that we are unable to take care of ourselves, that we must get 'permission' to plant a garden or raise rabbits or travel on public roads or work in our field or simply trade freely with others or get married or have sex or eat or smoke or drink ... and on and on. It is indeed the treating of government as God. Hey, Mike, I saw this cartoon and "the statist theocracy infesting this land" came to mind!

Mike, Norwalk

Archer (-; I like it ;-) thanks

J Carlton, Calgary

This description of the system we have today is the polar opposite of "With Liberty and Justice for All". This system has to go...

Waffler, Smith

Well Mike it is simply a reference to staying clear of feudalism where the cards are stacked in favor of the nobility and there ain't no way for anyone to be free or to aspire to happiness. Capitalism was a great improvement over feudalism but it may not have all the answers. For capitalists still pant and grovel for monopoly, greed, contral, tyranny etc. Have you not heard of Murdoch, etcetera.

J Carlton, Calgary

Waffler, again and again and again you spout the same old crap about "capitalism". We've never had real capitalism...unless that is, you're referring to the systemwherin the government itself is capitalizing on its influence in the free market, where it has NO legitimate business. And how about those nasty "capitalists" who open bakery's and mechanics shops and gas stations and convenience stores tire shops and RV dealerships and car dealerships and sporting goods stores and on and on... should they all be done away with too? You commies won't be happy until we're all starving in bread lines will you?

Waffler, Smith

I support capitalism and free markets that serve the good. I do not support child labor, sweat shops. Capitalists getting rich by brutalising people (Andrew Carnegie) and then setting himself up as a hero by building libraries all over the world. Hell it was those brutalized, impoverished steel workers that really built those libraries.

J Carlton, Calgary

Waffler, do you understand that these "capitalists" do not get up in the morning to "serve the good". They get up to capitalize on their ability to offer a service for which they will make money and secure "their own" future and property, right? It's what makes the world go around...Welcome to planet Earth.

Mike, Norwalk

Capitalism is based on capital (a hard asset of intrinsic value). With the advent of debt masquerading as money, only empty terms and lying facades are left.

Ronw13, Yachats Or

Spoiled children, creature comforts undeserved, soft cloths, wanting to live like kings and queens, IS NOT the American dream. To reach adulthood with skills to meet the challenge of an independent life. Facing responsibility with confidence. Shoot the TV, turn the radio off. get off the phone. and go to WORK. I love being an independent born free sovereign with the right to contract, capitalize upon my abilities. A God given right to enjoy the fruit of my labor ! This a gift from our Creator to all of mankind ! Damn the Tyrants, large and small. Fed, State, or the individual.

H Rearden, Burr Ridge IL

Yes this perfectly describes the situation our nation is in. Parents and children (students) are encouraged to take on massive debt - with no concern that they will never accumulate any wealth to leave their children that the next generation might have a better life, easier time, etc. No, the nanny state will take care of whatever they a point. A roof over the head? Section 8 housing. Food? EBT card/Food Stamps. Lose your job? Unemployment Compensation. Got a sore back? Workman Compensation. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Tinnitus? Disability is great and damn near permanent. Health Issues? Medicaid, Medicare, Obamacare.....
A clue to the future is provided by the Canadian single payer system...Where do most of the best heart surgeons in America live? On the northern border of our nation. Under the Canadian system, participants age out of having heart surgery at age 57, which is terrific for the plan, because 99% of heart issues occur after that time. Cardiac surgeons locate themselves conveniently just over the border for our unlucky neighbors to the north. And yes, Waffler, they are well compensated for their services. Try to bear in mind that they have had 4 years of university, 4 years of medical school and then 4 years to become a surgeon, a specialist. They are 30+ when they enter the workforce - imagine the debt that they have had to accumulate just to follow their calling, the years unemployed while being trained. Then, once they begin their practice, the wonderful malpractice premiums kick in. So i guess you could say the wealth of a doctor begins the redistributive process the moment they start producing. and keeps on getting redistributed, because the lion's share of malpractice suits are instituted by poorer patients who want money and many doctors choose not to fight. As the great Mark Levin would say - Ameritopia has been achieved, in so many ways and on so many levels.


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