Alexis de Tocqueville

Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Alexis de Tocqueville

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.
Alexis de Tocqueville

The main business of religions is to purify, control, and restrain that excessive and exclusive taste for well-being which men acquire in times of equality.
Alexis de Tocqueville

History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies.
Alexis de Tocqueville

The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.
Alexis de Tocqueville

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 Tocqueville

I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Life is to be entered upon with courage.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Those that despise people will never get the best out of others and themselves.
Alexis de Tocqueville

There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.
Alexis de Tocqueville

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.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Consider any individual at any period of his life, and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh plans to increase his comfort.
Alexis de Tocqueville

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.
Alexis de Tocqueville

When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.
Alexis de Tocqueville

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.
Alexis de Tocqueville

I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all.
Alexis de Tocqueville

The whole life of an American is passed like a game of chance, a revolutionary crisis, or a battle.
Alexis de Tocqueville

As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?
Alexis de Tocqueville

Nothing seems at first sight less important than the outward form of human actions, yet there is nothing upon which men set more store: they grow used to everything except to living in a society which has not their own manners.
Alexis de Tocqueville

The debates of that great assembly are frequently vague and perplexed, seeming to be dragged rather than to march, to the intended goal. Something of this sort must, I think, always happen in public democratic assemblies.
Alexis de Tocqueville

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.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Grant me thirty years of equal division of inheritances and a free press, and I will provide you with a republic.
Alexis de Tocqueville

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.
Alexis de Tocqueville

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.
Alexis de Tocqueville

We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.
Alexis de Tocqueville

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