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January 10, 2016

Government by Soporific

After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will,
the government then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence: it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd. - - DeTocqueville Book Four, Chapter VI

Posted by gerardvanderleun at January 10, 2016 8:51 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

DeTocqueville was writing this about 180 years ago! Today, seeing our situation his added intensity would sear our planet. History unknown or forgotten invites misery self-begotten.

Posted by: Stug Guts [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 13, 2016 8:56 PM

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