How America Will Lose Its Liberty

“The first observation is an innumerable multitude of men, all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. Above this race stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident and mild. It seeks to keep them in perpetual childhood.

For their happiness it willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent of that happiness. It provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry. What remains but to spare them all the care of thinking, and all the trouble of living?

By this system, the people shake off their state of dependence just long enough to elect their masters, and then relapse into it again. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but stupefies a people until they are reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

For these thoughts, we can thank Alexis de Toqueville, in his 1835 book, Democracy in America.

John Duncan Powell 

Newnan



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