Quote of the day–Alexis de Tocqueville

Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratification’s, and to watch over their fate.  That 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 provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns …Thus it everyday renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent …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 …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 be nothing but a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which government is the shepherd.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy In America 1840
[The Nanny State concept has been around around for a long time.–Joe]


1 thought on “Quote of the day–Alexis de Tocqueville

  1. A perfect description of our current situation. No one will understand it, really, unless they try running their own business to pay the mortgage. Therefore only a very small minority will ever understand it. To the Leftist, working for the state, the county, the city or the feds, the Nanny State means security and support. The idea of being “on their own”, that is, facing the realities of a free market, is a terrifying prospect.

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