Alexis De Tocqueville Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 100 Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes

#1. The Revolution in the United States was produced by a mature and thoughtful taste for liberty, and not by a vague and undefined instinct for independence. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #760
#2. The Indians had only the two alternatives of war or civilization; in other words, they must either have destroyed the Europeans or become their equals. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #1242
#3. In democratic countries as well as elsewhere most of the branches of productive industry are carried on at a small cost by men little removed by their wealth or education above the level of those whom they employ. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #5620
#4. Nothing conceivable is so petty, so insipid, so crowded with paltry interests, in one word, so anti-poetic, as the life of a man in the United States. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #5838
#5. A certain degree of power must be granted to public officers, for they would be of no use without it. But the ostensible semblance of authority is by no means indispensable to the conduct of affairs, and it is needlessly offensive to the susceptibility of the public. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #7819
#6. The more I view the independence of the press in its principal effects, the more I convince myself that among the moderns the independence of the press is the capital and so to speak the constitutive element of freedom. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #12458
#7. He who has set his heart exclusively upon the pursuit of worldly welfare is always i a hurry, for he has but a limited time at his disposal to reach, to grasp, and to enjoy it. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #17874
#8. The revolution of the United States was the result of a mature and dignified taste for freedom, and not of a vague or ill-defined craving for independence. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #17938
#9. Useful undertakings which require sustained attention and vigorous precision in order to succeed often end up by being abandoned, for, in America, as elsewhere, the people move forward by sudden impulses and short-lived efforts. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#10. It is from the midst of this putrid sewer that the greatest river of human industry springs up and carries fertility to the whole world. From this foul drain pure gold flows forth. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#11. The Americans live in a democratic state of society, which has naturally suggested to them certain laws and a certain political character. This - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#12. The only authors whom I acknowledge as American are the journalists. They, indeed, are not great writers, but they speak the language of their countrymen, and make themselves heard by them. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#13. One of the most ordinary weaknesses of the human intellect is to seek to reconcile contrary principles, and to purchase peace at the expense of logic. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#14. Men will not accept truth at the hands of their enemies, and truth is seldom offered to them by their friends - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#15. There is no philosopher in the world so great but he believes a million things on the faith of other people and accepts a great many more truths than he demonstrates. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#16. It would seem that if despotism were to be established among the democratic nations of our days, it might assume a different character; it would be more extensive and more mild; it would degrade men without tormenting them. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#17. The best laws cannot make a constitution work in spite of morals; morals can turn the worst laws to advantage. That is a commonplace truth, but one to which my studies are always bringing me back. It is the central point in my conception. I see it at the end of all my reflections. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#18. They took over from the old order not only most of its customs, conventions, and modes of thought, but even those ideas which prompted our revolutionaries to destroy it; that, in fact, though nothing was further from their intentions, they used the debris of the old order for building up the new. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#19. The greatest difficulty in antiquity with that of altering the law; among the moderns, it is that of altering the manners. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#20. All around you everything is on the move, - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#21. Literature became an arsenal where the poorest and the weakest could always find weapons to their hand. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#22. We can state with conviction, therefore, that a man's support for absolute government is in direct proportion to the contempt he feels for his country. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#23. In the principle of equality I very clearly discern two tendencies; one leading the mind of every man to untried thoughts, the other prohibiting him from thinking at all. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#24. On close inspection, we shall find that religion, and not fear, has ever been the cause of the long-lived prosperity of an absolute government. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#25. Suppose, for instance, that the President of the United States has committed the crime of high treason; the House of Representatives impeaches him, and the Senate degrades him; he must then be tried by a jury, which alone can deprive him of his liberty or his life. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#26. What is called family pride is often founded on the illusion of self-love. A man wishes to perpetuate and immortalize himself. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#27. 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. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#28. Nothing is more striking to an European traveller in the United States than the absence of what we term the Government, or the Administration. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#29. A nation cannot long remain strong when every man belonging to it is individually weak - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#30. [Patriotism] is in itself a kind of religion: it does not reason, but it acts from the impulse of faith and sentiment. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#31. No state of society or laws can render men so much alike but that education, fortune, and tastes will interpose some differences between them; and though different men may sometimes find it their interest to combine for the same purposes, they will never make it their pleasure. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#32. Two things in America are astonishing: the changeableness of most human behavior and the strange stability of certain principles. Men are constantly on the move, but the spirit of humanity seems almost unmoved. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #152313
#33. The pursuit of wealth generally diverts men of great talents and of great passions from the pursuit of power, and it very frequently happens that a man does not undertake to direct the fortune of the State until he has discovered his incompetence to conduct his own affairs. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#34. The prestige of royal power has evaporated, but the majesty of the law has failed to take its place. People nowadays despise authority yet still fear it, and fear extracts from them more than they previously gave out of respect and love. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#35. America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#36. The American republics have no standing armies to intimidate a discontented minority; but as no minority has as yet been reduced to declare open war, the necessity of an army has not been felt. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#37. If the maladministration of the democracy ever brings about a revolutionary crisis, and if monarchical institutions ever become practicable in the United States, the truth of what I advance will become obvious. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#38. I do not find fault with equality for drawing men into the pursuit of forbidden pleasures, but for absorbing them entirely in the search for the pleasures that are permitted. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#39. Absolute excellence is rarely to be found in any legislation. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#40. The advantage of democracy is not, as has been sometimes asserted, that it protects the interests of the whole community, but simply that it protects those of the majority. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#41. Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#42. Generally speaking, only simple conceptions can grip the mind of a nation. An idea that is clear and precise even though false will always have greater power in the world than an idea that is true but complex. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #176194
#43. Among a democratic people, where there is no hereditary wealth, every man works to earn a living, or is born of parents who have worked. The notion of labor is therefore presented to the mind, on every side, as the necessary, natural, and honest condition. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#44. A man's admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#45. I had rather mistrust my own capacity than God's justice. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#46. What is understood by republican government in the United States is the slow and quiet action of society upon itself. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#47. He was as great as a man can be without morality. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#48. Remember that life is neither pain nor pleasure; it is serious business, to be entered upon with courage and in a spirit of self-sacrifice. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#49. The language in which thought is embodied is the mere carcass of the thought, and not the idea itself; tribunals may condemn the form, but the sense and spirit of the work is too subtle for their authority. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #215918
#50. It is easy to see that, even in the freedom of early youth, an American girl never quite loses control of herself; she enjoys all permitted pleasures without losing her head about any of them, and her reason never lets the reins go, though it may often seem to let them flap. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #219170
#51. European Christianity has allowed itself to be intimately united with the powers of this world. Now that these powers are falling, it is as if it were buried under their ruins. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#52. Can it be believed that the democracy which overthrew the feudal system and vanquished kings will retreat before tradesmen and capitalists? - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#53. When an American asks for the cooperation of his fellow citizens, it is seldom refused; and I have often seen it afforded spontaneously and with great good will. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#54. To get the inestimable good that freedom of the press assures one must know how to submit to the inevitable evil it gives rise to. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#55. There is a natural prejudice which prompts men to despise whomsoever has been their inferior long after he is become their equal; - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#56. For a taste for variety is one of the characteristic passions of democracy. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#57. Consequently, in the United States the law favors those classes which are most interested in evading it elsewhere. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#58. History, it is easily perceived, is a picture-gallery containing a host of copies and very few originals. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#59. Men cannot abandon their religious faith without a kind of aberration of intellect and a sort of violent distortion of their true nature; they are invincibly brought back to more pious sentiments. Unbelief is an accident, and faith is the only permanent state of mankind. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#60. But in the course of thirty years a great change took place, and the North refused to perpetuate what had become the "peculiar institution" of the South, especially as it gave the South a species of aristocratic preponderance. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#61. The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#62. 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. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #274015
#63. There is hardly a pioneer's hut which does not contain a few odd volumes of Shakespeare. I remember reading the feudal drama of Henry V for the first time in a log cabin. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#64. A great democratic revolution is taking place in our midst. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#65. The province of Texas is still part of the Mexican dominions, but it will soon contain no Mexicans; the same thing has occurred whenever the Anglo-Americans have come into contact with populations of a different origin. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #307965
#66. 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. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#67. Town-meetings are to liberty what primary schools are to science; - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#68. Men living in democratic times have many passions, but most of their passions either end in the love of riches, or proceed from it. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes #320115
#69. [N]ow that I am drawing to the close of this work, in which I have spoken of so many important things done by the Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply: To the superiority of their women. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#70. To be a government of "liberty regulated by law," with such results in the development of strength, in population, wealth, and military and commercial power, as no age had ever witnessed. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#71. I am of opinion that a central administration enervates the nations in which it exists by incessantly diminishing their public spirit. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#72. In the midst of the apparent diversity of human affairs, a certain number of primary facts may be discovered, from which all others are derived. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#73. A government which should have no other means of exacting obedience than open war must be very near its ruin, for one of two alternatives would then probably occur: - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#74. There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult - to begin a war and to end it. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#75. But one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to want to bring the strong down to their level, and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#76. The aspect of American society is animated, because men and things are always changing; but it is monotonous, because all the changes are alike. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#77. Freedom sees in religion the companion of its struggles and its triumphs, the cradle of its infancy, the divine source of its rights. It considers religion as the safeguard of mores; and mores as the guarantee of laws and the pledge of its duration. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#78. 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. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#79. As the past has ceased to throw its light upon the future, the mind of man wanders in obscurity. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#80. Like Alexis de Tocqueville, they feared unfettered democracy and believed totalitarianism was the natural consequence of mass democracy run amok. They - Author: Kim R. Holmes
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#81. The French constitute the most brilliant and the most dangerous nation in Europe and the best qualified in turn to become an object of admiration, hatred, pity or terror but never indifference. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#82. In reality it is far less prejudicial to witness the immorality of the great than to witness that immorality which leads to greatness. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#83. Jefferson went still further, and he introduced a maxim into the policy of the Union, which affirms that the Americans ought never to solicit any privileges from foreign nations, in order not to be obliged to grant similar privileges themselves. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#84. I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#85. The States in which the citizens have enjoyed their rights longest are those in which they make the best use of them. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#86. Nothing is more repugnant to the human mind in an age of equality than the idea of subjection to forms. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#87. On this waterlogged landscape ... are scattered palaces and hovels ... It is here that the human spirit becomes perfect, and at the same time brutalised, that civilisation produces its marvels and that civilised man returns to the savage. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#88. It is the dissimilarities and inequalities among men which give rise to the notion of honor; as such differences become less, it grows feeble; and when they disappear, it will vanish too. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#89. But a democracy can only obtain truth as the result of experience, and many nations may forfeit their existence whilst they are awaiting the consequences of their errors. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#90. When fortune has been abolished, when every profession is open to everyone, an ambitious man may think it is easy to launch himself on a great career and feel that he has been called to no common destiny. But this is a delusion which experience quickly corrects. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#91. You need not value it yourself if you do not wish to; but you ought to allow it to us who do value it. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#92. Righteous women in their circle of influence,
beginning in the home, can turn the world around. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#93. The arrogance of wealth and the dejection of wretchedness, capital cities of unwonted extent, a lax morality, a vulgar egotism, and a great confusion of interests, are the dangers which almost invariably arise from the magnitude of States. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#94. In democracies, nothing is more great or more brilliant than commerce: it attracts the attention of the public, and fills the imagination of the multitude; all energetic passions are directed towards it. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#95. The invention of fire-arms equalized the villein and the noble on the field of battle; printing opened the same resources to the minds of all classes; - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#96. The Americans make associations to give entertainment, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner, they found hospitals, prisons and schools. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#97. Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#98. Nothing is more necessary to the culture of the higher sciences, or of the more elevated departments of science, than meditation; and nothing is less suited to meditation than the structure of democratic society. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#99. No form or combination of social polity has yet been devised to make an energetic people out of a community of pusillanimous and enfeebled citizens. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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#100. Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom. - Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
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