Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tocqueville warned us about 170 years ago

Just about 170 years ago Tocqueville wrote about a form of despotism to watch out for. A huge government   that wants to be your guardian and protector.  He said that the government would resemble a paternal power. That they will provide for their happiness but wants to be the sole agent for that happiness. It will provide their security, facilitate their pleasures, conduct their affairs, direct their industries and regulate their estates. Sound familiar?  

He goes on to show that the government will not be cruel, or harsh. It will however promote selfishness by catering to them. This of course will make the self governing individual useless and rare. This in turn creates a society ruled by elitist bureaucrats and experts. Such a power, Tocqueville says "does not destroy, it prevents things from being born; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, compromises, enervates, extinguishes, dazes, and finally reduces each nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the Shepherd."  Tocqueville new, the shepherd cares for the defenseless sheep only to fleece them. 


  1. And to slaughter those the shepherd considers to be " culls" . For a more modern cautionary tale , try the easy read by Harry Turtledove , " The Gladiator " . Easy read , showing WHY socialism fails , both economicly and socialy . Ed

  2. Thanks I'll have to check that out