Tuesday, March 20, 2012

That French guy

de Tocqueville, back in his early 19th century study of the American experiment

contrasted the “manly and lawful passion for equality” that enables citizens to strive for greatness with a very different and all too human quality: “the depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to attempt to lower the powerful to their own level and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom."

Tocqueville sensed that the old tyranny could emerge from a modern democracy in three ways: in the guarantee that the privileges and status of equal citizenship endure regardless of the individual’s parasitism; in the notion that elected officials and “a vast, neutral administrative state” are capable of gradually perfecting life and ensuring its proper regulation; and in the incremental erosion of community life as individuals, “incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives,” turn inward.
Andrew McCarthy's review of Mark Levin's Ameritopia, in the New Criterion. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Monsieur le Curé de Campagne: "Qu'est-ce que l'égalité a fait? Tout est grâce."

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