Saturday Quotes — Alexis de Tocqueville

moral values 2

“The Revolution… was the result of a mature and reflecting preference for freedom, and not of a vague or ill-defined craving for independence.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“The Federal Constitution… disavowed beforehand the habitual use of compulsion in enforcing the decisions of the majority.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“It profits me but little, after all, that a vigilant authority… averts all dangers from my path… if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“I am not so much alarmed at the excessive liberty which reigns… as at the inadequate securities which one finds there against tyranny.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“No sooner does a government attempt to go beyond its political sphere… than it exercises… insupportable tyranny.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“The despotism of faction is not less to be dreaded than the despotism of an individual.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“Americans believe their freedom to be the best instrument and surest safeguard… to secure for themselves a government which will allow them to acquire the things they covet and which will not debar them from the peaceful enjoyment of those possessions.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“[People] think they have done enough for the protection of individual freedom when they have surrendered it to the power of the nation at large. This does not satisfy me: the nature of him I am to obey signifies less to me than the fact of extorted obedience.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“The democratic tendency… leads men unceasingly to multiply the privileges of the state and to circumscribe the rights of private persons… often sacrificed without regret and almost always violated without remorse… men become less and less attached to private rights just when it is most necessary to retain and defend what little remains of them.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“True friends of liberty… ought constantly to be on the alert to prevent the power of government from lightly sacrificing the private rights of individuals to the general execution of its designs. At such times no citizen is so obscure that it is not very dangerous to allow him to be oppressed; no private rights are so unimportant that they can be surrendered with impunity to the caprices of a government… [because] men accustom themselves to sacrifice private interest without scruple and to trample on the rights of individuals in order more speedily to accomplish any public purpose.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“I hold it to be… a detestable maxim that, politically speaking, the people have a right to do anything.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“When…the people are invested with the supreme authority…they discover a multitude of wants… to satisfy these exigencies recourse must be had to the coffers of the state.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“Popularity may be united with hostility to the rights of the people, and the secret slave of tyranny may be the professed lover of freedom.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“Defending rights against the encroachments of the government saves the common liberties of the country.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“To lay down… limits to the action of the government; to confer certain rights on private persons, and to secure to them the undisputed enjoyment of those rights… [are] the main objects.” Alexis de Tocqueville

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Saturday Quotes — Alexis de Tocqueville

“The Revolution… was the result of a mature and reflecting preference for freedom, and not of a vague or ill-defined craving for independence.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“The Federal Constitution… disavowed beforehand the habitual use of compulsion in enforcing the decisions of the majority.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“It profits me but little, after all, that a vigilant authority… averts all dangers from my path… if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“I am not so much alarmed at the excessive liberty which reigns… as at the inadequate securities which one finds there against tyranny.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“No sooner does a government attempt to go beyond its political sphere… than it exercises… insupportable tyranny.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“The despotism of faction is not less to be dreaded than the despotism of an individual.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“Americans believe their freedom to be the best instrument and surest safeguard… to secure for themselves a government which will allow them to acquire the things they covet and which will not debar them from the peaceful enjoyment of those possessions.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“[People] think they have done enough for the protection of individual freedom when they have surrendered it to the power of the nation at large. This does not satisfy me: the nature of him I am to obey signifies less to me than the fact of extorted obedience.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“The democratic tendency… leads men unceasingly to multiply the privileges of the state and to circumscribe the rights of private persons… often sacrificed without regret and almost always violated without remorse… men become less and less attached to private rights just when it is most necessary to retain and defend what little remains of them.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“True friends of liberty… ought constantly to be on the alert to prevent the power of government from lightly sacrificing the private rights of individuals to the general execution of its designs. At such times no citizen is so obscure that it is not very dangerous to allow him to be oppressed; no private rights are so unimportant that they can be surrendered with impunity to the caprices of a government… [because] men accustom themselves to sacrifice private interest without scruple and to trample on the rights of individuals in order more speedily to accomplish any public purpose.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“I hold it to be… a detestable maxim that, politically speaking, the people have a right to do anything.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“When…the people are invested with the supreme authority…they discover a multitude of wants… to satisfy these exigencies recourse must be had to the coffers of the state.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“Popularity may be united with hostility to the rights of the people, and the secret slave of tyranny may be the professed lover of freedom.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“Defending rights against the encroachments of the government saves the common liberties of the country.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“To lay down… limits to the action of the government; to confer certain rights on private persons, and to secure to them the undisputed enjoyment of those rights… [are] the main objects.” Alexis de Tocqueville

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