People we’d love to think were wrong: Alexis de Tocqueville

Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville, July 29, 1805 – April 16, 1959

Born on this day in 1805.

I used to read him and think that could never happen here…

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville was a French political thinker and historian best known for his Democracy in America and The Old Regime and the Revolution.

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