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Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes

Please enjoy these encouraging quotes by Alexis de Tocqueville.

In politics shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

There are many men of principle in both parties in America,
but there is no party of principle.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

He was as great as a man can be without morality.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

Life is to entered upon with courage.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

 

Liberty cannot be established without morality,
nor morality without faith.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

The power of the periodical press is second only to that of the people.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess,
but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

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History is a gallery of pictures in which there are
few originals and many copies.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

I know of no country in which there is so little independence
of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

There are two things which a democratic people will
always find very difficult -
to begin a war and to end it.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where
they look on every new theory as a danger,
every innovation as a toilsome trouble,
every social advance as a first step toward revolution,
and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

What is most important for democracy is not that great
fortunes should not exist,
but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands.
In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a class.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

In America the majority raises formidable barriers
around the liberty of opinion;
within these barriers an author may write what he pleases,
but woe to him if he goes beyond them.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

The genius of democracies is seen not only in the great
number of new words introduced but even more in the new ideas they express.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation,
but rather in her ability to repair her faults.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

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.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

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.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress
discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

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.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

Those that despise people will never get the best out
of others and themselves.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans,
one sees that they have sought the value of everything
in this world only in the answer to this single question:
how much money will it bring in?
- Alexis de Tocqueville

There is hardly a political question in the United
States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word,
equality.
But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty,
socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

The French want no-one to be their superior.
The English want inferiors.
The Frenchman constantly raises his eyes above him with anxiety.
The Englishman lowers his beneath him with satisfaction.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

A democratic government is the only one in which those
who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty
so intimately in their minds,
that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

In other words, a democratic government is the only
one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

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.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply
a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals,
who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult
part to invent is the end.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic
nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

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.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

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.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

The whole life of an American is passed like a game of chance,
a revolutionary crisis, or a battle.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

The Indian knew how to live without wants,
to suffer without complaint, and to die singing.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint,
but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic
colours breaking through.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

The health of a democratic society may be measured
by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

Consider any individual at any period of his life,
and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh
plans to increase his comfort.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

When the past no longer illuminates the future,
the spirit walks in darkness.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

Americans are so enamored of equality that they would
rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

Grant me thirty years of equal division of inheritances and a free press,
and I will provide you with a republic.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

In no other country in the world is the love of property
keener or more alert than in the United States,
and nowhere else does the majority display less inclination
toward doctrines which in any way threaten the way property is owned.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

I never considered a difference of opinion
in politics, in religion, in philosophy,
as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
- Thomas Jefferson

Politics has become so expensive that it takes a lot
of money even to be defeated.
- Will Rogers

Turn on to politics, or politics will turn on you.
- Ralph Nader

Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
- Ambrose Bierce

Politics, it seems to me, for years,
or all too long,
has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong.
- Richard Armour

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in
politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.
- Plato

In politics it is necessary either to betray one's
country or the electorate.
I prefer to betray the electorate.
- Charles de Gaulle

In politics nothing is contemptible.
- Benjamin Disraeli

In politics the middle way is none at all.
- John Adams

When you are in any contest,
you should work as if there were -
to the very last minute - a chance to lose it.
This is battle, this is politics, this is anything.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

We live in a world in which politics has replaced philosophy.
- Martin L. Gross

Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.
- Charles de Gaulle

It is not in the nature of politics that the best men should be elected.
The best men do not want to govern their fellowmen.
- George MacDonald

Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed.
- Mao Tse-Tung

Politics have no relation to morals.
- Niccolo Machiavelli

One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth
is rarely a politician's objective.
Election and power are.
- Cal Thomas

I think it's a terrible shame that politics has become show business.
- Sydney Pollack

Radical changes in world politics leave America with
a heightened responsibility to be,
for the world, an example of a genuinely free,
democratic, just and humane society.
- Pope John Paul II

The flood of money that gushes into politics today
is a pollution of democracy.
- Theodore White

After much prayerful consideration, I feel that I must
say I have climbed my last political mountain.
- George C. Wallace

Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter.
The audience that hissed yesterday may applaud today,
even for the same performance.
- William O. Douglas

In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith.
- J. William Fulbright

Voters don't decide issues, they decide who will decide issues.
- George Will

Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
- Milton Friedman

Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.
- Khalil Gibran

If you are going to sin, sin against God,
not the bureaucracy.
God will forgive you but the bureaucracy won't.
- Hyman Rickover

If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert,
in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand.
- Milton Friedman


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May the world be kind to you,
and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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