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Quotes of the day
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Published Friday, July 29, 2011 @ 4:41 AM EDT
Jul 29 2011

Alexis de Tocqueville (July 29, 1805-April 16, 1859):

"The will of the nation" is one of those expressions which have been most profusely abused by the wily and the despotic of every age.

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

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.

He who seeks freedom for anything but freedom's self is made to be a slave.

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

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

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

In order to enjoy the inestimable benefits that the liberty of the press ensures, it is necessary to submit to the inevitable evils that it creates.

In politics, a community of hatred is almost always the foundation of friendship.

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.

Laws are always unstable unless they are founded on the manners of a nation; and manners are the only durable and resisting power in a people.

No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country.

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

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.

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

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

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.


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