"In towns it is impossible to prevent men from assembling,
getting excited together and forming sudden passionate resolves.
Towns are like great meeting houses with all the inhabitants as members.
In them the people wield immense influence over their magistrates
and often carry their desires into execution without intermediaries."
Alexis de Tocqueville
[Alexis Charles Henri Maurice Clerel, le Comte de Tocqueville] (1805-1859) French historian
Democracy in America, 1835
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Reader comments about this quote:
And That is as it should be.Now and forever.
 -- KS     
    Unfortunately people 'react emotionally', rather than 'act logically'. People no longer influence our 'magistrates', our socialist government is now corrupt and control us.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
     -- TW, PA      
    The police state atrocities and abuse continues to grow with little to no influence by We The People over any magistrates. Militarization of local thuggery (police) continues to strengthen in might and number while events as occurred in Baltimore sees the armed despots just let the assemblies destroy themselves. Escalation of desire, such as jade-helm, demonstrates a continuing lack of influence. There is accuracy to the statement under certain circumstances, that is why the stars.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Execution Is probably the key word here in dealing with governments.
     -- jim k, Austin     
    A very pointed statement concerning oppression ! It is inevitable, prophetic, the rise would come to our nation. Knee-jerk reactions without intermediaries. This can and is also a test of resolve, concerning an individual, seeking office of any type ! To avoid the knee-jerk reaction ! It is good to remember Desire tempered with experience, creates patience and hope within the individual !
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
    This is the republican ideal. Don't believe everything you hear in the media -- the world is NOT coming to an end. We only hear of the flashpoints of political conflict. We rarely if ever hear of the daily working of common towns across America in which the quote still applies. American pride has become politically incorrect because it seems to imply support for a rogue government. But America is not the government, it is the People. We may not live up entirely to the American ideal, but at least it is still our aim and our foundation.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    In the 1800s perhaps. These days in 'civilized' nations, men are a whole lot more herd than "passionate resolvers." Especially when it comes to carrying their "desires into execution without" orders, er, "intermediaries." Any attempt to do that nowadays is met with NAKED FORCE. Witness 'Occupy Wall St.', among a myriad of others.

    One star for the memory of self-actuated men.
     -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
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