"It [government] covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting: such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd."
by:
Alexis de Tocqueville
[Alexis Charles Henri Maurice Clerel, le Comte de Tocqueville] (1805-1859) French historian
Rating:
Categories:
 
Bookmark and Share  
Reader comments about this quote:
Way too accurate, way too often. It might be said, once the masses have been reduced to a flock of timid animals, the government having become the shepherd - tyranny, despotism, war, poverty, and pain are the next steps in the political evolution. The occupying statist theocracy now infesting this land as the Unified Socialists of Amerika, accurately depicts the whole of the de-evolution.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  •  
    When the small businessman finds himself spending far too much of his productive time and money paying homage to the leviathan bureaucratic government he does indeed cease to exist. Why bother when too much lost time and profit make the venture no longer worth while? This is another aspect of why Socialism is a disease on free people...why it is the great destroyer...
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  •  
    But less in the USA than anywhere else on earth. That is why the USA is the model for much of the rest of the world. That is why the USA won the cold war against centralized planning systems such as the Soviet Union. That is why all of our products are made in China, because US "entrepreneurs" can rise above their friends and neighbours and make more money by stiffing the rest of us with cheap labor and the use of illegals here at home. A little more enforcement of some minute laws and rules may be optimal.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
  •  
    And again Waffler ignores the laws of economics and human nature. And of course the Government and the unjust tax system of tyrrany and control have nothing whatsoever to do with these conditions right Waffler? The IRS sure did a number on you didn't they? You really are "Their Boy".
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  •  
    yeah there is trouble everywhere, just try to make a beer in Germany and see where that lands you or better yet do a window puppet show in NYC, lots of luck! Wow J, living in Canada and hating the IRS, I wonder if those two facts have a close nexus, and if so, what they say about your psychological profile and ability to think straight!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
  •  
    Wow Waffler, again you make unrealistic comparisons based on "nothing". The IRS just like every other tax agency in every other western nation works directly for the central banks of those nations. Their mandate being to enrich the central bankers, not to provide infrastructure. It's a Ponzi scheme of the highest order and you know it! So it doesn't matter if you live in England, Australia, Canada or the US now does it? As for making beer in Germany, well look at you! You've just pointed out why Government protectionism doesn't work to promote free enterprise. You must completely astound yourself at times. ;-)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  •  
    Waffler WHAT ? ? ? Because the Unified Socialists of Amerika (USA) are using the same rules of self destruction (centralized planning, world banker's fiat, the Manifesto's 10 planks, etc.), as the rest of the world, just a little bit slower, the USA is a model for what? Your misleading half truth about cheaper labor is proved incorrect by today's following quote. I'm real close to moving (my labor and benefit packages will remain the same) and its all about regulated costs of doing business. I would stiff no one, I can simply stay in business while making a better product. The government shepherd enforcing more minute rules and regulations would only serve to destroy more entrepreneurial endeavors at home while, collapsing more now existing domestic commerce. Waffler, can you give some examples of a little more enforcement of some minute laws and rules that would enhance more people going into business here or helping other business stay in business?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  •  
    Waffler ends up proving de Tocqueville's point through his own demonstration of the stupefying effect upon his own consciousness to the point that he cannot form a cohesive thought. Collectivism fosters mediocrity, blind devotion to 'authority,' and restrains excellence and innovation. Group-think is not logical, nor is it even examined, it assumes its own correctness. Mob rule is accomplished by pitting the passions of the masses against each other -- and few ever look to see who is really pulling the strings.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  •  
    All i have to do is read Archers, and Mikes posts, saves me typing. The truth, is easy to see. Ill say it again, Mike or Archer for president. They have my vote.
     -- Kimo, US of A     
  •  
    Waffler? *crickets* ;-)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  •  
    Waffler, a couple of questions about that low wage thing. Wasn’t it Mr. Obamunist Goodwrench the assassin that appointed GE Chairman - Jeff Immelt to be the Job Czar (from that same GE that is moving its 115 year old plant in WI to China; that is investing $2 billion in China, training more than 65 engineers, while creating six new research centers there, making somewhere near $5.1 billion in the US last year while paying less tax than you) because he knew how to keep high paying jobs in the US ? Did you just mean a little more enforcement of some minute laws and rules may be optimal for non-friendlies to the occupying statist theocracy that is infesting this land ?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  •  
    Mike, further to that thought...GE is moving their North American HQ here to Calgary. It's under construction right now.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  •  
    (-; ahhh Carlton ;-) thanks for the add on. What webs they weave . . .
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  •  
    Alexis has just described america...scary isn't it.
     -- Steve, Springfield     
  •  
     
    Rate this quote!
    How many stars?
    0
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5

     
    What do YOU think?
    Your name:
    Your town:
        CLICK JUST ONCE!

    More Quotations
    Get a Quote-A-Day! Free!
    Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box.
    RSS Subscribe
    Quotes & Quotations - Send This Quote to a Friend

    © 1998-2017 Liberty-Tree.ca