"After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It 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, and 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, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to 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
Source:
Democracy in America, Vol. II (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899), Chap. 6
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Reader comments about this quote:
it is history very well written
 -- hamid ibrahim, kuala lumpur malaysia     
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    No kidding ! Governments ROT; that's why they need to be changed more often than diapers ...and for the same reason !
     -- Dr. Tom Lamar, Keeseville, NY     
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    As morally wrong, as violative of the natural law, as unconstitutional as these laws were, they were not historical incongruities. Thomas Jefferson — who opposed and condemned the acts (he was Adams’ vice president at the time) — warned that it is the nature of government over time to increase and of liberty to decrease. And that’s why we should not trust government. In the same era, James Madison himself agreed when he wrote, “All men having power should be distrusted to a certain degree.”

    Andrew Napolitano on Why We Should Mistrust the Government

    Full article: http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2013/05/20/why-we-should-mistrust-the-government/
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    The government is my shepherd, I shall not want...
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    De Toqueville was talking about the socialist French government at the time -- little did he know that America would fall to the same deprivations.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Merrill Jenkins, Monetary Realist, author of "Money", The Greatest Hoax On Earth and 6 other books said "Freedom is the absense of legislation." In that book written in 1971, he predicted the crash of 2008, though he thought it would be sooner. In 1979, he said, "We have world government now, our monetary system would not work if all of the world's bankers were not in collusion." That collusion was evident in 2008. See what others think of Jenkins 31 years after his passing. google: "merrill jenkins" money
    and get one or more of his books FREE there.
    You will find The Greatest Hoax at Amazon.com
    With money being the greatest hoax, taxes are the second greatest hoax considering the Fed said in 1977. their system works us "only with credit" and that is admission that no one pays any taxes since taxes cannot be paid with credit and it is admission that our misleaders spend nothing and pay for nothing. We will have more and more wars as long as soldiers and suppliers pretend we are all paid with checks and that we all pay taxes with strips of paper that have not even been promises to pays since 1963. Ho.4:6
    I ENCOURAGE NO ONE TO FIGHT TAXES EXCEPT AS JURORS! THEIR JAILS ARE REAL!
    It has been proven that tax offenses are more serious than manslaughter. We don't have to be guilty of tax offenses to be jailed as long as jurors believe laws exist and believe we would not be in court if we were not guilty, A cop driving 126 MPH while texting killed 2 teen aged sisters.
    He got probation.
     -- Dave Wilber, St. Louis     
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