"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
(1805-1859) French historian
Democracy in America, 1835
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Reader comments about this quote:
Democracies ultimately destroy liberties. Many of the early communist leaders of the Soviet Union were successful at destroying the liberties of the US, not by war, but by promoting immorality in its many forms, destruction of the traditional family, Christian values, etc., etc. Now a debased nation means to accomplish war in designated areas around the world.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Archer may say: "ultimate Budhist values" and thats good too.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    And King George, our Christian anti-equality anti-family ex-drunk lie telling draft dodging citizen killing war criminal Armageddon worshipping "leader", is the best example that exists today of the truth of this quote. That Mike from Norwalk can blame the commies for the likes of King George really shows the balls of the radical religious right... right up there with ex-Rep Foley's two faced leadership.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    As much as our leaders claim they are doing the right thing, it's not what the people want, and it is destroying our Republic.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    You're right Joe, but I guess the American people are getting what they ask for. Politicians hear the cry "there oughta be a law" or "they should do something about ...", and they react in order to get re-elected. Everybody wants activist politicians. There doesn't seem to be a market for politicians who simply want to "support and defend the Constitution" and protect the liberties of it's citizens. That's not too glamorous.
     -- Mike, Mount Holly, NC     
    LOL A from Reston. By way of explanation: I didn't mean to imply communists, or for that matter all atheists, were the sole cause for America's problems; I was simply saying there were/are more ways than war to accomplish a short and/or secure destruction of liberty.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Right on Reston and Joe, and well done Mike from Norwalk for a polite retort.
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
    War is a destroyer of nearly all things, so what else is new?
     -- Jack, Stanley     
    I do not think it has anything to do with Buddhist values. It is simple: in times of 'war', the citizens' rights are the first to go in an effort to increase 'security.' After the emergency is over however those rights are rarely retrieved and people get used to being taken care of instead of taking care of themselves. War always centralizes power into fewer and fewer hands -- thus a democratic republic becomes weaker and weaker.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    I would say the surest way to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation is to allow true democracy to work its natural course. Allow the majority to vote itself a free living from a minority and take the free goodies offered by government The only price you have to pay is your self-determination.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    True but not quite true, Ken hit it on the nail head. Let us remember, however, that the US is "supposed" to be a Republic, I say "supposed" because we are not. Even so war is still very dangerous to personal freedom. However, the opposite is also very true, resistance that grows into a war is one of the surest ways to secure a free Republic.
     -- P.M.     
    When America is at war...Americans have "zero" rights. And that is "by law". We play world cop, support the Military Industrial Complex, and give the Government supreme power over each of us and our individual rights. No wonder we're always at war.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    E Archer said it well. Citizens will gladly give up all sorts of rights in time of war and think they are doing the patriotic thing.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    Makes me think of the Patroit Act!!!!!!!!!!!
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    The surest way to destroy our liberties is not through war. Debt is the surest destroyer. It just happens that war is expensive.
     -- Howard, Bangkok     
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