"Where are we then? The religionists are the enemies of liberty, and the friends of liberty attack religion; the high-minded and the noble advocate subjection, and the meanest and most servile minds preach independence; honest and enlightened citizens are opposed to all progress, whilst men without patriotism and without principles are the apostles of civilization and intelligence. Has such been the fate of the centuries which have preceded our own? and has man always inhabited a world like the present, where nothing is linked together, where virtue is without genius, and genius without honor; where the love of order is confounded with a taste for oppression, and the holy rites of freedom with a taste for law; where the light thrown by conscience on human actions is dim, and where nothing seems to be any longer forbidden or allowed, honorable or shameful, false or true?"
Alexis de Tocqueville
[Alexis Charles Henri Maurice Clerel, le Comte de Tocqueville] (1805-1859) French historian
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Reader comments about this quote:
We then, are where men call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 7
    This is one of the best quotations ever--truly summing up the dilemma of Modern Man. This ranks right up there with Alexander Pope's "An Essay on Man". Thank you yet again, Editors, for finding the priceless gems obscured by dust and time! If we would more frequently remember and admit to the error of our ways, we would all be better off.
     -- Byron, Fort Collins     
  • 6
     -- jim, Austin, Tx      
    More proof, human nature is human nature, and the forefathers wrote the constitution, and made it law, for a dam good reason
     -- Kimo, USA     
  • 5
     -- Carol, Georgia      
     -- J Carlton, Calgary      
    Where are we then? Same as it ever has been. We will continue to be screwed until we say, "NO MORE!" ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 4
    For a brief shining moment, in the day of the Founding and its early aftermath, a quote that did not comprehensively bear on the American Experience.

    What is it that is requisite?

    The ennoblement of human character by all enlightening Agape.

    For Agape does, indeed, cover a multitude of sins.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 2
    A bit verbose, otherwise spot on....
     -- robert, somewhere in the USA     
  • 1
    He nailed it. The One Who IS the Author of decency, honesty, truth, integrity, and goodness has been summarily "kicked" out of todays society. Suicides, a justice system that's a sick joke, "political correctness" or more to the point "If you don't agree with my leftists views you're "racist" "homophobe" "a Nazi" "a bigot"... kids who've been taught in the name of "can't we all get along" not to stand to bullies, schools that "teach" anything but what's desperately needed to exist today, technology that's made human interaction almost extinct..."safe rooms" for the spineless to hide with their puppy videos and blankets. For those of us who were born in the late to mid 40's this is incomprehensible. Guess what...mommy didn't hurry to kiss the boo boos. You dealt with it and moved on. Then "government" wasn't "requiring you" to wear your seat belt, stop smoking, attempting to take your guns (almost every household had them and surprise, where were the mass shootings?) rotting our schools, pushing perversion as "normal", killing the unborn in the name of "reproductive rights" pushing a leftist agenda intended to turn America in to a good little obedient country who genuflected to the self proclaimed "gov gods"....indeed. America the strong...where have you gone...we who fought and died for liberty and justice for all...don't recognize you any more....
     -- Denise, Durango     
  • 4
     -- Al, No Ho      
    All true friends of Liberty are no less friends of tolerant religion. All true friends of religiosity are no less friends of Liberty. The true and good are enemies of the false and bad. Those who would undermine the conservation of Liberty and Justice lack humanity and spread destruction of the civil society. "Liberty means Justice, and Justice is the natural law."--Henry George.
     -- Bret Barker, Rosemead     
  • 2
     -- Mary, MI     
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