Sunday, August 8, 2010

Why the Tea Party Movement? Check Alexis de Tocqueville

The short answer is that the notion of skepticism is hardwired into the DNA.
Chapter one of the Fourth Book of Volume Two of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, published in 1840, opens with the following:

“The principle of equality, which makes men independent of each other, gives them a habit and taste for following, in their private actions, no other guide but their own will. This complete independence, which they constantly enjoy towards their equals and in the intercourse of private life, tends to make them look upon all authority with a jealous eye, and speedily suggests to them the notion and love of political freedom.”

Seven pages later, in a footnote for some reason, de Tocqueville adds:

“Now it is in the nature of all governments to seek constantly to enlarge their sphere of action; hence it is almost impossible that such a government should not ultimately succeed, because it acts with a fixed principle and a constant will, upon men, whose position, whose notions and whose desires are in continual vacillation.’

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