Alexis de Tocqueville was a French political thinker and historian who observed and described the American society of the 19th century.
1. The best laws cannot make a constitution work in spite of morals; morals can turn the worst laws to advantage.
2. Socialism is a new form of slavery.
3. “The will of the nation” is one of those expressions which have been most profusely abused by the wily and the despotic of every age.
4. History, it is easily perceived, is a picture-gallery containing a host of copies and very few originals.
5. Every central government worships uniformity: uniformity relieves it from inquiry into an infinity of details.
6. In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end.
7. In order to enjoy the inestimable benefits that the liberty of the press ensures, it is necessary to submit to the inevitable evils it creates.
8. In democratic ages men rarely sacrifice themselves for another, but they show a general compassion for all the human race. One never sees them inflict pointless suffering, and they are glad to relieve the sorrows of others when they can do so without much trouble to themselves. They are not disinterested, but they are gentle.
9. Laws are always unstable unless they are founded on the manners of a nation; and manners are the only durable and resisting power in a people.
10. Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.