The Bad and the Very Bad

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Daniel B Klein

“Tocqueville does not oppose the equality of subjection. Nor does he propose resistance to its newfangled democratic trappings. He accepts democracy. He fears what the modern democratic nation-state may produce — indeed, was producing, especially in France. Tocqueville warns of dreaded objects, to arouse us to prevent or mitigate them. America demonstrated, to a degree, some of the preventatives, and Tocqueville wanted the French to learn about them. But by no means was he confident that America would stave off those dreaded objects. In some respects, America was farther along in arriving to them. In the chief aspects, however — namely, in the instinct and mores of centricity and the vast governmentalization of social affairs — France was far ahead of the United States.” (07/21/21)