Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes

Who is Alexis de Tocqueville?

Alexis Charles Henri Clérel, comte de Tocqueville was a French aristocrat, diplomat, political scientist, political philosopher and historian. De Tocqueville is best known for his work 'Democracy in America'.

Born July 29, 1805
Died April 16, 1859

Books by Alexis de Tocqueville


Best 34 Quotes by Alexis de Tocqueville | Page 1 of 2

“A man's admiration of absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“Any measure that establishes legal charity on a permanent basis and gives it an administrative form thereby creates an idle and lazy class, living at the expense of the industrial and working class.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“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.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“I have only one passion, the love of liberty and human dignity.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“In politics shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“It is easier for the world to accept a simple lie than a complex truth.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

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“Life is to be entered upon with courage.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“One of the happiest consequences of the absence of government is the development of individual strength that inevitably follows.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“Socialism is a new form of slavery.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“The evil which one suffers patiently as inevitable seems insupportable as soon as he conceives the idea of escaping from it.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

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“The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“The man who asks of freedom anything other than itself is born to be a slave.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

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“Nine-tenths of the people were created so you would want to be with the other tenth.”


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“Those that despise people will never get the best out of others and themselves.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“Those who prize freedom only for the material benefits it offers have never kept it for long.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.

Alexis de Tocqueville

Democracy in America Quotes

“A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.”

Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America

“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
Democracy in America

“As the past has ceased to throw its light upon the future, the mind of man wanders in obscurity.”

Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America

“Despotism often presents itself as the repairer of all the ills suffered, the support of just rights, defender of the oppressed, and founder of order.”

Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America

“I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.”

Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America

“If an American was condemned to confine his activity to his own affairs, he would be robbed of one half of his existence.”

Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America

“It is an axiom of political science in the United States that the sole means of neutralizing the effects of newspapers is to multiply their number.”

Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America

“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”

Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America

“Military discipline is merely a perfection of social servitude.”

Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America

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“Slavery dishonors labor. It introduces idleness into society, and with idleness, ignorance and pride, luxury and distress. It enervates the powers of the mind and benumbs the activity of man.”

Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America

“Society is endangered not by the great profligacy of a few, but by the laxity of morals amongst all.”

Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America

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“Knowing is different from doing and therefore theory must never be used as norms for a standard, but merely as aids to judgment.”


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