Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Democracy in America

From the American political blog Eschaton, paired quotes that make a point.

The book Democracy in America was the result of a long trip through the United States about 1830 by the French "liberal" (liberal has changed meanings since then) Alexis de Tocqueville, who was interested in showing the new democratic culture of America to his countrymen. De Tocqueville thought French culture was in the process of being democratized and that the French better get ready for the results, some good some bad.

Besides the book, which is excellent and thought-provoking, de Tocqueville kept a journal, which was eventually published. When I read it, I was struck by how, in 1830, he met some prominent local person in every city he visited who told him that democracy had already gone too far.

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