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I’ve always wanted to read Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” but have never gotten around to it. I tried once, but I got distracted, and drifted away. This summer I plan to read Harvey Mansfield’s “Tocqueville: A Very Short Introduction.” Maybe that will inspire me to try again. Powerline’s Scott Johnson just finished reading “Democracy in America” and wrote a wonderful post on it today, which included the following passage:
Tocqueville wrote as a friend of freedom. He worried that the passion for equality (think “equity”) would overwhelm freedom and that democracy would therefore tend toward a new form of despotism.
It’s hard to imagine a more precise and concise description of our current situation in America in 2021. And remember, Tocqueville was a Frenchman in 1840. His prescience is simply astounding. I’ve just got to read his work sometime. And Scott’s summary should be shouted from the rooftops. In fact, I just can’t help but repeat it right now: “Tocqueville wrote as a friend of freedom. He worried that the passion for equality (think “equity”) would overwhelm freedom and that democracy would therefore tend toward a new form of despotism.” And here we are. Mr. Tocqueville would look at Critical Race Theory, our tax code, affirmative action, America’s entitlement industry, our educational system, and the modern Democrat party and he would just grimly nod his head. He saw it coming. And here we are.
So where do we go from here? I’m not sure. But there’s a book I’ve got to read that may help me with that…Published in