restricted access Chapter 3. That the Sentiments of Democratic Peoples Are in Agreement with Their Ideas for Bringing Them to Concentrate Powera
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1200 s4s4s4s4s4 c h a p t e r 3 That the Sentiments of Democratic Peoples Are in Agreement with Their Ideas for Bringing Them to Concentrate Power a If, in centuries of equality, men easily perceive the idea of a great central power, you cannot doubt, on the other hand, that their habits and their sentiments dispose them to recognize such a power and to lend it supa . The idea of all this chapter is simple. Equality gives birth to two tendencies: 1. One which takes men to liberty. 2. The other which distances men from liberty and leads them to servitude. Liberty and servitude coming from equality. There is the idea of the chapter. Equality comes only as source of liberty and of servitude./ Now. To know what makes men love equality more than liberty; it is a closelyconnected, but very distinct idea; for men could prefer equality to liberty, without equalitybeing what pushed them toward servitude. The comparison of the loveof equality andtheloveof libertyisworthbeingmade. But here it hinders the natural movement of the mind./ Make it a separate chapter which I will introduce afterward where I can (Rubish , 2). It is possible that certain ideas on centralization set forth in this chapter and the following had their origin in the observations made by Tocqueville in England. In 1835, particularly, Tocqueville believed he had found in England a tendency toward centralization that he thought likely for the ensemble of democracies. The Poor Law and conversations with Mill and Reeve seem to have in part confirmed his theory for him(Voyage en Angleterre, OC, V, 2, pp. 22, 26, 49, and 53); also see Seymour Drescher, Tocqueville and England (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1964). On 8 July 1838, when he began this last part,TocquevilleaskedBeaumontforexamples about centralization. Beaumont’s answer is lost (Correspondance avec Beaumont, OC, VIII, 1, pp. 311–12). concentration on power 1201 port.b The demonstration of this can be done in a few words, since most of the reasons have already been given elsewhere. Men who inhabit democratic countries, having neither superiors, nor inferiors, nor habitual and necessary associates, readily fall back on themselves and consider themselves in isolation. I have had the occasion to show it at great length when the matter was individualism. So these men never, except with effort, tear themselves away from their particular affairs in order to occupy themselves with commonaffairs; their natural inclination is to abandon the care of these affairs to the sole visible and permanent representative of collective interests, which is the State. Not only do they not naturally have the taste for occupying themselves with public matters, but also they often lack time to do so. Private life is so active in democratic times, so agitated, so full of desires, of work, that hardly any energy or leisure is left to any man for political life. It is not I who will deny that such inclinations are not invincible, since my principal goal in writing this book has been to combat them. I maintain only that, today, a secret force develops them constantly inthehuman heart, and that it is enough not to stop them for those inclinations to fill it up. I have equally had the occasion to show how the growing love of wellbeing and the mobile nature of property made democratic peoples fear material disorder. The love of public tranquillity is often the onlypolitical passion that these peoples retain, and it becomes more active and more powerful among them, as all the others collapse and die; that naturally disposes citizens to give new rights constantly to or to allow new rights to be taken by the central power, which alone seems to them to have the interest and the means to defend them from anarchy while defending itself.c b. “⫽I see clearly how the fear of revolutions leads men to give great prerogatives to power in general, but not how it leads them to centralize power.⫽” (Rubish, 2). c. 7 March 1838. Unity, centralization. However animated you are against unity and the governmental unity that is called centralization, you cannot nonetheless deny that unity and centralizationare 1202 concentration on power [] Since, in centuries of equality, no one is obliged to lend his strength to his fellow, and no one has the right to expect great support from his fellow, each man is independent and weak at the very same time. These two states, which must not be either envisaged separately or confused...


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