It has been a long time since we read “Democracy in America,” by Alexis de Tocqueville. If you don’t have both volumes, we highly recommend that you get them. We had forgotten his prescient brilliance as he analysed what he saw during his visit here in the early 19th century.
We were reminded of his writing while looking at today’s Rassmussen Report: Prudence Is Key to Reversing Obama’s ‘Soft Despotism': A Commentary By Michael Barone
Above a democratic populace, he writes, a Soft Despotism can reign. “[A]n immense tutelary power is elevated, which alone takes charge of assuring their enjoyments and watching over their fate. It is absolute, detailed, rigid, far-seeing and mild.
“It would resemble paternal power if, like that, it had for its object to prepare men for manhood; but on the contrary, it seeks only to keep them fixed irrevocably in childhood; it likes citizens to enjoy themselves. It willingly works for their happiness; but it wants to be the unique agent and sole arbiter of that.”
Thus Tocqueville, writing in the 1830s, foresees Obamacare and the crony capitalism that produces a Super Bowl commercial from a government- and union-controlled company that seeks Obama’s re-election, Barone wrote. It is worth quoting more from a political thinker as far elevated above almost any other as Mozart was above almost all other composers, he continued.
“Thus, taking each individual by turns in its powerful hands and kneading him as it likes, the sovereign extends its arms over society as a whole; it covers its surface with a network of small, complicated, painstaking, uniform rules through which the most original minds and the most vigorous souls cannot clear a way to surpass the crowd; it does not break wills, but it softens them, bends them and directs them; it rarely forces one to act, but it constantly opposes itself to one’s acting; it does not destroy, it prevents things from being born; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, compromises, enervates, extinguishes, dazes and finally reduces each nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrial animals of which the government is the shepherd.”
Sound familiar? Today? Sixty years ago, George Orwell’s “1984” presented that same world. Our DDH said some students in his college class thought that Orwell was presenting a utopia.
This will not be an easy battle and we have no guarantee that we freedom-lovers will win it. We have only our firm determination to fight to our last breath to regain our God-given liberties.