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Prescient Tocqueville

Here’s a letter to the New York Times:

Many of your readers are mystified that scores of ordinary Americans are so vocally opposed to Obama’s, Reid’s, and Pelosi’s “Progressive” agenda (Letters, Sept. 23).

I am among these opponents.  A chief reason for my opposition was expressed by Alexis de Tocqueville in his book The Old Regime and the French Revolution.  Discussing the years leading up to 1789, Tocqueville wrote of the French state in words that have an eerily contemporary American ring: “The number of persons having monetary dealings with it, subscribing to its loans, living on wages paid by it, and speculating in government-sponsored enterprises [!] had enormously increased.  Never before had the interests and fortunes of private individuals been so closely bound up with those of the State.  Thus the mismanagement of the State finances, which formerly had affected only the administration, now brought ruin to many homes.”*

Such progress.

Donald J. Boudreaux


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