Worth Pondering

A man’s admiration of absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him

–Alexis de Tocqueville, from the preface to his The Old Regime and the French Revolution. (Via PowerLine)

Translations of this passage differ: the one quoted above is from this version. A different translation renders the phrase as “contempt for one’s country.” The actual French phrase used in the original is son pays. Either way, the point is pretty similar.

The thread of previous Worth Pondering posts starts here.

2 thoughts on “Worth Pondering”

  1. Man – that is spot-on.

    Think of the contempt absolute dictators feel about their citizens – and look at the typical liberal’s view of his fellow citizens – wanting to regulate them.

  2. I’ve always liked the take Lao Tzu had on government:

    “Ruling a big country is like cooking a small fish (治大国,若烹小鲜[1]). When you’re frying a small fish, too much poking will ruin the meal, so the meaning is: create general policies and direction, but do not micromanage. To do this well, you must understand the ways of your people and not go against the grain.”

    Otherwise the older I get the more Anarchy appeals to me.

    It’s possible I have the whole thing upside down, inside out and backwards too. Too much acid … no that can’t be it. ;)

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