273. He (Alexis de Toqueville)ATJ found modern democracies, even the American, in danger of succumbing to a new servitude: their materialism and their desire for equality may entice them into a “democratic despotism,” a boring society under an omnicompetent state:…
Russel Kirk – Roots of American Order, 1974
274. Having thus taken each citizen in turn in its powerful grasp and shaped him to its will, government then extends its embrace to include the whole of society. It covers the whole of social life with a network of petty, complicated rules that are both minute and uniform, through which even men of the greatest originality and the most vigorous temperament cannot force their heads above the crowd. It does not break men’s will, but soften, bends, and guides it; it seldom enjoins, but often inhibits, action; it does not destroy anything, but perverts much being born; it is not at all tyrannical, but it hinders, restrains, enervates, stifles, and stultifies so much that in the end each nation is no more than a flock of timid and hardworking animals with the government as its sheppard.
- Alexis de Toqueville – Democracy in America, 1835
(This is eerily familiar and the message is very much like “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” by Charlotte Iserbyt)ATJ
276. Justice requires Authority – not the authority of soldier or policeman, but the authority of religious truth. No people can enjoy a just society without some standard of judgment superior to the mood of the moment; and this is especially true in democratic states, which have no hereditary class of magistrates to sustain the laws. Now this abiding standard of righteousness, or principle of authority, must be ethical in its nature; and to receive habitual assent from the people, that ethical system must refer to religious sanctions. This standard must be interpreted authoritatively by some body fitted for that function: the Church is required. Simple popular opinion never can maintain Justice:…
- Orestes Brownson, 1803-1876