Past wisdom - 2

Posted by Helen Thursday, April 06, 2006

Continuing our series of inspiring quotations, we turn to the great French conservative historian, sociologist, political writer and politician, Alexis de Tocqueville. His two great books, Democracy in America and The Ancien Regime and the French Revolution, as well as his shorter works are full of goodies and the English translations are, in some ways, easier to read than Burke’s pronouncements.

Here are two examples from the first of those works:

“When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.”
“Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”
The first explains and justifies the study of history, the second explains why so many of us are now conservatives.


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