Posted by: nhfalcon | August 23, 2010

This Week’s J.A.R.M. Is Brought to You by Benjamin Wiker, Ph. D.

I know, I know – who?

The author of 10 Books Every Conservative Must Read (Plus Four Not to Miss and One Impostor)

(whew! 🙂 )

Given how recently I did my last J.A.R.M., I just didn’t have much material for today, but there is a great quote from 10BECMR+4NtM&OI that I recently read that I just had to share:

“Tocqueville’s powers of prophecy in trying to ‘imagine’ the ‘new features’ of this despotism are chillingly accurate. Tocqueville envisioned that

 an immense tutelary power is elevated [above the people], which alone takes charge of assuring their enjoyments and watching over their fate. It is absolute, detailed, regular, 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 provided that they think only of enjoying themselves. It willingly works for their happiness; but it wants to be the unique agent and sole arbiter of that; it provides for their security, forsees and secures their needs, facilitates their pleasures, conducts their principal affairs, directs their industry, regulates their estates, divides their inheritances; can it not take away from them entirely the trouble of thinking and the pain of living?

So it is that every day it renders the employment of free will less useful and more rare; it confines the action of the will in a smaller space and little by little steals the very use of free will from each citizen. Equality has prepared men for all these things: it has disposed them  to tolerate them and often even to regard them as a benefit.

Thus, after 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 industrious animals of which the government is the sheperd.”

I swear there was another quote, but I’m blanking on it at the moment. I’m sure I’ll remember it eventually, and when I do I’ll pass it along.

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