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chapter 7 a: Continuation of the Preceding Chapters - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America: Historical-Critical Edition, vol. 4 
Democracy in America: Historical-Critical Edition of De la démocratie en Amérique, ed. Eduardo Nolla, translated from the French by James T. Schleifer. A Bilingual French-English editions, (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2010). Vol. 4.
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Continuation of the Preceding Chapters
I believe that it is easier to establish an absolute and despotic government among a [democratic] people where conditions are equal than among another, and I think that, if such a government were once established among such a people, not only would it oppress men, but in the long run it would rob from each of them some of the principal attributes of humanity.b
So despotism seems to me particularly to be feared in democratic ages.
I would, I think, have loved liberty in all times; but I feel myself inclined to adore it in the times in which we live.
I am persuaded, on the other hand, that in the centuries which we are entering, all those who try to base liberty on privilege and on aristocracy will fail. All those who want to attract and keep authority within a single class will fail. There is today no sovereign power clever enough and strong enough to establish despotism by reestablishing permanent distinctions among its subjects;c nor is there any legislator so wise and so powerful who is able to maintain free institutions if he does not take equality as first principle and as symbol. So all those among our contemporaries who want to create or to assure the independence and dignity of their fellows must appear as friends of equality; and the only means worthy of them of appearing so is to be so: the success of their holy enterprise depends on it.d
Thus, it is not a matter of reconstructing an aristocratic society, but of making liberty emerge from within the democratic society in which God makes us live.
These two first truths seem to me simple, clear and fertile, and they lead me naturally to consider what type of free government can be established among a people in which conditions are equal.
It results from the very constitution of democratic nations and from their needs that, among them, the power of the sovereign must be more uniform, more centralized, more extensive, more penetrating, more powerful than elsewhere.e Society there is naturally more active and stronger; the individual, more subordinate and weaker. The one does more; the other less; that is inevitable.f
So in democratic countries you must not expect the circle of individual independence ever to be as wide as in countries of aristocracy. But that is not to be desired; for among aristocratic nations, society is often sacrificed to the individual, and the prosperity of the greatest number to the grandeur of a few.
It is at the very same time necessary and desirable that the central power that directs a democratic people be active and powerful. It is not a matter of making it weak or indolent, but only of preventing it from abusing its agility and strength.g
What contributed the most to assure the independence of individuals in aristocratic centuries is that the sovereign power did not take charge alone of governing and administering the citizens; it was obliged to leave a part of this concern to the members of the aristocracy; so that the social power, always divided, never weighed entirely and in the same way on every man.h
Not only did the sovereign power not do everything by itself, but most of the officers who acted in its place, since they drew their power from the fact of their birth and not from it, were not constantly in its hand. It could not at any moment create them or destroy them, depending on its caprices, and bend them all uniformly to its least desires. That also guaranteed the independence of individuals.
I also understand that today you cannot resort to the same means, but I see democratic procedures that replace them.j
Instead of giving to the sovereign alone all the administrative powers that were taken from the corporation or from the nobles, you can entrust a part of them to secondary bodies formed temporarily out of simple citizens; in this way, the liberty of individuals will be surer, without their equality being less.
The Americans, who are not as attached as we to words, have kept the name of county for the largest of their administrative districts; but they have in part replaced the county by a provincial assemblyk [chosen freely by the inhabitants themselves].m
I will admit without difficulty that in a period of equality like ours, it would be unjust and unreasonable to institute hereditary officials; but nothing prevents substituting for them, to a certain measure, elected officials. Election is a democratic expedient that assures the independence of the official vis-à-vis the central power, as much as and more than heredity can do among aristocratic peoples.
Aristocratic countries are full of rich and influential individuals who know how to be self-sufficient and who are not easily or secretly oppressed; and the latter keep power within the general habits of moderation and restraint [<while in democratic countries each citizen taken in isolation cannot offer any resistance and does not ever succeed in attracting the eyes of the public to the evils that tyranny makes him suffer.>]
I know well that democratic countries do not naturally present similar individuals; but there you can artificially create something analogous.
I believe firmly that you cannot establish an aristocracyn again in the world; but I think that simple citizens by associating together can constitute very wealthy, very influential, very strong beings, in a word aristocratic persons.o
[<Thus, in whatever direction I look, I discover association as the most powerful remedy for the evils with which equality threatens us.>]
In this manner several of the greatest political advantages of aristocracy would be obtained, without its injustices or its dangers. A political, industrial, commercial, or even scientific and literary association is an enlightened and powerful citizen whom you cannot bend at will or oppress in the shadow, and who, by defending its particular rights against the demands of power, saves common liberties.
In times of aristocracy, each man is always bound in a very tight way to several of his fellow citizens, so that you cannot attack the former without the others running to his aid. In centuries of equality, each individual is naturally isolated; he has no hereditary friends whose help he can require, no class whose sympathies for him are assured; he is easily set apart, and he is trampled underfoot with impunity.p Today, a citizen who is oppressed has therefore only one means of defending himself; it is to address himself to the whole nation, and if it is deaf to him, to humanity; he has only one means to do it, it is the press. Thus liberty of the press is infinitely more precious among democratic nations than among all others; it alone cures most of the evils that equality can produce. Equality isolates and weakens men; but the press places beside each one of them a very powerful weapon, which the weakest and most isolated can use. Equality takes away from each individual the support of those close to him; but the press allows him to call to his aid all his fellow citizens and all those similar to him. Printing hastened the progress of equality, and it is one of its best correctives.
I think that men who live in aristocracies can, if necessary, do without liberty of the press; but those who inhabit democratic countries cannot do so. [<For the latter, between independence and servitude, I see hardly anything except the press.>] To guarantee the personal independence of the latter, I do not trust great political assemblies, parliamentary prerogatives, the proclamation of sovereignty of the people.
All these things, up to a certain point, fit with individual servitude; but this servitude cannot be complete if the press is free. The press is, par excellence, the democratic instrument of liberty.
I will say something analogous about the judicial power.q
It is the essence of the judicial power to occupy itself with particular interests and to fix its eyes on the small matters that are exposed to its view; it is also the essence of this power not to come by itself to the help of those who are oppressed, but to be constantly at the disposal of the most humble man among them. The latter, however weak you suppose him to be, can always force the judge to listen to his complaint and to respond to it: that results from the very constitution of the judicial power.
So such a power is especially applicable to the needs of liberty, in a time when the eye and the hand of the sovereign are introduced constantly into the most minute details of human actions, and when individuals, too weak to protect themselves, are too isolated to be able to count on the help of those like them. The strength of the courts has been, in all times, the greatest guarantee that can be offered to individual independence, but that is true above all in democratic centuries; particular rights and interests are always in danger there, if the judicial power does not grow and expand as conditions become equal.
Equality suggests to men several tendencies very dangerous for liberty, and the legislator must always keep his eyes open to them. I will only recall the principal ones.
Men who live in democratic centuries do not easily understand the utility of forms;r they feel an instinctive disdain for them. I spoke about the reasons for this elsewhere. Forms excite their scorn and often their hatred. Since they usually aspire only to easy and present enjoyments, they throw themselves impetuously toward the object of each one of their desires; the least delays lead them to despair. This temperament, which they bring to political life, sets them against forms which slow or stop them each day in some of their desires.
This disadvantage that men of democracies find in forms is, however, what makes the latter so useful to liberty, their principal merit being to serve as a barrier between the strong and the weak, those who govern and the governed, to slow the first and to give to the second the time for them to figure things out. Forms are more necessary as the sovereign power is more active and more powerful and as individuals become more indolent and more feeble. Thus democratic peoples naturally need forms more than other peoples, and naturally they respect them less.s That merits very serious attention.
There is nothing more miserable than the superb disdain of most of our contemporaries for questions of forms; for today the smallest questions of forms have acquired an importance that they had not had until now. Several of the greatest interests of humanity are connected with it.
I think that, if the statesmen who lived in aristocratic centuries could sometimes scorn forms with impunity and often rise above them, those who lead peoples today must consider the least form with respect and neglect it only when an imperious necessity forces them to do so. In aristocracies, you had superstition for forms; we must have an enlightened and thoughtful cult of them.
Another instinct very natural to democratic peoples, and very dangerous, is that which leads them to scorn individual rights and to take them into little account.
Men are in general attached to a right and show it respect by reason of its importance or of the long use that they have made of it. Individual rights which are found among democratic peoples are ordinarily of little importance, very recent and very unstable; that means that they are often easily sacrificed and violated almost always without regrets.
Now it happens that, in this same time and among these same nations in which men conceive a natural scorn for the rights of individuals, the rights of the society expand naturally and become stronger; that is to say that men become less attached to particular rights, at the moment when it would be most necessary to keep them and to defend the few of them that remain.t
So it is above all in the democratic times in which we find ourselves that the true friends of liberty and of human grandeur must, constantly, stand up and be ready to prevent the social power from sacrificing lightly the particular rights of some individuals to the general execution of its designs. In those times no citizen is so obscure that it is not very dangerous to allow him to be oppressed, or individual rights of so little importance that you can surrender to arbitrariness with impunity. The reason for it is simple. When you violate the particular right of an individual in a time when the human mind is penetrated by the importance and the holiness of the rights of this type, you do harm only to the one you rob. But to violate such a right today is to corrupt the national mores profoundly and to put the entire society at risk, because the very idea of these kinds of rights tends constantly among us to deteriorate and become lost.
[<I find as well and for entirely similar reasons that in democratic centuries, above all, sovereigns must watch themselves with the greatest care in order to repress the natural tendency which leads them to sacrifice a particular right, however small it is, to the general execution to their designs.>]
There are certain habits, certain ideas, certain vices that belong to the state of revolution, and that a long revolution cannot fail to engender and to generalize, whatever its character, its objective and its theater are.
When whatever nation has several times in a short expanse of time changed leaders, opinions and laws, the men who compose it end by contracting the taste for movement and by becoming accustomed to all movements taking place rapidly and with the aid of force. They then naturally conceive a contempt for forms, whose impotence they see every day, and only with impatience do they bear the dominion of rules, which have been evaded so many times before their eyes.
Since the ordinary notions of equity and morality no longer suffice to explain and justify all the novelties to which the revolution gives birth each day, you latch onto the principle of social utility, you create the dogma of political necessity; and you become readily accustomed to sacrificing particular interests without scruples and to trampling individual rights underfoot, in order to attain more promptly the general goal that you propose.
These habits and these ideas, which I will call revolutionary,u because all revolutions produce them, manifest themselves within aristocracies as well as among democratic peoples; but among the first they are often less powerful and always less durable, because there they encounter habits, ideas, flaws and failings that are contrary to them. So they fade away by themselves as soon as the revolution is finished, and the nation returns to its former political ways. It is not always so in democratic countries, where it is always to be feared that revolutionary instincts, becoming milder and more regular without dying out, will gradually turn into governmental mores and administrative habits.v
So I do not know of a country in which revolutions are more dangerous than democratic countries, because, apart from the accidental and passing evils that revolutions can never fail to produce, they always risk creating permanent and, so to speak, eternal ones.
I believe that there are honest acts of resistance and legitimate rebellions [v. revolutions]. So I am not saying, in an absolute way, that men of democratic times must never make revolutions; but I think that they are right to hesitate more than all the others before undertaking them, and that it is better for them to bear many of the inconveniences of the present state than to resort to such a perilous remedy.
I will conclude with a general idea that includes within it not only all the particular ideas that have been expressed in this present chapter, but also most of those that this book has the purpose of putting forth.
[What was above all to be feared formerly is no longer to be feared and new dangers have arisen that our fathers did not know.]w
In the centuries of aristocracy that preceded ours, there were very powerful individuals and a very feeble social authority. The very image of society was obscure and was constantly lost amid all the different powers that governed the citizens. The principal effort of the men of that time had to be to proceed to make the social power greater and to fortify it, to increase and to assure its prerogatives, and on the contrary, to restrict individual independence within more narrow limits, and to subordinate particular interest to the general interest.
Other dangers and other concerns await the men of today.
Among most modern nations, the sovereign power, whatever its origin, its constitution and its name, has become almost omnipotent, and individuals fall more and more into the final degree of weakness and dependency.
Everything was different in the old societies. Unity and uniformity were found nowhere. In our societies, everything threatens to become so similar, that the particular figure of each individual will soon be lost entirely in the common physiognomy. Our fathers were always ready to abuse this idea that particular rights are worthy of respect, and we are naturally led to exaggerate this other, that the interest of one individual must always yield before the interest of several.
The political world is changing; from now on we must seek new remedies for new evils.
To fix for the social power extensive, but visible and immobile limits; to give to individuals certain rights and to guarantee to them the uncontested enjoyment of these rights; to preserve for the individual the little of independence, of strength and of originality that remain to him; to raise him up beside society and sustain him in the face of it: such seems to me to be the first goal of the legislator in the age we are entering.x
It could be said that the sovereigns of today only seek to create great things with men. I would like them to think a bit more about creating great men, to attach less value to the work and more to the worker,y and to remember constantly that a nation cannot long remain strong when each man is individually weak, and that we have not yet found either social forms or political combinations that can create an energetic people by bringing together faint-hearted and soft citizens.z
I see among our contemporaries two opposite but equally fatal ideas.
Some see in equality only the anarchical tendencies that it engenders. They fear their free will; they are afraid of themselves.
The others, in smaller number, but better enlightened, have another view. Alongside the road that, starting at equality, leads to anarchy, they have finally found the path that seems to lead men invincibly toward servitude; they bend their soul in advance to this necessary servitude; and despairing of remaining free, they already adore at the bottom of their heart the master who must soon come.
The first abandon liberty because they consider it dangerous; the second because they judge it impossible.
If I had had this last belief, I would not have written the work that you have just read; I would have limited myself to bemoaning in secret the destiny of my fellow men.
I wanted to put forth in full light the risks that equality makes human independence run, because I believe firmly that these risks are the most formidable as well as the least foreseen of all those that the future holds.a But I do not believe them insurmountable.
The men who live in the democratic centuries that we are entering naturally have the taste for independence.b Naturally they bear rules with impatience: the permanence of even the state they prefer wearies them. They love power; but they are inclined to scorn and to hate the one who exercises it, and they easily escape from between his hands because of their smallness and their very mobility.
These instincts will always be found, because they emerge from the core of the social state which will not change. For a long time they will prevent any despotism from being able to become established, and they will provide new weapons to each new generation that wants to fight in favor of the liberty of men.
So let us have for the future this salutary fear that makes us vigilant and combative, and not this sort of soft and idle terror that weakens and enervates hearts.c
[a. ] The jacket that contains the manuscript of the chapter also contains Tocqueville’s working manuscript and a copy of the entire chapter written in his hand. You can read on the jacket: “Continuation of the preceding chapter./
“[In pencil] I bet that M. de C[hateaubriand? (ed.)]. did not understand this chapter.
In the plan for the fourth part included in Rubish, 1 (contained in a jacket that is found with the drafts of the chapter on material enjoyments and that bears the title how equality of ranks suggests to men the taste for liberty and for equality), the chapter on the type of despotism is followed by another with the title what must be done to turn aside this danger. Tocqueville notes to the side of the title: “This title contains the idea, but not the expression that this idea must have. The title drafted in this way would be too ambitious. It would promise more than I can keep.”
The same idea is found on the jacket that contains the manuscript: “This title means nothing at all, but all those that I want to put in its place mean too much. The only real title would be: What must be done to avoid the evils that I point out in the preceding chapters. But such a title would announce much more than the chapter can hold; in such a case, it is better to be useless than ambitious.”
[b. ] “The social state separates men, the political state must draw them closer./
“The social state gives them the taste for well-being [v: inclines them toward the earth], the political state must raise them up by giving them great ideas and great emotions” (Rubish, 2).
[c. ] From now on the atmosphere that surrounds us will be democratic, you will be able to breathe only on condition of taking up your position there.
There show how the members of the aristocracy can without haste and without delay, without pride and without servility, draw closer to the people and, abandoning the memories of another time, take a place in the present time . . .
As for those who will want to hold themselves aside, hoping to escape in this way the common destruction and to preserve for other times the elements of an aristocracy, they will soon discover that life is tiring and difficult for them. Surrounded by hostile prejudices, the butt of suspicions, forced to breathe on all sides the air of hatred, objects of pity and envy at the same time, more strangers in the country where they were born than the traveler who comes to find shelter under their roof, they will be like the Jews after the destruction of the temple; like [them (ed.)], they will constantly await a Messiah who must not come. But they will differ from the Jews on one point; they will not perpetuate themselves. An aristocracy in vain wants to outlive its grandeur and to preserve itself intact amid the ruin of the institutions that it established; it cannot succeed. And if its enemies are powerless to accomplish its ruin, it will soon take charge itself of accomplishing it. Careers that gain honors and glory are closed to its members, and they refuse to embrace professions that give or preserve wealth. So they are as if struck with immobility amid the universal movement;among a people in which all work, they are reduced to an idleness so complete that you have never seen any thing like it. Within the most aristocratic [democratic (ed.)] societies this immense and useless leisure overwhelms them. A restless boredom devours them. Since they cannot obtain the most noble pleasures of men, they seek the tumultuous and coarse enjoyments that tear them violently away from themselves, and they console themselves with horses and dogs for not being able to govern the State. They have neither the courtesy nor the energy of their ancestors; they have only preserved their pride. And you are astonished by the unimaginable sterility of the races most fruitful in great men./
At every moment the law of inheritances comes to surprise a few among them amid these obscene and unworthy leisure activities and throws them into obscurity and poverty. The solitude then becomes more profound around those who remain, the isolation more frightening, the discouragement more complete every day; a name is lost, a precious memory fades, the trace of several generations gone by disappears. New families come out of the void into which the first descend. Power, wealth and glory have forever passed into other hands.
I am profoundly convinced that it is no less impossible to establish a new aristocracy than to preserve the ruins of the former aristocracy. For my part, I cannot understand the fears that are inspired among the friends of democracy, openly or in secret, by those who intend to re-create to a certain measure ranks, privileges, hereditary rights, permanent influences. Such men are dangerous only to themselves. They only compromise the cause that they embrace and the conservative doctrines that they mix with it.
The current of the century is against them, and the day when finally they want seriously to raise the dike that is to contain it, they will immediately be swept away forever by it. So democracy has henceforth nothing to fear from its adversaries. It is from within that its corrupters and its masters will come. I do not see how its reign could be prevented from becoming established, but I easily discover what must be done to make it detestable./
What is the danger?
To flatter the feelings of democratic hate and envy and to gain power in this way.
To give equality lavishly, to take away liberty in return (YTC, CVc, pp. 55-58).
F. D. often repeats that an aristocracy is a command staff. That is a good definition. An aristocracy is not a body by itself all alone, but the head of a body. Reduced to itself it can still do brilliant things, but not great and lasting things.
This comparison of an aristocracy to a command staff was found with a rigorous exactitude in 1792. The officers being all gathered on the right of the Rhine, the soldiers remained on the left bank. This was the final demonstration of what I said above, the most striking image of the state of French society (YTC, CVa, pp. 52-53). The same idea appears in YTC, CVc, p. 55.
[d. ] In the margin of the copy of the chapter, in pencil: “I strongly persist in asking deletion.”
[e. ] “In democratic societies not only is the government stronger (illegible word) than the citizens, but also it alone has duration, foresight, extended plans, profound calculations. It surpasses the citizens as much in quality as in strength. At the next-to-last chapter. 1 September 1838” (YTC, CVk, 1, p. 23).
[f. ] In the margin: “Men who live in centuries of equality are naturally isolated and powerless; it is only by the artificial and temporary combination of their efforts that they can attain great objectives.”
[g. ] Notes on a page at the end of the manuscript of the chapter:
Necessity of a strong government, because of the weakness or the destruction of all the other social bonds that could allow a society to march all alone and to contain disorder within certain limits./
Remove all political government from an aristocracy, annul entirely the national, central power, a certain order will still be maintained there, because, exercising a certain influence on each other, individuals hold together, have the habit of immobility and keep in their place for a long time, without the political power getting involved.
[To the side] Another idea to recall here. Among democratic peoples only the government has stability, duration, extended plans, views of the future, can follow extended undertakings, all things necessary to the well-being of nations which have such a long life. Everything is unstable and fleeting among democratic peoples, outside of the government.
The same idea is expressed in a rough draft:
I confess that the government among democratic peoples is easier and more convenient than in democracies [aristocracies (ed.)], but is it better? That is the question. Is the first merit of a government to work easily? If that was so, what better than despotism and what worse than liberty? What more stable than the one? You establish it one day and it works for a thousand years. What more fragile than the other? What efforts to establish it, what (illegible word) work to (illegible word) it. See however the result of the one and the other. So the ideal of perfection must be sought elsewhere (YTC, CVk, 2, p. 54).
[j. ] Remedies to democracy indicated in the course of the book, to gather together perhaps in the first or final chapter.
[In the margin: Try to arrive at the same conclusion by another path than in political society.]
Necessity of not giving omnipotence to the majority in order not to lose the liberty to act which results naturally from a democratic social state.
Necessity of introducing liberty among a democratic people in order to give it the necessary movement toward things of the mind.
Pour out enlightenment lavishly in democratic nations in order to elevate the tendencies of the human mind. Democracy without enlightenment and liberty would lead the human species back to barbarism.
Necessity of beliefs in order to immaterialize the lives of democratic peoples.Democratic peoples can be grasped only by them. Religion is an almost non-material interest which gives celestial thoughts./
Do not adopt one social principle alone however good it seems.
Do not use one form of government alone. Stay away from acridity [unity? (ed.)] (YTC, CVk, 2, pp. 54-55).
[k. ] “Only provincial institutions can make the democratic instinct of liberty a habit” (YTC, CVd, p. 19).
[m. ] This fragment is found in the copy of the chapter.
[n. ] “As for me, all that I wish for my country is that those who aim for despotism there aim at the same time for aristocracy” (YTC, CVd, p. 25).
[o. ] In a jacket with rough drafts of the chapter which bears the title idea of aristocratic persons:
Possibility of creating within a democratic people aristocratic persons, means of uniting in part the advantages of the two systems.
What I mean by aristocratic persons are permanent and legal associations such as cities, cantons, departments, or voluntary and temporary associations such as, I suppose, in literature, the Norman association; in industry, the company of Messageries;in politics, the society “Aide-toi le ciel t’aidera.” These associations are cited as examples and not as models.
This would have one part of the advantages of aristocracy properly speaking without its disadvantages.
That would not establish permanent inequality and .-.- the injustices that .-.-.-; it would not elevate .-.- certain men above .-.- all the rest . . .
It would create powerful individuals capable of great efforts, of vast projects, of firm resistance; it would bind men together in another way, but as tightly as aristocracy. It would make the species greater and would elevate thought....(Rubish, 2).
On the question of associations for Tocqueville, see: Renato Cavallaro, “Dall’individualismo al controllo democratico: aspetti del pensiero di Alexis de Tocqueville sull’associazionismo volontario,” Critica Sociologica, 28, 1973-1974, pp. 99-125; William H. George, “Montesquieu and De Tocqueville and Corporative Individualism,” American Political Science Review 16, no. 1 (1922): 10-21; Georges Gojat, “Les corps inter-médiaires et la décentralisation dans l’oeuvre de Tocqueville,” in Libéralisme, tradition-alisme, décentralisation (Paris: Armand Colin, 1952), pp. 1-43; and José María Sauca Cano, La ciencia de la asociación de Tocqueville (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Constitucionales, 1995).
[p. ] In the margin: “The entire style of this chapter is defective and to review, but the thoughts are so difficult that at this moment I can only concern myself with them.”
[q. ] In the margin: “The weaker individuals are, the stronger the courts must be.”
[r. ] With the rough drafts of this chapter, you find a fragment on forms, poorly drafted, and which seems to be in the hand of Louis de Kergorlay. See note u of p. 1273 and note g of p. 750. A note in the rubish mentions: “I had a good conversation with Louis about this entire subject; look at it again” (Rubish, 2).
[s. ] “All peoples who have done great things for liberty have had the taste [v: the faith] and I could almost say superstition for forms./
“Forms are not liberty, but they are its body” (Rubish, 2).
[t. ] [The beginning is missing (ed.)] that the confidence in the idea of the right of reason that is spreading each day, do you not notice that each day the idea of fact and of force replaces it, and what is the final and legitimate representative of force, if not the soldier?
[To the side: Do you not see that with equality without liberty we are marching toward a singular servitude and toward an inevitable barbarism? And if you see all these things, what are you doing?]
Do you not see that opinions are dividing more quickly than patrimonies, that each man is enclosing himself narrowly within his own mind, like the farm laborer in his field?
[To the side: Do you not see that souls are falling lower and that the love of liberty, this great and noble passion of man, is deserting him?]
That egoism is constantly taking on new strength without acquiring new light?
The idea of right which is being extinguished.
That sentiments become more individual each day, and that soon men will be more separated by their beliefs than they have ever been by inequality of conditions? (YTC, CVd, pp. 19-20).
[u. ] Definition of revolutionary spirit:
taste for rapid changes,
use of violence to bring them about,
contempt for forms,
contempt for acquired rights,
indifference about the means in view of the end, doctrine of the useful,
satisfaction given to brutal appetites./
The revolutionary spirit which everywhere is the greatest enemy of liberty and is such above all among democratic peoples, because there is a natural and secret bond between it and democracy. It takes its source in the natural faults of democracy and scorns them.
A revolution can sometimes be just and necessary; it can establish liberty, but the revolutionary spirit is always detestable and can never lead to anything except to tyranny (Rubish, 2).
[v. ] In the margin of the copy: “<Where the passing sentiments that revolution suggests find themselves in sympathy with the permanent sentiments that equality gives.>”
[w. ] In the margin of the copy: “Perhaps delete that?”
[x. ] “I would very much like you to tell me what makes the grandeur of man if it is not man himself./
“Who the devil does it concern except each one of us?” (Rubish, 2).
[y. ] They limit themselves to wanting society to be great; I, man; they are interested in an ideal being, without a body; I, in God’s creature, in my fellow man./
They attach more value to the work; I, to the worker./
To raise up and to make the individual greater, constant goal of great men in democratic centuries./
This 29 January 1838 (Rubish, 2).
Another rough draft expresses the same thought:
How will we be able to understand each other? I seek to live with dignity and honor, and you only seek to live.
What you fear most from the democratic social state are the political troubles that it brings forth, and me, that is what I fear least about it. You dread democratic liberty, and I democratic despotism.
These men who, similar to domestic animals, worry little about having a master provided that the master feeds them, and who seek in life only to live.
[In the margin: Many men consider democratic civil laws as an evil and democratic political laws as another and the greatest evil; but I say that the one is the sole remedy that you can apply to the other.
All the idea of my politics is in this remark] (YTC, CVk, 2, pp. 53-54).
[z. ] The manuscript and the copy of the chapter finish here. In the margin of the manuscript you find this note:
I can and perhaps I must stop here. I see vaguely, however, that there would be something more, and more striking to add, for finally I am still speaking in all that precedes only about the interest of society and not about that of the individual himself. Now, is not all the grandeur of man in the grandeur of the individual rather than in the grandeur of society, which is an ideal being produced from the mind of man? Society is made for the individual and not the individual for society. By what a strange reversal of things would you arrive at sacrificing the individual with the view of favoring society, and what singular detachment from himself would lead this last to acquiesce in such an attempt?
[a. ] The great men of paganism have often willingly sacrificed to false gods [v: idols] in which they did not believe, because they knew that peoples could imagine only under this crude image the idea of the divinity, one and supreme, belief in which is necessary to humanity.
In the same way statesmen, who know that legality is not order [v: is only the external form of order and not order], must however honor it [v: bend their knees before it] as the only permanent image of order that can be grasped by the organs of the common people [vulgarius ](Rubish, 2).
[b. ] Idea of the [blank (ed.)] to show that the taste for independence is natural to men in times of equality and why; but that it is a secondary taste almost always subordinate to the taste for power; that this natural tendency toward liberty is however our anchor of salvation; that it is by developing it and by making it practical and manly that you can hope to obtain all the good of equality without its evils (YTC, CVk, 2, p. 49).
[c. ] “It is a matter above all of proving that it is with the help of liberty that you can hope to prevent license. Everything is there. Fear must be put on the side of liberty if you want to succeed” (YTC, CVk, 2, pp. 52-53).