12 April 2007


"Tocqueville suspected that the greatest danger to freedom was not a state which prevented men from exercising liberty, but one which encouraged them to refuse the burdens of action."

-- Bruce James Smith, Politics & Remembrance: Republican Themes in Machiavelli, Burke, and Tocqueville, n. 106, p. 240

While there is something of "two sides of the same coin" present here, this way of looking at the issue underscores the perniciousness of tyranny. It is not simply that the tyrant acts like a tyrant; the tyrant also fosters a society where political, etc. culture is so weak that it numbs any "instinct" to overthrow the tyrant's rule.

1 comment:

VM said...

although this doesn't fit here, it fits with some stuff you were noting the other day (how we have positions then retro fit a set of facts to our positions) - here's a lecture on a topic that's very similar.