Frank Maguire
Alexis de Tocqueville and the crisis called "democratism"
By Frank Maguire
June 9, 2010

"(Ours) is a world not of angels but of angles where men speak of moral principles but act on power principles." (Sol Alinsky, mentor of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Rules for Radicals)

"It is the sacred principles enshrined in the United Nations charter to which the American people will henceforth pledge their allegiance." President George Bush, addressing the General Assembly of the U.S., Feb. 1, 1992

"Further global progress is now possible only through the quest for universal consensus in the movement towards a New World Order." Mikhail Gorbachev, in an address to the U. N., Dec. 1988

"Our task of creating a Socialist America can only succeed when those who resist us are totally disarmed." Sara Brady, Chairman of Handgun Control, to Sen. Howard Metzenbaum,

The American Educator, 1994

"Since adopting 'shall issue (concealed carry permit)' laws, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia have had decreases in violent crime ranging from 26 to53 percent." "Brady Keeps Playing Losing Hands"
America's Freedom, June 2010

When democracy is concocted into a noxious admixture of faction and fiction, it is a deadly toxin. It is not, then, a salve for America's current rash of ailments. It is, instead, a corrosive.

America was formed to be a Constitutional Republic. "Democracy" was deliberately avoided, and the word does not appear in the founding documents.

John Adams wrote that "There has never been a democracy that has not committed suicide." Our nation is not being murdered. We are complicit in our destruction through ignorance and indifference. Our annihilation is more of an enemy-assisted suicide. There is no more dangerous an enemy as the enemy within...within our Nation, within our selves.

Adams further counseled that the Constitution was created for a moral people, and only a moral people can keep it alive. But we have forsaken moral consensus in America — incrementally, by desensitization to immorality. Those who have sought and gained controlling power no longer have salutary insight or foresight.

We are, also, incrementally dis-educated by agenda-driven historical revisionists; we don't, now, even have the benefit of authentic hindsight. In fact, history is a primary target of Progressivists. "Repeal the past and repeat, over and over 'Change' and 'Progress.'"

The prescient Alexis de Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America (1835), described what happens to democracies. To paraphrase: Thinking causes undesired discomfort and the people favor perpetual amusement: "A-musement!" Literally, "to not think." We have degenerated into a culture of bread and circuses — what Roman satirist Juvenal called "Panem et circenses."

In Democracy in America, in the chapter entitled "What Sort of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear," de Tocqueville foresaw a ruling power that would be "absolute, minute, regular, provident and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its subject was to prepare men for manhood; but, it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood; it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industries, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: What remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living."

Claes G. Ryn wrote, in the foreword to the Myth of Democracy by Tage Lindbom, Swedish-born professor of politics at the Catholic University of America (William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan/Cambridge, UK, [1996]), that "Democratism is surging in the midst of deepening social and political problems in the western world. These include precipitously falling standards of personal and public conduct, declining education, spreading political opportunism, demagoguery and corruption, social and political fragmentation, destruction of the family, rampant sexual promiscuity, drug use, and crime. Western man is displaying self-indulgence and irresponsibility on a scale that earlier generations would have deemed incompatible with liberty under law. As most individuals devote themselves to personal pleasures and creature comforts, political leaders and intellectuals contemplate ever new roles for government. Elections are increasingly empty rituals legitimating the exercise of central power."

Professor Lindbom punctuates Ryn's observation with "Modernism denies the traditional, first because it desires a 'free hand' to engage in continuous change which is usually linked with the notion of everlasting progress...."

America's current condition is a phantasm of fiction and faction. We have been repeatedly warned, but all cautions of danger-ahead come to naught when we ignore the evidence of our own eyes and ears.

Suggested Reading: Hope of the Wicked, by Ted Flynn, MaxKol Communications, Inc. © 2000

The Myth of Democracy, by Tage Lindbom, William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, Cambridge U.K. (1996)

© Frank Maguire


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Frank Maguire

(Frank Maguire passed away on May 19, 2021. His obituary can be read here.

Frank Maguire was born in Dorchester, MA, 1938, attended schools in Massachusetts, California, and Arizona, where he completed degrees in music and English writing/Journalism. Frank has been married to Helen Isabel Maguire Estevez of Culver City, California, since 1957. They have six children, 14 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.


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