Alexis de Tocqueville

Revenge of the Neo-Jacobins

Some mock America’s statue-smashers as ignoramuses who do not know what they are doing or why. But there are very good reasons why we see monuments cast down all over the West, including the United States. Let’s not wave this off as mindless stupidity. The radical rule is that the more you destroy, the more [...]

Bring Back the Blue Laws

In the United States on the seventh day of the week, trade and industry seem suspended throughout the nation; all noise ceases. A deep peace, or rather a sort of solemn contemplation, takes its place. The soul regains its own domain and devotes itself to meditation. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote these words in his 1835 [...]

Where Are America’s Habits of the Heart?

The present state of chaos is puzzling, especially for conservatives. Everything would seem to be in place for success. So much favors the conservative cause. Conservatives have plenty of political power since the powers of government are in their hands. The victory in November went beyond Washington and extended to all levels of government—especially the [...]

Faces of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty used to be the face America projected to the world. A gift from the people of France in 1886 and an emblem of how Americans saw themselves and how they wanted to be seen by the world. Liberte eclairant le monde is the name given the statue—"Liberty enlightening the world." The [...]

A Tocquevillian Argument Against Contraception

The recent high-profile controversies touched off by the HHS Mandate have elicited excellent debate regarding the meaning, importance, and application of the American idea of religious liberty. They have not, however, elicited any substantial debate regarding the rational grounds for opposing the use of contraception in itself. In the numerous conversations I have had on [...]

The Good and Bad of Democracy

I’ve been rereading Alexis de Tocqueville’s masterful Democracy in America.  This book, written in the first half of the nineteenth century by a French aristocrat for his countrymen, remains standard reading for American college students and even some of their professors.  In a way it is too bad that we tend to read it as [...]

MENU