Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tocqueville: Taking Domestic Liberty Through War Powers

My annual Theory Camp is reading Tocqueville's Democracy in America.

Tocqueville says that democracy calls for a new kind of political science. He rarely talks about that science directly in the rest of the book - except for this point:

“All who seek to destroy liberty in a democratic nation should know that war offers them the surest and shortest route to success. This is the first axiom of science.”

I think the truth of this point has been shown many times, most recently by the massive expansion of the government's power to spy on American citizens that was instituted by a "small-government conservative" administration as part of the "war on terror."

As interesting, though, is that Tocqueville's one direct reference to making a new political science in Democracy in America is to how to scientifically destroy liberty.

No comments: