"there is no true power among men except in the free union of their will; and patriotism [(patriotisme)] and religion [(religion)] are the only true motives in the world that can long urge all the people towards the same end.
"Laws cannot rekindle an extinguished faith [(les croyances)], but men may be interested by the laws in the fate of their country. It depends upon the laws to awaken and direct the vague impulse of patriotism [(la patrie)], which never abandons the human heart; and if it be connected with the thoughts, the passions, and the daily habits of life, it may be consolidated into a durable and rational sentiment. Let it not be said that it is too late to make the experiment; for nations do not grow old as men do, and every fresh generation is a new people ready for the care of the legislator."
Alexis de Tocqueville,
Democracy in America I (1835).I.V.13 ("Political effects of decentralized
administration in the United States"), trans. Henry Reeve, with revisions by
Francis Bowen and Phillips Bradley ((New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997), vol.
1, p. 93-94); Œuvres, ed. André Jardin (Bibliothèque de la Pléiade), II (De la démocratie en Amérique), ed. Jean-Claude Lamberti and James T. Schleifer (Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1992), 105.
"patriotism and religion are the only true motives in the world that can long urge all the people towards the same end", but only patriotism can be inculcated by legislation?
The context is a discussion of the benefits of decentralization, the careless usufruction unworthy of free men, liberty, and absolutism ("religion, and not fear, has been ever been the cause of the long-lived prosperity of an absolute government").
"religion, and not fear, has been ever been the cause of the long-lived prosperity of an absolute government": this contra Montesquieu (De l'esprit des lois I.iii.1-11), according to the Pléiade edition (p. 968).