Sunday, April 21, 2013

"Public opinion does not change this fast in free societies. Either opinion is not changing as fast as it appears to be, or society is not as free."


"Public opinion does not change this fast in free societies. Either opinion is not changing as fast as it appears to be, or society is not as free."

     Christopher Caldwell, 2013.

"the most absolute monarchs in Europe cannot prevent certain opinions hostile to their authority from circulating in secret throughout their dominions and even in their courts.  It is not so in America; as long as the majority is still undecided, discussion is carried on; but as soon as its decision is irrevocably pronounced, everyone is silent, and the friends as well as the opponents of the measure unite in assenting to its propriety. . . . I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America."

     Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835.  Cf. "I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world [(Je veux imaginer sous quels traits nouveaux le despotisme pourrait se produire dans le monde)]" (II.iv.6; Pleiade, p. 836).

"freedom of opinion does not exist in America."

     Ibid., p. 265.

     Cf. http://liberlocorumcommunium.blogspot.com/2013/07/intellectual-dust.html.

2 comments:

I.M Fletcher said...

I think your quote is by Christopher Caldwell, although it comes from an online review of Michael J Klarman's book. See article HERE. Author of article's name (Caldwell) at top right.

Steve Perisho said...

Thank you! A stupid oversight.