more from Alexis de Tocqueville

Single Idea 22676

[catalogued under 24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 1. A People / c. A unified people]

Full Idea

The people in themselves are only individuals; and the special reason why they need to be united under one government is that they may appear to advantage before foreigners.

Gist of Idea

The people are just individuals, and only present themselves as united to foreigners


Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America (abr Renshaw) [1840], 1.07)

Book Reference

Tocqueville,Alexis de: 'Democracy in America (abridged)', ed/tr. Renshaw,Patrick [Wordsworth 1998], p.53

A Reaction

I take this to be an observation on 1830s America, rather than a universal truth. It fits modern western societies rather well though.