Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot.
 Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835). copy citation

Author Alexis de Tocqueville
Source Democracy in America
Topic faith government liberty despotism
Date 1835
Language English
Note Translated by Henry Reeve


“But there are others who look forward to the republican form of government as a tranquil and lasting state, towards which modern society is daily impelled by the ideas and manners of the time, and who sincerely desire to prepare men to be free. When these men attack religious opinions, they obey the dictates of their passions to the prejudice of their interests. Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot. Religion is much more necessary in the republic which they set forth in glowing colors than in the monarchy which they attack; and it is more needed in democratic republics than in any others. How is it possible that society should escape destruction if the moral tie be not strengthened in proportion as the political tie is relaxed?” source

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