One of Those Phrases

“The national will is one of those phrases that intriguers in all times and despots in all ages have most abundantly abused. Some have seen the expression of that will in the purchased suffrage of a few hirelings of power; others in the votes of an interested or fearful minority. Indeed, some have even divined it fully articulated in the people’s silence and have believed that from the fact of obedience arises the right for them to command.” Tocqueville, Democracy in America (Goldhammer Translation, p. 62)


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