Tocqueville’s Critique of Socialism (1848)

Source: New Individualist Review, editor-in-chief Ralph Raico, introduction by Milton Friedman (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1981). Chapter: Tocqueville on Socialism

NOTHING CAN be gained by not discussing issues which call into question the very roots of our society and which, sooner or later, must be faced. At the bottom of the amendment which is under consideration, perhaps unknown to its author but for me as clear as day, is the question of socialism. [Prolonged Sensation—Murmurs from the Left.]

Yes, gentlemen, sooner or later, the question of socialism, which everyone seems to fear and which no one, up to now, has dared treat of, must be brought into the open, and this Assembly must decide it. We are duty-bound to clear up this issue, which lies heavy upon the breast of France. I confess that it is principally because of this that I mount the podium today, that the question of socialism might finally be settled. I must know, the National Assembly must know…

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Is not the narrow class of ruling elite marching us down this path now?  Have not they said to us you cannot be trusted to know what is best for you the individual and family?  Is the treatment of the financial, mortgage, and auto  industries not an example of the future we face in the loss our own self determination, liberty and property?

Tocqueville speaks of the elements certain, and ever present in socialism-

  • Class envy or materialistic envy
  • Attacks upon even the idea of private property
  • The utter opposition to individual liberty and individual reasoning

As Obamas running mate, Joe Biden was asked about socialism, which he answered indignantly by asking back  if the reporter had a serious question for him.

The socialists never want to claim what they really own,they try to hide the ideology with clever words,  for they know it would stop them cold if America were to know their intent.

It is becoming clearer every day, we are being marched down the socialist path to serfdom!

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