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would be attributing to me a very narrow view of things.
A multitude of the opinions, sentiments, and instincts which belong to our times owe their origin to circumstances which have nothing to do with the principle of equality, or are even hostile to it. Thus, taking the United States for example, I could easily prove that the nature of the country, the origin of its inhabitants, the religion of the early settlers, their acquired knowledge, their previous habits, have exercised, and still do exercise, independently of democracy, an immense influence upon their modes of thought and feeling. Other causes, equally independent of the principle of equality, would be found in Europe, and would explain much of what is passing there.
I recognize the existence and the efficiency of all these various causes; but my subject does not lead me to speak of them. I have not undertaken to point out the origin and nature of all our inclinations and all our ideas; I have only endeavored to show how far both of them are affected by the equality of men's conditions.
As I am firmly convinced that the democratic revolution which we are now beholding is an irresistible fact, against which it would be neither desirable nor prudent to contend, some persons perhaps may be surprised that, in the course of this book, I have often applied language of strong censure to the democratic communities which this
revolution has created. The simple reason is, that precisely because I was not an opponent of democracy, I wished to speak of it with all sincerity. Men will not receive the truth from their enemies, and it is very seldom offered to them by their friends; on this very account, I have frankly uttered it. I believed that many persons would take it upon themselves to inform men of the benefits which they might hope to receive from the establishment of equality, whilst very few would venture to point out from afar the dangers with which it would be attended. It is principally towards these dangers, therefore, that I directed my gaze; and, believing that I had clearly discerned what they are, it would have been cowardice to say nothing about them.
I hope the same impartiality will be found in this second work which people seemed to observe in its predecessor. Placed between the conflicting opinions which divide my countrymen, I have endeavored for the time to stifle in my own bosom the sympathy or the aversion that I felt for either. If the readers of my book find in it a single phrase intended to flatter either of the great parties which have agitated our country, or any one of the petty factions which in our day harass and weaken it, let them raise their voices and accuse me.
The subject which I wished to cover by my investigations is immense ; for it includes most of the feelings and opinions produced by the new
condition of the world's affairs. Such a subject certainly exceeds my strength, and in the treatment of it I have not been able to satisfy myself. But though I could not reach the object at which I aimed, my readers will at least do me the justice to believe, that I conceived and followed out the undertaking in a spirit which rendered me worthy of success.
CONTENTS OF VOL. II.
INFLUENCE OF DEMOCRACY UPON THE ACTION OF INTELLECT
IN THE UNITED STATES.
GENERAL IDEAS THAN THEIR FOREFATHERS, THE ENGLISH .
FOR GENERAL IDEAS IN POLITICAL AFFAIRS.
INDEFINITE PERFECTIBILITY OF MAN
CRATIC PEOPLE CAN HAVE NO APTITUDE AND NO TASTE FOR
TO THEORETICAL SCIENCE
USEFUL IN DEMOCRATIC COMMUNITIES