From Volume Two, Part Two, Chapter 1 of Democracy in America, on “Why Democratic Peoples Show a More Ardent and More Lasting Love for Equality than for Freedom”:
Political freedom in its excesses is able to compromise the tranquility, the patrimony, the lives of particular persons—and one encounters no men so limited and so flighty as not to realize this. On the contrary, only attentive and clairvoyant people perceive the perils with which equality threatens us, and ordinarily they avoid pointing them out. They know that the miseries they fear are remote, and flatter themselves that they will overtake only generations to come, which the present generation scarcely worries about. The evils that freedom brings are sometimes immediate; they are visible to all, and all more or less feel them. The evils that extreme equality can produce become manifest only little by little; they insinuate themselves into the social body; one sees them only now and then, and at the moment when they have become most violent, habit has already made them no longer felt.
The goods that freedom brings show themselves only in the long term, and it is always easy to fail to recognize the cause that gives birth to them.
In other words, to adapt to our current time, too many people think the world of Harrison Bergeron is just an exaggerated short story remotely possible in the distant future, when in fact it has become present reality.
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