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Monday, July 11, 2011

Prescient

By Michael Fonda, Chicago

After golf yesterday afternoon, one of my golfing buddies asked me what I was reading. I told him that in addition to Money & Power, How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World, I am also reading Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America.

That evening I discovered this little gem in de Tocqueville's book (which was written in 1840).

"China appears to me to present the most perfect instance of that species of well-being which a completely central administration may furnish to the nations among which it exists. Travelers assure us that the Chinese have peace without happiness, industry without improvement, stability without strength, and public order without public morality. The condition of society is always tolerable, never excellent. I am convinced that, when China is opened to European observation, it will be found to contain the most perfect model of a central administration which exists in the universe."

Ponder that!

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