Since Nov 20, 2000
The habit of undue interference by government in private affairs breeds the habit of undue reliance upon government in private affairs. Weaken individual character among a people by comfortable reliance upon paternal government and a nation soon becomes incapable of free self government and fit only to be governed; the higher and nobler qualities of national life that make for ideals and effort and achievement become atrophied and the nation is decadent.
-- Elihu Root, Experiments in Government and the Essentials of the Constitution
After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
-- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America