"Look where you will, you will never find true power among men except in the free concurrence of their wills.""He(the American) trusts fearlessly in his own powers, which seem to him sufficient for everything. Suppose that an individual thinks of some enterprise, and that enterprise has a direct bearing on the welfare of society; it does not come into his head to appeal to public authority for its help. He publishes his plan, offers to carry it out, summons other individuals to aid his efforts, and personally struggles against all obstacles. No doubt he is often less successful than the state would have been in his place, but in the long run the sum of all private undertakings far surpasses anything the government might have done."
I am persuaded that in that case the collective force of the citizens will always be better able to achieve social prosperity than the authority of the government.
China seems to offer the classic example of the sort of social prosperity with which a very centralized administration can provide a submissive people. Travelers tells us that the Chinese have tranquillity without happiness, industry without progress, stability without strength, and material order without public morality. With them society always gets along fairly well, never very well.