Tocqueville expressed his caution by writing,
“…all the able and ambitious members of a democratic community will labor unceasingly to extend the powers of government, because they all hope at some time or other to wield those powers themselves. It would be a waste of time to attempt to prove to them that extreme centralization may be injurious to the state, since they are centralizing it for their own benefit.”
“[The sovereign] extends its arms about society as a whole. It covers its surface with a network of petty regulations--complicated, minute, and uniform--through which even the most original minds and the most vigorous souls know not how to make their way past the crowd and emerge into the light of day. It does not break wills; it softens them, bends them and directs them. Rarely does it force one to act but it constantly opposes itself to one's acting on one's own. It does not destroy, it prevents things from being born, it extinguishes, it stupefies and finally, it will reduce each nation to nothing more than a herd of timid, and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd.”
“The very next notion to that of a single and central power which presents itself to the minds of men in the ages of equality is the notion of uniformity of legislation.As every man sees that he differs but little from those about him, he cannot understand why a rule that is applicable to one man should not be applicable to all others. Hence the slightest privileges are repugnant to his reason; the faintest dissimilarities in the political institutions of the same people offend him, and uniformity of legislation appears to him to be the first condition of good government.”
“The imposition of the income tax was a green light for unbridled growth of the central government by allowing politicians to confiscate willy-nilly the property of individuals — and especially the property of the most productive citizens.
“...to an ever-increasing degree, our compatriots are subject to what Tocqueville described as "an immense tutelary power which takes sole charge of assuring their enjoyment and of watching over their fate." As he predicted, this power is "absolute, attentive to detail, regular, provident and gentle," and it "works willingly for their happiness, it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their needs, guides them in their principal affairs, directs their industry, regulates their testaments, divides their inheritances." It is entirely proper to ask whether it can "relieve them entirely of the trouble of thinking and of the effort associated with living," for such is evidently its aim."
“I am of the opinion that, in the democratic ages which are opening upon us, the individual independence and local liberties will ever be the products of art; that centralization will be the natural government”.