Ironically, Jouvenel observed, what made the state so dangerous in modern times was precisely what to most people gave to it its legitimacy: democracy. To many, this recognition of the dark side of democracy rendered Jouvenel’s thought suspect, at best.Professor Frohnen writes further:
The greatest danger in democratic times, Jouvenel (like Tocqueville) saw, was the emptying out of society of all the institutions and communities in which people actually live. The resulting landscape of atomized individuals and the state, the mode of society propounded by too many who claim to seek the protection of individual “rights,” would spell the end of liberty, and of any decent social order. Too often overlooked by many libertarians, the “makeweights” of social institutions (including, of course, the church) were necessary for both human flourishing itself and for the cabining of political power within the bounds necessary for any decent society.