“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
The police operation to detain the two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo attack is underway Friday, with the three-day manhunt focused on a town 50 kilometres from Paris. The suspects are now surrounded and have reportedly taken at least one hostage.
The suspects - brothers Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34 - are thought to have taken one hostage at a small printing shop in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele in the Seine-et-Marne region, around 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) from Paris' main airport Charles De Gaulle.
Shots were fired earlier on Friday north-east of Paris as police chased a car believed to contain the suspects, but there were no casualties.
The two brothers are suspected of killing 12 people at the Paris-based satirical weekly - eight journalists, two police officers, a maintenance worker, and a visitor. 11 people were also wounded - four of them seriously.
Nine people have so far been detained in the search for the brothers.