Modern Political Thought
Tocqueville’s Thoughts on Democracy 3
TOCQUEVILLE’S THOUGHTS ON DEMOCRACY
Tocqueville’s Thoughts on Democracy
In his conclusions, Tocqueville considers the problems facing the U.S. democracy. Many of the challenges are founded in societal tendencies and attitudes, but there also exists a few difficulties in the institutions. For instance, the dominance of legislative power. Given that the legislature is mostly the representative of the people’s will, democracies incline to accord it the most power in all branches of the government. Tocqueville seems to think that democracy represents the success of a particular victory of a certain type of man and that it will regenerate the same kind to segregating others. The affinity of equality is a characteristic attribute of humans, but all men are not considered as equal such. Thus, the insight of Tocqueville’s into the form of modern democracy comes from a perspective, which is dissimilar from the very own perspective of democracy. However, his comprehension of the essentially repressive attribute of democracy does not suggest that he considers democracy as immoral.
, p. 662 – 663). In this manner, it enhances the human’s right to life. Given the mildness experienced in this kind of governance, it has a higher likelihood of falling into Democratic despotism as opposed to authoritarian despotism. Moreover, the individualism and materialism of democratic persons is likely to make way for despotic governance. In his imaginations for a society ready for despotism, Tocqueville states that he sees an countless multitude of men, equal and identical regularly revolving around in search of the banal and petty desires with which they fill their souls. Each of the people withdrawn into himself, is nearly unaware of the other people’s fate. This kind of people have an extreme protective power over them, which is solely responsible for ensuring their pleasure and watching over their destiny. The kind of government implied here is far from unkind, yet it mildly usurps the domain of free action and insistently diminishes the space for humans to enjoy their free will. It is favourable to equality and to material comfort. For the reasons, Tocqueville comments that equality has set people for all this, disposing them to tolerate it and quite often consider it as helpful. Tocqueville 2002, p. 662 – 663). It is not cruel or violent; neither does it ‘torment’ those within it. Rather, it takes responsibility for supervising the fate of men and providing their security (Tocqueville 2002democratic despotism, the liberty, estate and life of the citizen are guaranteed by the sovereign’s protective arm. Concerning the first constituent of property, Tocqueville openly considers democratic despotism as a ‘peaceful’ and ‘mild’ kind form of government, which, in dissimilarity to the Caesars, does not deprive the possessions or lives of people arbitrarily (Within , p. 640). The issue represents a kind of political bondage inherent in ‘centuries of equality’, which propelled the matter. Tocqueville 2002According to Tocqueville, one of the many challenges, which affect democracy (the principal evil’), is democratic despotism (
Tocqueville hypothesizes that it would be milder and more prevalent and that it would degrade men as opposed to tormenting them. The reason for the people to allow themselves to exist in these kinds of situations is that even though they value liberty, they also desire guidance, equality and uniformity. To attain these things, centralization is unified with the people’s sovereignty, which gives them the opportunity to relax. Thus, they console themselves for their situation under the schoolmasters by believing that they have made their personal choices. Every person lets them put on the collar for he perceives that it is not an individual, or a group of persons, but the society itself that holds the close of the chain. democracies face the danger of a trivial despotism in past times past whereby leaders are not dictators but of schoolmasters. Tocqueville thinks that . Tocqueville attempts to renew the instinct of men for greatness shows his trial to revitalize contemporary political life by return to Machiavelli’s original thought. The centre of this attempt is Tocqueville’s realization of the importance of man’s ‘political passion,’ grounded in pride, versus his desire for material benefit
Thus, the weaknesses of democracy are obvious, but the benefits can only be experienced in the longer term. Legislations in America are usually incomplete or defective. The laws of democracy incline toward the good of the highest number. However, an aristocracy is more accomplished in legislation. However, the lack of skill in a democracy is not fatal, because errors are retrievable. Moreover, the people keep watching on the activities of their lawmakers and ensure that they do not deviating from the interests of the majority. Lawmakers may not be greatly skilful, but they would never follow paths that are hostile to the majority. This kind of subjection is mainly focused in petty affairs and particulars of everyday life. It appears less severe, but heavily erodes the people’s ability to use their free will and even their capacity to reason for themselves. , p. 664).Tocqueville 2002(The situation in the democratic despotism would appear like a situation in which there are many equal residents completely immersed in pursuing their individual comforts and material gain completely indifferent to the other members of the society. Above the men is a powerful protective power that gives them security and guarantees their happiness. In such a state, free choice becomes fainter. They allow this to continue because of the sovereignty of the people and, therefore, they think that the policies of the government policies represent their individual choices
All the movements and revolutions in Europe that occurred in the previous fifty years have been identical in that they have eliminated or decreased secondary powers and augmented the centralization of their regimes. Within the democracies, even religion in danger of coming under the control of government. The state has also augmented its economic influence through government-moderated central banks. The power and independence of the judiciary being undermined at this time. As states become industrialized, the government’s power also increases because it has to deliver an appropriate infrastructure. Many steady dynasties have been ousted, and their power appears to be diminishing, yet at the same time the central government is becoming more powerful. precisely, his concept of democracy does not delimit the perspective of human nature and proceeds to derive repercussions for the political society order. Indeed, he goes as deeper as to deny of presenting any argument that shows the fact that democracy is the most conducive aspect of the regime and in human nature. Another problem with democracy is that the sovereign powers are increasing in states of Europe but the sovereigns are becoming less stable. Tocqueville, democracy in America does not encompass the form of a treatise. More According to
n democratic revolts, the people desire liberty to create equality. Upon the establishment of equality, the freedom became harder to attain and preserve. Americans are regularly establishing associations of every kind. Given that residents within democratic societies are weak and autonomous, they ought to establish associations to have some influence. It is tremendously helpful to democratic life that residents establish such powerful associations because it fights individualism and disseminates new ideas and thoughts. Associations substitute the place of influential persons whom equality of conditions is lacking. Tocqueville’s focus is on the major theme of the difficulties encountered in maintaining liberty with the mounting equality of conditions. Usually, i
emocratic despotism is precisely because it is not as clear as despotism by one ruler and because it is impeccably compatible with the majority’s rule. Democratic despotism is not an ambiguity in terms. Given that democracy as a term indicates the rulers while despotism indicates the amount of power the ruler holds. Thus, when the majority has absolute power and the people rule, there comes a democratic despotism. This kind of despotism is very dissimilar in character from outmoded kinds of despotism. Whenever all are identical, the individual drops significance in relation to the entire society. Given that the state’s power comes from the residents, democratic persons see no necessity to limit it. Democratic persons are also lured by simple, common ideas and the homogeneity of central influence. The danger of dAccording to Tocqueville, democracies are in danger because the notions of democratic peoples about government seem to favour the concentration of political influence.
Tocqueville has recommended some ways to combat the challenges of these problems in his entire book i.e. freedom of religion, local self-government, association, a free press, and a robustly independent judiciary. Given that the American society has these attributes, which assist in liberty preservation and because the people of the country possess a deep and natural-grounded taste for freedom, it is possible to avert the degeneration of the democracy of America into despotism. Nonetheless, it is mandatory to guard liberty and to ensure the sustenance of the institutions and others, which assist to preserve it while focussing on the future with the constructive fear that ensures they keep watch for freedom.
freedom of religion, local self-government, association, a free press, and a robustly independent judiciary. Ultimately, it is mandatory to guard liberty and to ensure the sustenance of the institutions and others, including which affects democracy (the ‘principal evil’), is democratic despotism. The issue represents a kind of political bondage inherent in ‘centuries of equality.’ The issue is as such not cruel or violent nor does it ‘torment’ those within it instead it takes responsibility for supervising the fate of men and providing their security. The mildness experienced in this kind of governance has a higher likelihood of falling into democratic despotism. People allow themselves to exist in these kinds of situations because although they value liberty, they also desire guidance, equality and uniformity. Finally, Tocqueville has recommended some ways to combat the challenges A major challenge, Tocqueville considers that the many problems facing the U.S. democracy are founded in societal tendencies and attitudes, but there also exists a few difficulties in the institutions. The author seems to believe that democracy represents the success of a particular victory of a certain type of man and that it will regenerate the same kind to segregating others.To sum up,
Tocqueville, A 2002. Democracy in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.