When talking about the government, Paine says that it is “a necessary evil”, he later states that governments sole purpose lies in “restraining our vices” (Paine p1). He believes that if everyone acted morally and were honest with one another, then there would be no need for a central government. However, Paine knows that not everyone is honest nor perfect in their actions, he also knows that with no government America would surely fall into
American Exceptionalism was coined by Alexis de Tocqueville in his book Democracy in America. To illustrate how the American way of thought is superior to the other ways of the world, Tocqueville expresses that the American way of thought is distinctively unique and special. This distinction is exemplified through liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism, and Laissez-Faire Economics. These qualities prove America’s exceptionality and difference from other countries. Although American Exceptionalism originated in the early 1800s, the idyllic values Tocqueville paints in his book can be seen throughout American history. Specifically, in the 1960s, a decade where de Tocqueville’s defining characteristics of American Exceptionalism are
Governments are an established institution in every society. Though there are multiple types of governments, their purpose is fundamental to determining the influence on a civilization. Thomas Paine opposes the ideology of government, stating that, “Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil,” (Paine 3). Essentially, the purpose of government is to protect people from preforming vices, and defend their natural right to Locke’s ideology of life, liberty and property. Without government, coercion would occur, and destroy one’s ability to express their natural rights. For America, Paine believes that the establishment of a strong fundamental government could allow for the cohesion of citizens to form a society respected by other nations
The American government acts as the beating heart of the body. The heart allows blood to flow throughout the whole system. Without a heart, blood would remain unable to move as a collective whole. Both authority and its citizens must work simultaneously; one cannot function without the other. Jefferson expands upon the symbiotic relationship and reveals the ideal partnership between the people’s rights and the state. “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” (Jefferson, 1776/2014, para. 2). Authority should not reside over individuals, but with them. A heart cannot run a body alone. Likewise, a government does not operate a nation by itself. Individuals help maintain the justice of authority. To prosper in a just and moral way, America must stand united. Thoreau demonstrates the accountability between the two parties: “The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted” (Thoreau, 1849/1998, p. 127). The people who compose a nation must not be complacent and inactive. Inactivity prevents progress. Immobile people personify immobile blood. What good is stagnant blood? For the heart to function, the blood must stay in motion, fueling the body. Similarly, Americans’ require a government and their
In “Perspectives on the Presidency” from The Presidency in a Separated System, Charles O. Jones argues that the United States government is not merely influenced and led by the president. Jones argues in favor of the United States having a separated system, rather than a presidential system. In this separated system, the role of the president varies, depending on resources and strategy. Jones proceeds to discuss two types of perspectives of the president; the Dominant Perspective and the Alternative Perspective. In the Dominant Perspective, political parties are stronger than they normally are in a system of separated elections, the opposing party acts as a critic of the party in power, and the president is, idealistically, aggressive. However,
This source depicts an authoritarian or totalitarian view of what a governing body should look like. The author suggests that the primary objective of government should be the “control of the citizens”, and therefore that the individuals should entirely obey said government. This ideology is counter to that of liberalism as it infringes on the natural rights of its citizens, and it is undemocratic as this society would not have the consent of the governed as a whole. Furthermore, counters the rule of law because the author believes the authority should never be challenged, and therefore the author suggests that the authority is exempt of these laws. A thinker such as Hobbes would agree with the author of this source as he believed that without a strong government it would lead to nation wide chaos, such as that that the author describes through the use of the phrase, “A society that allows authority to be challenged will never succeed.”. Additionally, Locke would disagree with all parts of this source, as he believed that individuals know for themselves what is best and therefore should have the freedom to make their own decisions. For the second sentence of this source Locke and Rousseau would both disagree as they believed that consent of the governed was vital to society, which directly contradicts the authors issues with the challenging
He puts forward the idea of “freedom of opinion” (Tocqueville 106) and constitutes it as “independence of mind and real freedom of discussion” (Tocqueville 104). Unlike Locke, this stretches far beyond what is done. Tocqueville is careful to differentiate this liberty from the freedom of speech, as this freedom from opinion is more meant to indicate the freedom to follow different paths of thought and not be unfairly judged for it. Once again, it is the majority who suppresses this in Tocqueville’s opinion, as scorn and persecution for unwanted opinions permeate throughout society (Tocqueville 105). Tocqueville’s entanglement of liberty and what is right means that a majority’s limitation of liberty is unjust, while Locke’s concept of liberty means it must necessarily be restrained by a majority in order to protect the principle aim of government, to protect
The primary source is Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, published in 1835 with the purpose of describing American way of life in the 1800s. Tocqueville’s point of view comes from his own aristocratic life in France. The late 1700s and early 1800s were a very turbulent time in France’s history, due to the political and social disturbances caused by the French Revolution. Thus, when he comes to America Tocqueville contrasts the American democracy with the forms of government he familiar with in Europe. The message he is trying to send to his French audience is how a proper democracy works. He saw how the government in France was in shambles; thus, he wanted to discuss what allowed
In modern society, people have seen many different types of government and made movies concerning them. The question that human kind keeps on asking is how much control the government should have over the people since it affects people in all aspects: economic, political, social, environmental, and others. In “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, the government in the science-fiction society controls the citizens’ freedom in order to remain in power.
Starting in 1828 the United States experienced the “Jacksonian Era”, where Andrew Jackson, the first recognized democratic president, lead our country. His time of rule is often looked at as of time of “democratization of politics.” This means that the government was becoming representatives of the people's voice, and this is exactly what Jackson believed in. He showed his democratic beliefs through many things throughout his presidency. The democratization of politics is very evident in the Jacksonian Era through things such as voting, Indian removal, and being financially in favor of the people’s wants and needs individually, rather than as a whole, because although many times he was harsh in his ways, his end goal was to ensure the people
One of the themes of 1984 by George Orwell is how it represents living in a dictatorship. There are many troubles that come with living in a dictatorship. In the book, everyone is ruled by a dictator called Big Brother. No one knows if he is real or not, but he makes all of the rules. An example from the book about dictatorship is, “Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull. (27)” This shows dictatorship because a dictator wants complete control of its people, just like Big Brother wants control of his people. This says that Big Brother and the party have almost full control over their people, but they still have their brains that are there own. In a dictatorship, no one has freedom except for the dictator himself. This is also true in 1984 because one of the main slogans of
Common Sense was published anonymously before America’s independence. It was an instant success and was quickly available in all thirteen colonies. Britain’s high taxes, particularly the Stamp and Sugar Acts, and America’s lack of representation in their own government had frustrated many colonists. The author of the pamphlet, Thomas Paine, argued for immediate independence from Britain. He framed government as nothing but a necessary evil to protect humanity from its own vices, and said that it should only be judged by its ability to protect life, liberty, and property. Since the government’s only responsibility should be for the people, he argued that the people should have power in their government. Much of what Paine said about America’s
De Tocqueville doesn 't view liberty as an attribute part of the democratic era. He believes that the only character that is associated with this era is equality. He explains in his theory that people of this era prize equality over liberty, although he doesn 't deny that democratic people value liberty, because everyone can take part in it and enjoy it effortlessly, as opposed to liberty where you have to "sacrifice" to achieve it (De Tocqueville, 1835). He holds that equality creates individualism, which means people separate themselves from one another, their ancestors and the future generations, that leads to tyranny and despotism. On the contrary, he claims that during the aristocratic ages, people were not selfish and careless about others ' needs because "aristocracy links everybody, from peasant to king" (De Tocqueville, 1835). Marx, equally, believes that the outcome of industrial capitalism is alienation of the proletariat, the working class, from their society.
“I have tried to see not differently but further…”(Tocqueville, 1835) was Alexis de Tocqueville’s conclusion to the introduction of his perennial classic text Democracy in America, and adumbrates to the reader of his modern ideas and observations that were to follow. At the same time, he measures the progress of society through its relationship with equality and liberty. In this paper, I will highlight Tocqueville’s use of equality and liberty to compare the past and the modern, and establish his views on the effects of these concepts with society and each other. Finally, I will put forth that Tocqueville does not favour one concept over the other, but notes the complex relationship between the two and the importance of the co-existence of liberty and equality for a society of people.
Tocqueville feared that in a democracy the people would assume that the truth always lies with the majority, since individuals are prone to trust public opinion over the ideas of the minority, crumbling citizens’ ability to question their government 's authority and to think for themselves. The dangers of unchecked and unlimited power in America’s centralized government would become the majority and lead to the absolute tyranny. However, while the government is centralized, its sphere of influence is limited because of the decentralized administration. American is able to moderate the political tyranny of the majority through the checks and balances in the three branch system of government made by the decentralized administration, but must take caution of a social tyranny of the majority being