Alexis De Tocqueville: Democracy In America

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Political theorist Alexis de Tocqueville, in his book Democracy in America, attempted to show why representative democracy succeeded in the United States and argues for the superiority of democracy, believing “Islam cannot dominate for long in enlightened and democratic times" . In his book, Islamic Government, Ayatollah Khomeini, former Supreme Leader of Iran, offers a different point of view, arguing that the best government is one that is run in accordance with sharia law. Khomeini underscores the need for the union of church and state, and condemns all other forms of governments for being anti-Islamic and allowing immorality to reign. The following essay will evaluate the arguments posed on behalf of Islamic government and Liberal Democracy…show more content…
Political freedom and democracy are strengthened by religion because it helps to Americans live with good mores, which are necessary for the “responsible” use of freedom . Tocqueville further argues the separation of church and state in the United States is good for Christianity itself. The support given to governments changes from day to day and sometimes a government is circled with nothing but “bitter passions” . The unity of church and state would put the church in the worldly realm, making it seem just as fragile as civil government. Thus, when government becomes weak, religion would be in danger. He believes therefore that religion is better off if it gains support without the state, keeping itself clear of political affairs and gaining support without state coercion. Americans are happy with separation of church and state and the government works towards the good of the most people possible, making democracy the highest form of…show more content…
The first, and some would argue the only necessary, reason for the supremacy of Islamic government is the fact that it Islamic law is the comprehensive, divine law of God. The fundamental difference between the laws of liberal democracy and that of Islamic government is that the laws of democracy are simply laws made by men. It is folly to believe that laws made by imperfect men are superior to the divine ordinances of God . Khomeini believed that the path to happiness began in the implementation and following of God’s divine law . The fact that Islam is comprehensive means that God as already provided for every aspect of human life including government and society. Tocqueville had his reservations about democracy, acknowledging that democracy is not perfect. There are legitimate concerns over the rule of the majority who would rather have representatives who agree with their views than ones who would create good laws . The tyranny of the majority not only allows for subpar laws but also makes it so that democratic government is not working towards the benefit of all is citizens. Khomeini would argue that Islamic government does not have this problem because rulers keep the good of their entire people in mind, because all who follow the divine path are destined for happiness. A ruler must not bow down to whims of the
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