Upon visiting America in 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville studied the ways and means of American society and assessed their values and government. Considering how slavery was still practiced at this time, de Tocqueville evaluated America 's way of segregation and racism in relation to how their country will function in the future. He writes: “it will readily be understood that there are but two alternatives for the future; the negroes and the whites must either wholly part or wholly mingle” (Tocqueville 432). After making this claim, de Tocqueville makes his own prediction for the future of the country in regards to their current practice of slavery. He says: “I do not imagine that the white and black races will live in a country upon an equal footing” (Tocqueville 433). Here, de Tocqueville is assuming the worst in American society and anticipating a forever segregated nation. However, Ahlstrom’s writings on “Slavery, Disunion, and the Churches” as well as “The Churches Amid Civil War and Reconstruction” both provide a more optimistic view of American society. These
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, social scientist, sociologist, historian, journalist and revolutionary socialist. Marx was born on 5 May 1818 in Germany and died on 14 March 1883 in London. Karl Marx is regarded to be one of the founding fathers of Sociology. Capitalism, in layman’s term means “an economic, political, and social system in which property, business, and industry are privately owned, directed towards making the greatest possible profits for successful organizations and people.” (Cambridge Dictionary, 2014). Capitalism, according to Karl Marx is divided into two major social classes: the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat. The Bourgeoisie, which is the minority of the class system, own the means of production such as land, machinery, factories and raw materials whereas the Proletariat, which is the majority of the class system, having no means of their own production and have to work to earn wage for a living.
In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville provides an analysis and critique of American civic life. During his travels across the country, he discovered how different America was from Europe, particularly France. While the majority of Europe consisted of aristocratic countries with hundreds of years of history, America was a young democratic country. Most notably, he observed that America was growing in equality. The growing equality becomes a presupposition of individualism and isolation, but despite this inevitable growth of equality, individualism and isolation can be minimized. Tocqueville provided an analysis of how citizens can prevent equality from evolving into a high degree of isolation.
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
Marxism and feminism are two sides of a coin. Encarta reference library defines Marxism as “a theory in which class struggle is a central element in the analysis of social change in western societies”. Feminism is defined as a recognition and critique of male supremacy combined with efforts to change it.
To begin, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen was a cause of the French Revolution; some of the rights were not fair. Document 8 shows this by stating, "Men are born and remain free and equal in rights; social distinctions can be established only for the common benefit." This is unjust because the third estate pays very high taxes and they are not very wealthy, while the first and second estate pay very low taxes, and they are wealthier; the third estate was not equal to the first and second estate. Citizens had a lot of freedom to many rights; "The free communications of
Tocqueville illustrates the harsh fact of an aristocratic society that if a man has been born rich, he is credited to wealth and inherits to remain rich. This striving force led by a man continues till he dies. Furthermore, if a man is born a peasant, it becomes his destiny to die as a peasant, consequently inheriting the same virtue to his children (Tocqueville, p. 54). All in all, both of these classes intersect to pursue their private interests in their walk of life. They both act upon to depict their ideas to support democratic government. Status, pride, honor, national glory, excellence, and passivity are all important values in an aristocratic society (Tocqueville, p. 13).
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
Marx’s first criticisms are towards the concept of liberal democracy as defined by John Stuart Mill. Mill describes liberal democracy as a society in which the government promotes the common good of the citizens by recognizing the natural right of private property, the tendency towards market economies, and the equality in social and economic opportunities as well as in personal and civic liberties. (Mill, John Stuart. "On Liberty: Chapter 1.”). Marx believed instead that liberal democracy does not represent the best type of government since it does not correspond to a natural order but rather reflects a very human abstract view of society. Marx identifies two main “defects” in liberal democracy. Liberal democracy holds that all citizens are free and equal before politics and the law. Marx believes that this statement is partially correct. He asserts that liberal democracy makes men “politically emancipated” (Marx. “On the Jewish Question”, p. 51), but only at the political level, because at the civil level things are different. For Marx, a politically emancipated man is a person that enjoys all the rights of liberal democracy. At the civil level, men are not equal, since men are driven by competition and this leads citizens to seek their own advantages and to exploit others in order to achieve their objectives. In the end, men are not equal even in a liberal democracy.
The four famously known theorists are Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Karl Marx. Each studied and viewed social behavior in a way they believed was the way it should be viewed; hence, they came up with different theories that categorizes society in many different aspects.
Karl Marx and Max Weber both agreed that capitalism generates alienation in modern societies, but the cause for it were both different. For Marx it is due to economic inequality in where the capitalist thinks that the workers worth nothing more than a source of labour, that can be employed and dismissed at will. This causes the workers to be dehumanised by their jobs (in the past, routine factory work and in the present-day, managing demands on a computer), which leads to the workers finding slight satisfaction and feeling incapable of improving their situation. It was noted by Marx four methods on how capitalism alienates workers. The first, is alienation from the function of working. People tend to work to meet their desires and to improve
“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.
It is argued that social inequality occurs because of the conflict between the upper-class and the working-class, or as Marx defines it, the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat. Based on the Manifesto of the Communist Party (Marx and Engels, 1848), the divergence emerges because the aim of the Bourgeoisie is to obtain a surplus-value that is produced by the work of the Proletariat. On the other side, the Bourgeoisie provides the Proletariat with the minimum required, such as a place to live and a minimum wage, in order to keep the society under control and avoid a rebellion. However, Marx did predict a revolt of the working-class that would eventually lead to a communist regime. When it comes to applying this theoretical approach to reality, it is evident to notice that no global revolt in regards to capitalism has occurred. On the contrary, the capitalist society that Marx describes has only become greater in the global society. The disparity between the elite and the populace grows continuously, and the wealth of the first group surpasses the wealth of the second one. The elite has made the working-class into a class of consumption who nourishes its capital gain. This leads on to the global issue of social hierarchy. It establishes inequalities within economy, education and health that the poorest try to outdo, becoming unconsciously even more depended on the capitalist system, because they
Durkheim identified this change through the division of labour which he believed would lead to anomie -the breakdown of morality in society- (Barbaris and Jones: 2011). Durkheim (1893: 276) argued that “the division of labour unites at the same time that it opposes” because though the concept of a division of labour rids society of simple mechanic solidarity, thus opposing the simple way of life that was found in a pre-industrialised society, by having industrialisation, it allows for the build-up of a new way of collective conscience. In a similar vein, according to his manifesto (Marxists.org), Marx also believed in the division of labour, thinking that industrialization made the dichotomy between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie much more apparent. Like Durkheim’s concept of anomie and the breakdown of norms, Marx argued that the division of labour encourages alienation leading to a feeling of disassociation among the labourers with the product of their labour, due to it all being monopolised by the bourgeoisie. Yet, unlike Durkheim, Marx thought that the division of labour would promote less autonomy and minimise their collective conscience, therefore leading them to think they need the support of their employer rather than their
In the Communist manifesto, a well known quote of Marx, “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” This is introductory to the first part of the pamphlet and a conclusion to Marx’s theory about class struggle. Marx’s highly structured on how the class struggle emerges and affects the development of a society.