America Alexis De Tocqueville Analysis

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This effect, however, does not end there, and the wish to ensure means of living goes on to include the blind pursuit of comforts - the acquirement of which, according to Tocqueville, “haunts the imagination of the poor,” while the rich “dread of losing them” (245). Not so in societies with hereditary wealth, where the rich and poor alike remain in the conditions in which they are born and therefore are accustomed to it. They do not pursue comforts as a goal, but simply accept the presence of them (or lack thereof) as a way of living (244). The democratic American character, however, is more uniquely influenced by equality and the circulation of wealth. All inhabitants can taste of the comforts of the world, and then, in the pursuit of more, “shut out the rest of the world” until the chase “absorbs them wholly … enervate[s] the soul, and…show more content…
Democracy is often loudly declared to be the correct form of government, but the very principles that it is built from can have tendencies towards less laudable consequences. As Tocqueville examined democracy in America, he attempted to discover the origin of democratic principles and the potential for them to turn sour over time. Such a line of questioning is important to the long-term stability of the democratic system, and Tocqueville discusses many tendencies in democracy that he believes lead towards a degradation of society. He holds that essential characteristics of the democratic character such as equality, liberty, and individualism can also result issues such as majority tyranny, a herd mentality, low asperations, and despotism. He thought that these issues could arise in democracy over time if sufficient measures were not taken against them, and it is worthwhile to consider that what he discovered could someday happen might be already taking
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