Analysis Of Democracy In America By Tocqueville

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Frenchman Alexis De Tocqueville was very interested in American society and democracy. In his book, Democracy in America, he sets an appreciative tone but simultaneously criticizes American democracy. He views democracy as a complete balance between freedom and equality, however, this balance is not sturdy enough. Tocqueville notices both political and social issues that inevitable will emerge and some that have emerged. He takes on Americans who have isolated themselves and their obsession with consumerism. Isolation is a current issue that can only get bigger and worse, while consumerism is a current issue we need to face.
First, Tocqueville affirms that democracy has had a bad influence on Americans. Americans are deeply fond of democracy,
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For generations, aristocratic nations have had connections between people to keep them in their place. Without it, Tocqueville argues it would give tyranny the change to take root. Essentially democracy gives birth to individualism that leads to isolation, which eventually discourages the populace from joining together to stop tyranny. This is actually a method tyrants use to stay in power, if not already in place due to democratic equality. Moreover, individualism can also close America’s intellection habits; individuals only focus on themselves and their close friends and family and do not care to learn about new developments socially, politically, and economically. An example would be apathy toward American artists, they know of Picasso and other European artists, so why take a chance on anyone other than Europeans. Tocqueville like the idea of democracy but because nothing is perfect, it will not end in success, not even in …show more content…
Socially, on the other hand, materialism plays an important role. Tocqueville states that American were impressively materialists in comparison to Europeans for three reasons. First, Americans are free through the rejection of “territorial aristocracy” of hierarchical societal structures. As a result, class ranks and privileges are diminished while creating a desire for comfort and materials. This haunts the poor with ideas of what they could have and take away from the rich, while haunting the rich of what they could lose. The second cause is seen in an egalitarian society in which all citizens have equal opportunity. Tocqueville specified, “the most marked inequalities do not strike th eye; when everything is nearly on the same level, the slightest are marked enough to hurt it.” The more equality progresses the harder it is to satisfy the desire for equality which contributes to mass consumption and noticeable wealth between the American populace. Thirdly, the availability of land and natural resources has created people that are fearless but have immense passion. The passion sparking the fear of not obtaining what is presented to him by fortune. Tocqueville brings to light the unfortunate truth: a society with the lack of hierarchy will overvalue material goods, creating a selfish and individualistic culture that prioritizes

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