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de Tocqueville Day III

de Tocqueville Day III - Western Political Thought II de...

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Western Political Thought II 3/27/08 de Tocqueville Day III Comparisons with Rousseau Like Rousseau, de Tocqueville Says that despotism may come from democracy de Tocqueville argues there is a form of individualism in modernity that leads the person to be dangerously pre-occupied with himself o All individualism is not the same, some forms are better than others o The danger of modernity is that we will become Hobbesian individuals Who asks more of the citizens? o de Tocqueville requires more everyday activity in an ongoing process of political activity Maybe more demanding o Rousseau demands that you be ready to fight and mobilize to defend the sovereign Definitely more dramatic Civic Associations These are important for overcoming individualism in modernity o It is a dangerous thing o Creates focus, attachments and practical wisdom The “Nature” of democracy undermines this o They take time away from individualism o Take sacrifices o Can be less efficient o They are sources of inequalities Political Associations Political parties Generally seen as representatives of factions They bring large numbers out of themselves, that the competition between the different parties is good as long as they stay in certain parameters o Raise broader questions Legitimate the political authority Most difficult question for the legislator is how to establish parties that will create a degree of political competition and energy., but not lead to conflict that will weaken the regime
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