Sociology 370 - Tocqueville Optimist

Sociology 370 - Tocqueville Optimist - Tocqueville sees...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Tocqueville sees Americans’ respect for hard work + “self-interest rightly understood,” + voluntary assoc’s + decentralized governance as solutions to problems that democracy generates.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
The first PARTIAL SOLUTION to the problem of too much competitive individualism: the concept of Americans consider hard day’s work honorable as we’ve seen, too MUCH individualism IS BAD but SOME individualistic self-interested action is GOOD: In aristocracies, where work, especially work for money, is considered lowly and degrading In democracies, in contrast, everyone is competing a little, and everyone knows that hard work might pay off, and everyone respects hard work, then people tend to work hard! A rising tide raises all boats, he implies. When everyone respects hard work, they protect other people’s right to benefit from the fruits of their own labor p. 550: “Americans Consider All Honest Callings Honorable”
Background image of page 2
Second (closely related to the first) ingredient for democracy’s success: Self-interest rightly understood p. 527: “The doctrine of self-interest rightly understood does not inspire great sacrifices but every day it prompts some small ones… orderly, temperate, moderate, careful, and self-controlled citizens …extraordinary virtues would be rarer. But I think that gross depravity (he means poverty) would also be less common.” So: some amount of self-interest and individualism MAKE DEMOCRACY POSSIBLE
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/08/2011 for the course SOC 370 taught by Professor Nina during the Spring '10 term at USC.

Page1 / 9

Sociology 370 - Tocqueville Optimist - Tocqueville sees...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online