Democracy in America (1) - Tocqueville

Democracy in America (1) - Tocqueville - UNIVERSITY OF...

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Unformatted text preview: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS, CHICAGO 60637 THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS, LTD.. LONDON © 2000 BY THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PUBLISHED 2000 PAPERBACK EDITION 2002 PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 0908070605040302 56789 ISBN: 0—226—80532—8 (CLOTH) ISBN: 0—226-80536—0 (PAPER) THE FRENCH TEXT ON WHICH THIS TRANSLATION IS BASED HAS BEEN LICENSED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS BY EDITIONS GALLIMARD AND IS PROTECTED BY FRENCH AND INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAWS AND AGREEMENTS. © EDITIONS GALLIMARD, 1992 LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUELICATION DATA TOCQUEVILLE, ALEXIS DE, 1805—1859. [DE LA DEMOCRATIE EN AMERIQUE. ENGLISH] DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA / TRANSLATED, EDITED, AND WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY HARVEY C. MANSFIELD AND DELRA WINTHROR p. CM. INCLUDES BIBLIOGRAPHICAI. REFERENCES AND INDEX. ISBN 0-226—80532-8 (HARDCOVER) 1. UNITED STATES—POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT. 2. UNITED STATES— SOCIAL CONDITIONS. 3. DEMOCRACY—UNITED STATES. I. MANSFIELD, HARVEY CLAFLIN, 1932— II. WINTHROP, DELBA. III. TITLE. IK216 .T713 2000]: 320.473—D021 00—008418 @ THE PAPER USED IN THIS pURLICATION MEETS THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS OF THE AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARD FOR INFORMATION SCIENCES—PERMANENCE OF PAPER FOR PRINTED LIBRARY MATERIALS, ANSI 23948—1992. CONTENTS xvii ’ UCTION EDITORS INTROD lxxxvii SUGGESTED READINGS xci A NOTE ON THE TRANSLATION Volume One 3 INTRODUCTION W PART ONE W 1 External Configuration of North America 19 2 0n the Point of Departure and Its Importance for the Future of the Anglo-Americans 27 Reasons for Some Singularities That the Laws and Customs of the Anglo-Americans Present 44 3 Social State of the Anglo-Americans I 45 That the Salient Point of the Social State of the Anglo—Amerlcans IS Its Being Essentially Democratic 46 Political Consequences of the Social State of the 52 Anglo-Americans ,, @vfi VOLUME TWO, PART TWO, CHAPTER TWO .______ Thus the latter existed still only in ideas and tastes, whereas the former had already penetrated habits, taken hold of mores, and given a particular turn to the least acts of life. How be astonished if men of our day prefer the um; to the other? I think that democratic peoples have a natural taste for freedom; left in themselves they seek it, they love it, and they will see themselves parted from it only with sorrow. But for equality they have an ardent, insatiable, eternal. invincible passion; they want equality in freedom, and, if they cannot gm ,1. they still want it in slavery. They will tolerate poverty, enslavement, barb-d. rism, but they will not tolerate aristocracy. This is true in all times, and above all in ours. All men and all pint-er, that wish to struggle against this irresistible power will be overturned and destroyed by it. In our day freedom cannot be established without its sup. port, and despotism itself cannot reign without it. @fififlfififlfififififlfififififlfifiufiwfib Chapterz ON INDIVIDUALISM IN DEMOCRATIC COUNTRIES I have brought out how, in centuries of equality, each man seeks his beliefs in himself;* I want to show how, in the same centuries, he turns ail his semi- ments toward himself alone. Individualism is a recent expressionT arising from a new idea. Our fathers knew only selfishness. Selfishness is a passionate and exaggerated love of self that brings. man to relate everything to himself alone and to prefer himself to everything. Individualism is a reflective and peaceable sentiment that disposes each citizen to isolate himself from the mass of those like him and to withdraw to one side and his friends. so that after having thus apart-54‘; little society for his own use, he willingly abandons s0ciety at large tennis". Qmss is born of a blind instinct; individualism proceeds front an erroneous judgment rather than a depraved sentiment. It has its source in the defects of the mind as much as in the vices of the heart. *DA 11 1.1. TThis is the first occurrence in DA of the word “individualism,” a new word nut coined hr AT, but defined and developed by him. See Schleifer, The Making of Tor.,-.-m-:.'I.-'.+ "t' N'rmk'mfi‘ In America,” 251—259. 0N INDIVIDUALISM IN DEMOCRATIC COUNTRIES selfishness withers the seed of all the virtues; individualism at first dries up only the source of public virtues; but in the long term it attacks and de- mm-s all the others and will finally be absorbed in selfishness. selfishness is a Vice as old as the world. It scarcely belongs more to one to: :n of society than to another. Individualism is of democratic origin, and it threatens to develop as con— ditions become equal. In aristocratic peoples, families remain in the same state for centuries, and ultuu in the same place. That renders all generations so to speak contempo— mries. A man almost always knows his ancestors and respects them; he be- hm-es he already perceives his great—grandsons and he loves them. He will- nmir does his duty by both, and he frequently comes to sacrifice his personal L-niinyments for beings who no longer exist or who do not yet exist. In addition, aristocratic institutions have the effect of binding each man lightly to several of his fellow citizens. Classes being very distinct and immobile within an aristocratic people, cult of them becomes for whoever makes up a part of it a sort of little native muntry, moremvisible and dearer than the big one. its in fifistocratic sOC‘Wizens are placed at a fixed post, some Jinn-e menthers; it "'fesiifl't"§yca So t at each of them always perceives higher tl'tanIhirnself a man whose protection is necessary to him, and below he finds alltlli1€i7Wh0m he can call upon for cooperation. Men who live in arist0cratic centuries are therefore almost always bound in .1 Eight manner to something that is placed outside of them, and they are often disposed to forget themselves. It is true that in these same centuries the genera! notion of those like oneself is obscure and that one scarcely thinks of devoting oneself to the cause of humanity; but one often sacrifices oneself for certain men. In antistatic centuries‘ron the contrary, when the duties of each individ- ual toward the speci’e‘s’a're much clearer, devotion toward one man becomes rarer: the bond of hum u ‘. - n a - u .u o u - ed. “.,¢W.-_u,w,,w,_ " ' in democratic peoes, new families constantly issue from nothing, others constantly fall into it, and all those who stay on change face; the fabric of time is torn at every moment and the trace of generations is effaced. You car.in forget those who have preceded you, and you have no idea of those when will follow you. Only those nearest have interest. As each class comes closer to the others and mixes with them, its members become indifferent and almost like strangers among themselves. Aristocracy had made of all citizens a long chain that went from the peasant up to the king; iletnocracybreaks the chain and, sfigggghlink apart. As conditionsaren'equalized, onefifids a great number of individuals who, 484 VOLUME TWO, PART TWO, CHAPTER THREE nOt being wealthy enough or powerful enough to exert a great influence over the fates of those like them, have neverthelesswacqruredsrxpreserved enough enlightenmentinduggpwdsflto be able to bgfigfficient. These owe nothing to anyone;Lthey expect so to speak nothing from anyone; they are in the habit of always considering themselves in isolation, and theymgymidllingly “fancythat their whole, destiny is in L L L WWWWM ’L dfiéfi‘i’fihake each man forget his ancestors, but it hides his descendants from him and separates him from his contemporaries; it constantly leads him back toward himself alone and threatens finally [0 confine him wholly in the solitude of his own heart. fifififlfifififififififlfififififlfiflfiifi Chapter3 HOW INDIVIDUALISM IS GREATER AT THE END OF A DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION THAN IN ANY OTHER PERIOD It is above all at the moment when a democratic society succeeds in forming itself on the debris Of an aristocracy that this isolation of men from one another and the selfishness resulting from it strike one’s regard must readily. These societies not only contain manyinodflependent,citizens. they are tilled daily with men who, having arrived at independence yesterday, are drunk with their new, pOwerzL,_-tlieseiconce.ive La presumpmbus Cmilidetm: in their strength, andwngtimagininggtlfl‘frgrnmngwflnwt‘heyfould need to call upon the assistanceOf those likethemithfix menu)“ in shun-ing that the)“ th mselves. A‘fi‘é‘fi‘s‘fod’écy' ordinarily succumbs only after a prolonged struggle. dur- ing which implacable hatreds among the different classes are ignited. These passions survive victory, and one can follow their track in the midst uf the democratic confusion that succeeds it. Those among the citizens who were the first in the hierarchy that has been destroyed cannot immediately forget their former greatness; fur .1 long lime they consider themselves strangers within the new society. They see all the equals that this society gives them as Oppressors whose destiny cannot excite their sympathy; they have lost sight of their former equals at n d no longer {Pd bound by a common interest to their fates; each, in Witllllr"“'i”3 “maid; therefore believes himself reduced to being occupied only with himself Those, on the contrary, who were formerly placed at the bottom of the social scale, and whom a sudden revolution has brought to the common level enjoy their newly acquired independence only with a sort of secret restiveness‘ if they find some of their former superiors at their side, they cast looks of tri— umph and fear at them, and draw apart from them. It is, therefore, ordinarily at the Origingf democratic societies that citizens show themselves the most disposed to isolate themselvele L L LL L L L L, Democracy inclines men not to get close to those like themselves‘ . ) the heart Ofe uality the hatreds to which inequality gave birth. . , of the A“??? 19495,-ist9shave assassin numeracy . de ocratic revolutions, and to be born equal in— Maguswt _ ...M‘W//'r.m _ w » I ate common msi- - - ' r. ' ~ ' ’ ' L L ’ V P .ttrlty turbulent .mu iutne spirits. and changing the natural sense of L .. t I I ‘ . a L” r 7? L n r . r res-MM.” * 0 d?" athQ§QJKhQas£aanafinjébgmsghfi garrowlywto themselves ' ‘ LW ,.fi‘ K t A ‘ (an? Thu». the vices to which ' ‘ ' - {L L guod chi/ens. r asseggqcaa an. . quality , and for them despotism ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/16/2011 for the course POLITICAL 141 taught by Professor Yenor during the Spring '11 term at Boise State.

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Democracy in America (1) - Tocqueville - UNIVERSITY OF...

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