Blackadder’s Lair

The home of many a cunning plan

1 Comment »

  1. Tocqueville goes further, you are correct, into the psychology of tyranny but he did not see associations as perpetuating a common good, but rather, much like Madison, as preventing a majority faction from ramming “its” version of the common good down everyone else’s throats. For Tocqueville, the genius of American political culture as well as its unique constitutional design was that it promoted moderation and compromise. This was also, from the aristocrat’s perspective, what made American democracy so pedestrian. But better pedestrian, for Tocqueville, than rapt with ideological fervor. In this way he is both similar to but quite apart from Mill, who for his part, truly believed in the progress of the body politic. Tocqueville was only grudgingly accepting of American democracy for precisely the opposite reason.

    Comment by Jonathan O'hara | February 17, 2014 | Reply

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