Assignment On Tocqueville And Democracy

7688 words - 31 pages

Tocqueville is best known for "Democracy in America" (1835-40), which was a perceptive analysis of the U.S. political and social system in the early 19th century. Tocqueville's study analysed the vitality, the excesses and the potential future of American democracy. Tocqueville focused on his of the 'tyranny of majority' as he began his description of American democratic practices; it is also perhaps the best-known concept of democratic despotism Tocqueville introduced in his work (Schleifer, 1980; Zetterbaum, 1967). Tyranny of majority, as viewed by Tocqueville outlined several risks and problems within a democratic paradigm that we will further explore in this essay. Tocqueville also believed that USA had formed mechanisms that stopped the 'tyranny' from developing, which this essay will also investigate as well as evaluating the value of those mechanisms for contemporary New Zealand. For Tocqueville, the primary meaning of tyranny of majority was shunning and silencing the individual and minority ideas to result in conformity of opinion- the opinion of the majority (Schleifer, 1980, p.211). "The moral authority of the majority is based on the notion that there is much more enlightenment and wisdom in a numerous assembly than in a single man" (Tocqueville, 1969, p.247). Perhaps the most noteworthy was the overwhelming authority which public opinion in America had not over just judges, legislators, and other public official, but also over minorities and private nonconforming individuals. But what most troubled Tocqueville was the "subtle but irresistible moral pressure, which the majority could bring to bear, rather than any political, legal, or even physical coercion." (Schleifer, 1980, p. 196)"In America the majority has enclosed thought within a formidable fence.A writer is free inside that area, but woe to the man, who goes beyond it."(Tocqueville, 1969, p.255)Tocqueville emphasized equality as the problem of democracy. Ruling of majority is problematic as it suggests the notion of equality- "sheep leading sheep." Tocqueville makes a clear distinction between the dichotomy of equality and liberty. The notion of democracy suggests liberty yet the outcome has inclined towards equality. This in turn results in contentment- everyone is guaranteed an equal level of lifestyle and expectations therefore people's expectations becomes reduced to their households and domestic lives, "living in the same manner and seeking wealth by the same means" (Democracy in America; Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003). Therefore political liberty is easily neglected by Americans whose constant focus is on the "extraneous awards in the labour market." (Democracy in America, para 3)Given this overwhelming moral power of "majority opinion", Tocqueville realised it had the ability to ostracise minorities and to enforce conformity. Tocqueville argues that this is a "fault of democracy rather than democracy in America" (Tocqueville and the Tyranny of the Majority, para 4). Therefore the 'tyranny of majority' had two major outcomes on the average person living in a democratic society:1. Renounce responsibility in political life and accept majority opinion as his/ her own. ( Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003)2. Trust the state will ensure equality- crushing the independence of thought, reducing people's thoughts and expectations down to their households (and even more down to themselves).For Tocqueville the problem of democracy and its solution could be understood in terms of a simple formula: "equality was the cause; freedom, the remedy". " To combat the evils which equality may produce, there is only one effectual remedy: namely, political freedom" (Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967). Although USA lived in the boundaries of tyranny of majority in a democratic society, Tocqueville also felt America had also formulated mechanisms that stopped the 'tyranny' from developing further.Tocqueville saw government as becoming everyday more powerful, and individuals more helpless, and American experience suggest for the resolution of the democratic problem to take a new turn by employing "administrative decentralisation." (Zetterbaum, 1967,p.87). American federalism demonstrated that a unified legal system, a single structure of legal authority, was compatible with decentralized administration. The New England Township enabled Tocqueville to demonstrate both political and moral benefits of sustaining local autonomy in a political system. Administrative decentralisation fostered individual activity on matters important to the local community or township, proposing an increase in autonomy. By learning to care about and cooperate on political matters that affect the person on a personal level- on matters " he will see at a glance that there is a connection between this small public affair and his greatest private affairs;"(Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967) each citizen is acquired to take on public responsibility. "The township is thus the locus of the transformation of self- interest into patriotism "(Zetterbaum, 1967, p.92).As Zetterbaum (1967) expresses, by inserting administrative decentralisation into place, "such as local self- government, separation of church and state, a free press, indirect elections, an independent judiciary, and the encouragement of various associations for the pursuit of various social and political ends" will bring resolution to the democratic problems and encourage "the local political life to awake a conscious of public interest" (Why Do We Live In A "Smooth Tyranny"? para 3). As we see in Tocqueville's work, in America the lawmaking authority has been given supreme power but its representatives change annually, so that that no one holds the power for too long but so it can also "have a like effect on the execution of th law and on the public administrative activity" (Tocqueville, 1969, p.249).Of all the democratic devices, freedom of association is most important as democracy associations protect the right of minority against the tyranny of the majority. According to Tocqueville, learning to associate is the prerequisite for the for the preservation of civilisation itself and it is absolutely essential for democratic society's well being. By organising and operating by associations, men learn the art of adapting themselves to a common purpose."A people among whom individuals lost the power of achieving great things single handed, without acquiring the means of producing them by united exertions, would soon relapse into barbarism" (Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967).By the utility of associations, citizens can go beyond their individualism, mitigating the tyranny of the majority, but also overcoming the weakness to which democracy is prone. (Why Do We Live In A "Smooth Tyranny"?; Zetterbaum, 1967) Religion also plays a big part in reducing tyranny of majority. Tocqueville strikes a utilitarian attitude toward religion throughout. He believes that religion can combat both the individualism and materialism democracy produces religion shows men that there are goals and aspirations and it reminds men of their obligations to one another. Religion overall teaches humility therefore taking the attention from oneself and also balances out the process of capitalism and the marketplace (Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003). Tocqueville argues that religion can remain a strong influence on democratic society only if it stays clear of politics; entering into them will inevitably suggest that religious system of belief are subjective towards majority determinations (Zetterbaum, 1967, p. 117). Decentralisation, distributing power over smaller units of management, is evident in contemporary New Zealand democratic society; the most obvious decentralisation that is put in place is the separation of the judicial and the state so neither the judicial court or the state can have more power than the other. Another example can be exemplified through throuHowever lack of decentralisation is also prevalent in relations to contemporary New Zealand and the welfare system. In John Tamihere's speech on the welfare system in New Zealand he proclaims "it is no good having a growth and innovation strategy is large numbers of our community cannot participate." He continues to claim that "the ministry must be decentralised By associating ourselves with other people and certain groups, it allows us to activate our freedom and voice our opinion and values. There are a lot of social and political interest groups that individual citizens can organize themselves into. The notion of pluralistic system minimises the risk of political extremes from emerging, such as the case with the different parties that are evident in New Zealand government. Activating diverse range of parties such as Labour, National, NZ First, Greens just to name a few, allows different perspectives and values to be present and avoids one overwhelming majority to take over. Tocqueville views this type of capillary power also beneficial as no one party or group will be more dominant than the other. Tocqueville analysed the future of American democracy but he also gave guidelines to democratic society in general. Tyranny of majority focuses on the shunning of individuals/ minorities and enforcement of conformity. Equality plays a big part in the 'tyranny' as it leads to contentment and lowering of expectations of an individual. But to every problem there is a solution and Tocqueville felt that America had formed effective mechanisms such as administrative decentralisation, association and religion to mitigate 'tyranny of majority.'Tocqueville is best known for "Democracy in America" (1835-40), which was a perceptive analysis of the U.S. political and social system in the early 19th century. Tocqueville's study analysed the vitality, the excesses and the potential future of American democracy. Tocqueville focused on his of the 'tyranny of majority' as he began his description of American democratic practices; it is also perhaps the best-known concept of democratic despotism Tocqueville introduced in his work (Schleifer, 1980; Zetterbaum, 1967). Tyranny of majority, as viewed by Tocqueville outlined several risks and problems within a democratic paradigm that we will further explore in this essay. Tocqueville also believed that USA had formed mechanisms that stopped the 'tyranny' from developing, which this essay will also investigate as well as evaluating the value of those mechanisms for contemporary New Zealand. For Tocqueville, the primary meaning of tyranny of majority was shunning and silencing the individual and minority ideas to result in conformity of opinion- the opinion of the majority (Schleifer, 1980, p.211). "The moral authority of the majority is based on the notion that there is much more enlightenment and wisdom in a numerous assembly than in a single man" (Tocqueville, 1969, p.247). Perhaps the most noteworthy was the overwhelming authority which public opinion in America had not over just judges, legislators, and other public official, but also over minorities and private nonconforming individuals. But what most troubled Tocqueville was the "subtle but irresistible moral pressure, which the majority could bring to bear, rather than any political, legal, or even physical coercion." (Schleifer, 1980, p. 196)"In America the majority has enclosed thought within a formidable fence.A writer is free inside that area, but woe to the man, who goes beyond it."(Tocqueville, 1969, p.255)Tocqueville emphasized equality as the problem of democracy. Ruling of majority is problematic as it suggests the notion of equality- "sheep leading sheep." Tocqueville makes a clear distinction between the dichotomy of equality and liberty. The notion of democracy suggests liberty yet the outcome has inclined towards equality. This in turn results in contentment- everyone is guaranteed an equal level of lifestyle and expectations therefore people's expectations becomes reduced to their households and domestic lives, "living in the same manner and seeking wealth by the same means" (Democracy in America; Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003). Therefore political liberty is easily neglected by Americans whose constant focus is on the "extraneous awards in the labour market." (Democracy in America, para 3)Given this overwhelming moral power of "majority opinion", Tocqueville realised it had the ability to ostracise minorities and to enforce conformity. Tocqueville argues that this is a "fault of democracy rather than democracy in America" (Tocqueville and the Tyranny of the Majority, para 4). Therefore the 'tyranny of majority' had two major outcomes on the average person living in a democratic society:1. Renounce responsibility in political life and accept majority opinion as his/ her own. ( Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003)2. Trust the state will ensure equality- crushing the independence of thought, reducing people's thoughts and expectations down to their households (and even more down to themselves).For Tocqueville the problem of democracy and its solution could be understood in terms of a simple formula: "equality was the cause; freedom, the remedy". " To combat the evils which equality may produce, there is only one effectual remedy: namely, political freedom" (Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967). Although USA lived in the boundaries of tyranny of majority in a democratic society, Tocqueville also felt America had also formulated mechanisms that stopped the 'tyranny' from developing further.Tocqueville saw government as becoming everyday more powerful, and individuals more helpless, and American experience suggest for the resolution of the democratic problem to take a new turn by employing "administrative decentralisation." (Zetterbaum, 1967,p.87). American federalism demonstrated that a unified legal system, a single structure of legal authority, was compatible with decentralized administration. The New England Township enabled Tocqueville to demonstrate both political and moral benefits of sustaining local autonomy in a political system. Administrative decentralisation fostered individual activity on matters important to the local community or township, proposing an increase in autonomy. By learning to care about and cooperate on political matters that affect the person on a personal level- on matters " he will see at a glance that there is a connection between this small public affair and his greatest private affairs;"(Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967) each citizen is acquired to take on public responsibility. "The township is thus the locus of the transformation of self- interest into patriotism "(Zetterbaum, 1967, p.92).As Zetterbaum (1967) expresses, by inserting administrative decentralisation into place, "such as local self- government, separation of church and state, a free press, indirect elections, an independent judiciary, and the encouragement of various associations for the pursuit of various social and political ends" will bring resolution to the democratic problems and encourage "the local political life to awake a conscious of public interest" (Why Do We Live In A "Smooth Tyranny"? para 3). As we see in Tocqueville's work, in America the lawmaking authority has been given supreme power but its representatives change annually, so that that no one holds the power for too long but so it can also "have a like effect on the execution of th law and on the public administrative activity" (Tocqueville, 1969, p.249).Of all the democratic devices, freedom of association is most important as democracy associations protect the right of minority against the tyranny of the majority. According to Tocqueville, learning to associate is the prerequisite for the for the preservation of civilisation itself and it is absolutely essential for democratic society's well being. By organising and operating by associations, men learn the art of adapting themselves to a common purpose."A people among whom individuals lost the power of achieving great things single handed, without acquiring the means of producing them by united exertions, would soon relapse into barbarism" (Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967).By the utility of associations, citizens can go beyond their individualism, mitigating the tyranny of the majority, but also overcoming the weakness to which democracy is prone. (Why Do We Live In A "Smooth Tyranny"?; Zetterbaum, 1967) Religion also plays a big part in reducing tyranny of majority. Tocqueville strikes a utilitarian attitude toward religion throughout. He believes that religion can combat both the individualism and materialism democracy produces religion shows men that there are goals and aspirations and it reminds men of their obligations to one another. Religion overall teaches humility therefore taking the attention from oneself and also balances out the process of capitalism and the marketplace (Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003). Tocqueville argues that religion can remain a strong influence on democratic society only if it stays clear of politics; entering into them will inevitably suggest that religious system of belief are subjective towards majority determinations (Zetterbaum, 1967, p. 117). Decentralisation, distributing power over smaller units of management, is evident in contemporary New Zealand democratic society; the most obvious decentralisation that is put in place is the separation of the judicial and the state so neither the judicial court or the state can have more power than the other. Another example can be exemplified through throuHowever lack of decentralisation is also prevalent in relations to contemporary New Zealand and the welfare system. In John Tamihere's speech on the welfare system in New Zealand he proclaims "it is no good having a growth and innovation strategy is large numbers of our community cannot participate." He continues to claim that "the ministry must be decentralised By associating ourselves with other people and certain groups, it allows us to activate our freedom and voice our opinion and values. There are a lot of social and political interest groups that individual citizens can organize themselves into. The notion of pluralistic system minimises the risk of political extremes from emerging, such as the case with the different parties that are evident in New Zealand government. Activating diverse range of parties such as Labour, National, NZ First, Greens just to name a few, allows different perspectives and values to be present and avoids one overwhelming majority to take over. Tocqueville views this type of capillary power also beneficial as no one party or group will be more dominant than the other. Tocqueville analysed the future of American democracy but he also gave guidelines to democratic society in general. Tyranny of majority focuses on the shunning of individuals/ minorities and enforcement of conformity. Equality plays a big part in the 'tyranny' as it leads to contentment and lowering of expectations of an individual. But to every problem there is a solution and Tocqueville felt that America had formed effective mechanisms such as administrative decentralisation, association and religion to mitigate 'tyranny of majority.'Tocqueville is best known for "Democracy in America" (1835-40), which was a perceptive analysis of the U.S. political and social system in the early 19th century. Tocqueville's study analysed the vitality, the excesses and the potential future of American democracy. Tocqueville focused on his of the 'tyranny of majority' as he began his description of American democratic practices; it is also perhaps the best-known concept of democratic despotism Tocqueville introduced in his work (Schleifer, 1980; Zetterbaum, 1967). Tyranny of majority, as viewed by Tocqueville outlined several risks and problems within a democratic paradigm that we will further explore in this essay. Tocqueville also believed that USA had formed mechanisms that stopped the 'tyranny' from developing, which this essay will also investigate as well as evaluating the value of those mechanisms for contemporary New Zealand. For Tocqueville, the primary meaning of tyranny of majority was shunning and silencing the individual and minority ideas to result in conformity of opinion- the opinion of the majority (Schleifer, 1980, p.211). "The moral authority of the majority is based on the notion that there is much more enlightenment and wisdom in a numerous assembly than in a single man" (Tocqueville, 1969, p.247). Perhaps the most noteworthy was the overwhelming authority which public opinion in America had not over just judges, legislators, and other public official, but also over minorities and private nonconforming individuals. But what most troubled Tocqueville was the "subtle but irresistible moral pressure, which the majority could bring to bear, rather than any political, legal, or even physical coercion." (Schleifer, 1980, p. 196)"In America the majority has enclosed thought within a formidable fence.A writer is free inside that area, but woe to the man, who goes beyond it."(Tocqueville, 1969, p.255)Tocqueville emphasized equality as the problem of democracy. Ruling of majority is problematic as it suggests the notion of equality- "sheep leading sheep." Tocqueville makes a clear distinction between the dichotomy of equality and liberty. The notion of democracy suggests liberty yet the outcome has inclined towards equality. This in turn results in contentment- everyone is guaranteed an equal level of lifestyle and expectations therefore people's expectations becomes reduced to their households and domestic lives, "living in the same manner and seeking wealth by the same means" (Democracy in America; Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003). Therefore political liberty is easily neglected by Americans whose constant focus is on the "extraneous awards in the labour market." (Democracy in America, para 3)Given this overwhelming moral power of "majority opinion", Tocqueville realised it had the ability to ostracise minorities and to enforce conformity. Tocqueville argues that this is a "fault of democracy rather than democracy in America" (Tocqueville and the Tyranny of the Majority, para 4). Therefore the 'tyranny of majority' had two major outcomes on the average person living in a democratic society:1. Renounce responsibility in political life and accept majority opinion as his/ her own. ( Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003)2. Trust the state will ensure equality- crushing the independence of thought, reducing people's thoughts and expectations down to their households (and even more down to themselves).For Tocqueville the problem of democracy and its solution could be understood in terms of a simple formula: "equality was the cause; freedom, the remedy". " To combat the evils which equality may produce, there is only one effectual remedy: namely, political freedom" (Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967). Although USA lived in the boundaries of tyranny of majority in a democratic society, Tocqueville also felt America had also formulated mechanisms that stopped the 'tyranny' from developing further.Tocqueville saw government as becoming everyday more powerful, and individuals more helpless, and American experience suggest for the resolution of the democratic problem to take a new turn by employing "administrative decentralisation." (Zetterbaum, 1967,p.87). American federalism demonstrated that a unified legal system, a single structure of legal authority, was compatible with decentralized administration. The New England Township enabled Tocqueville to demonstrate both political and moral benefits of sustaining local autonomy in a political system. Administrative decentralisation fostered individual activity on matters important to the local community or township, proposing an increase in autonomy. By learning to care about and cooperate on political matters that affect the person on a personal level- on matters " he will see at a glance that there is a connection between this small public affair and his greatest private affairs;"(Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967) each citizen is acquired to take on public responsibility. "The township is thus the locus of the transformation of self- interest into patriotism "(Zetterbaum, 1967, p.92).As Zetterbaum (1967) expresses, by inserting administrative decentralisation into place, "such as local self- government, separation of church and state, a free press, indirect elections, an independent judiciary, and the encouragement of various associations for the pursuit of various social and political ends" will bring resolution to the democratic problems and encourage "the local political life to awake a conscious of public interest" (Why Do We Live In A "Smooth Tyranny"? para 3). As we see in Tocqueville's work, in America the lawmaking authority has been given supreme power but its representatives change annually, so that that no one holds the power for too long but so it can also "have a like effect on the execution of th law and on the public administrative activity" (Tocqueville, 1969, p.249).Of all the democratic devices, freedom of association is most important as democracy associations protect the right of minority against the tyranny of the majority. According to Tocqueville, learning to associate is the prerequisite for the for the preservation of civilisation itself and it is absolutely essential for democratic society's well being. By organising and operating by associations, men learn the art of adapting themselves to a common purpose."A people among whom individuals lost the power of achieving great things single handed, without acquiring the means of producing them by united exertions, would soon relapse into barbarism" (Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967).By the utility of associations, citizens can go beyond their individualism, mitigating the tyranny of the majority, but also overcoming the weakness to which democracy is prone. (Why Do We Live In A "Smooth Tyranny"?; Zetterbaum, 1967) Religion also plays a big part in reducing tyranny of majority. Tocqueville strikes a utilitarian attitude toward religion throughout. He believes that religion can combat both the individualism and materialism democracy produces religion shows men that there are goals and aspirations and it reminds men of their obligations to one another. Religion overall teaches humility therefore taking the attention from oneself and also balances out the process of capitalism and the marketplace (Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003). Tocqueville argues that religion can remain a strong influence on democratic society only if it stays clear of politics; entering into them will inevitably suggest that religious system of belief are subjective towards majority determinations (Zetterbaum, 1967, p. 117). Decentralisation, distributing power over smaller units of management, is evident in contemporary New Zealand democratic society; the most obvious decentralisation that is put in place is the separation of the judicial and the state so neither the judicial court or the state can have more power than the other. Another example can be exemplified through throuHowever lack of decentralisation is also prevalent in relations to contemporary New Zealand and the welfare system. In John Tamihere's speech on the welfare system in New Zealand he proclaims "it is no good having a growth and innovation strategy is large numbers of our community cannot participate." He continues to claim that "the ministry must be decentralised By associating ourselves with other people and certain groups, it allows us to activate our freedom and voice our opinion and values. There are a lot of social and political interest groups that individual citizens can organize themselves into. The notion of pluralistic system minimises the risk of political extremes from emerging, such as the case with the different parties that are evident in New Zealand government. Activating diverse range of parties such as Labour, National, NZ First, Greens just to name a few, allows different perspectives and values to be present and avoids one overwhelming majority to take over. Tocqueville views this type of capillary power also beneficial as no one party or group will be more dominant than the other. Tocqueville analysed the future of American democracy but he also gave guidelines to democratic society in general. Tyranny of majority focuses on the shunning of individuals/ minorities and enforcement of conformity. Equality plays a big part in the 'tyranny' as it leads to contentment and lowering of expectations of an individual. But to every problem there is a solution and Tocqueville felt that America had formed effective mechanisms such as administrative decentralisation, association and religion to mitigate 'tyranny of majority.'Tocqueville is best known for "Democracy in America" (1835-40), which was a perceptive analysis of the U.S. political and social system in the early 19th century. Tocqueville's study analysed the vitality, the excesses and the potential future of American democracy. Tocqueville focused on his of the 'tyranny of majority' as he began his description of American democratic practices; it is also perhaps the best-known concept of democratic despotism Tocqueville introduced in his work (Schleifer, 1980; Zetterbaum, 1967). Tyranny of majority, as viewed by Tocqueville outlined several risks and problems within a democratic paradigm that we will further explore in this essay. Tocqueville also believed that USA had formed mechanisms that stopped the 'tyranny' from developing, which this essay will also investigate as well as evaluating the value of those mechanisms for contemporary New Zealand. For Tocqueville, the primary meaning of tyranny of majority was shunning and silencing the individual and minority ideas to result in conformity of opinion- the opinion of the majority (Schleifer, 1980, p.211). "The moral authority of the majority is based on the notion that there is much more enlightenment and wisdom in a numerous assembly than in a single man" (Tocqueville, 1969, p.247). Perhaps the most noteworthy was the overwhelming authority which public opinion in America had not over just judges, legislators, and other public official, but also over minorities and private nonconforming individuals. But what most troubled Tocqueville was the "subtle but irresistible moral pressure, which the majority could bring to bear, rather than any political, legal, or even physical coercion." (Schleifer, 1980, p. 196)"In America the majority has enclosed thought within a formidable fence.A writer is free inside that area, but woe to the man, who goes beyond it."(Tocqueville, 1969, p.255)Tocqueville emphasized equality as the problem of democracy. Ruling of majority is problematic as it suggests the notion of equality- "sheep leading sheep." Tocqueville makes a clear distinction between the dichotomy of equality and liberty. The notion of democracy suggests liberty yet the outcome has inclined towards equality. This in turn results in contentment- everyone is guaranteed an equal level of lifestyle and expectations therefore people's expectations becomes reduced to their households and domestic lives, "living in the same manner and seeking wealth by the same means" (Democracy in America; Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003). Therefore political liberty is easily neglected by Americans whose constant focus is on the "extraneous awards in the labour market." (Democracy in America, para 3)Given this overwhelming moral power of "majority opinion", Tocqueville realised it had the ability to ostracise minorities and to enforce conformity. Tocqueville argues that this is a "fault of democracy rather than democracy in America" (Tocqueville and the Tyranny of the Majority, para 4). Therefore the 'tyranny of majority' had two major outcomes on the average person living in a democratic society:1. Renounce responsibility in political life and accept majority opinion as his/ her own. ( Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003)2. Trust the state will ensure equality- crushing the independence of thought, reducing people's thoughts and expectations down to their households (and even more down to themselves).For Tocqueville the problem of democracy and its solution could be understood in terms of a simple formula: "equality was the cause; freedom, the remedy". " To combat the evils which equality may produce, there is only one effectual remedy: namely, political freedom" (Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967). Although USA lived in the boundaries of tyranny of majority in a democratic society, Tocqueville also felt America had also formulated mechanisms that stopped the 'tyranny' from developing further.Tocqueville saw government as becoming everyday more powerful, and individuals more helpless, and American experience suggest for the resolution of the democratic problem to take a new turn by employing "administrative decentralisation." (Zetterbaum, 1967,p.87). American federalism demonstrated that a unified legal system, a single structure of legal authority, was compatible with decentralized administration. The New England Township enabled Tocqueville to demonstrate both political and moral benefits of sustaining local autonomy in a political system. Administrative decentralisation fostered individual activity on matters important to the local community or township, proposing an increase in autonomy. By learning to care about and cooperate on political matters that affect the person on a personal level- on matters " he will see at a glance that there is a connection between this small public affair and his greatest private affairs;"(Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967) each citizen is acquired to take on public responsibility. "The township is thus the locus of the transformation of self- interest into patriotism "(Zetterbaum, 1967, p.92).As Zetterbaum (1967) expresses, by inserting administrative decentralisation into place, "such as local self- government, separation of church and state, a free press, indirect elections, an independent judiciary, and the encouragement of various associations for the pursuit of various social and political ends" will bring resolution to the democratic problems and encourage "the local political life to awake a conscious of public interest" (Why Do We Live In A "Smooth Tyranny"? para 3). As we see in Tocqueville's work, in America the lawmaking authority has been given supreme power but its representatives change annually, so that that no one holds the power for too long but so it can also "have a like effect on the execution of th law and on the public administrative activity" (Tocqueville, 1969, p.249).Of all the democratic devices, freedom of association is most important as democracy associations protect the right of minority against the tyranny of the majority. According to Tocqueville, learning to associate is the prerequisite for the for the preservation of civilisation itself and it is absolutely essential for democratic society's well being. By organising and operating by associations, men learn the art of adapting themselves to a common purpose."A people among whom individuals lost the power of achieving great things single handed, without acquiring the means of producing them by united exertions, would soon relapse into barbarism" (Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967).By the utility of associations, citizens can go beyond their individualism, mitigating the tyranny of the majority, but also overcoming the weakness to which democracy is prone. (Why Do We Live In A "Smooth Tyranny"?; Zetterbaum, 1967) Religion also plays a big part in reducing tyranny of majority. Tocqueville strikes a utilitarian attitude toward religion throughout. He believes that religion can combat both the individualism and materialism democracy produces religion shows men that there are goals and aspirations and it reminds men of their obligations to one another. Religion overall teaches humility therefore taking the attention from oneself and also balances out the process of capitalism and the marketplace (Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003). Tocqueville argues that religion can remain a strong influence on democratic society only if it stays clear of politics; entering into them will inevitably suggest that religious system of belief are subjective towards majority determinations (Zetterbaum, 1967, p. 117). Decentralisation, distributing power over smaller units of management, is evident in contemporary New Zealand democratic society; the most obvious decentralisation that is put in place is the separation of the judicial and the state so neither the judicial court or the state can have more power than the other. Another example can be exemplified through throuHowever lack of decentralisation is also prevalent in relations to contemporary New Zealand and the welfare system. In John Tamihere's speech on the welfare system in New Zealand he proclaims "it is no good having a growth and innovation strategy is large numbers of our community cannot participate." He continues to claim that "the ministry must be decentralised By associating ourselves with other people and certain groups, it allows us to activate our freedom and voice our opinion and values. There are a lot of social and political interest groups that individual citizens can organize themselves into. The notion of pluralistic system minimises the risk of political extremes from emerging, such as the case with the different parties that are evident in New Zealand government. Activating diverse range of parties such as Labour, National, NZ First, Greens just to name a few, allows different perspectives and values to be present and avoids one overwhelming majority to take over. Tocqueville views this type of capillary power also beneficial as no one party or group will be more dominant than the other. Tocqueville analysed the future of American democracy but he also gave guidelines to democratic society in general. Tyranny of majority focuses on the shunning of individuals/ minorities and enforcement of conformity. Equality plays a big part in the 'tyranny' as it leads to contentment and lowering of expectations of an individual. But to every problem there is a solution and Tocqueville felt that America had formed effective mechanisms such as administrative decentralisation, association and religion to mitigate 'tyranny of majority.'Tocqueville is best known for "Democracy in America" (1835-40), which was a perceptive analysis of the U.S. political and social system in the early 19th century. Tocqueville's study analysed the vitality, the excesses and the potential future of American democracy. Tocqueville focused on his of the 'tyranny of majority' as he began his description of American democratic practices; it is also perhaps the best-known concept of democratic despotism Tocqueville introduced in his work (Schleifer, 1980; Zetterbaum, 1967). Tyranny of majority, as viewed by Tocqueville outlined several risks and problems within a democratic paradigm that we will further explore in this essay. Tocqueville also believed that USA had formed mechanisms that stopped the 'tyranny' from developing, which this essay will also investigate as well as evaluating the value of those mechanisms for contemporary New Zealand. For Tocqueville, the primary meaning of tyranny of majority was shunning and silencing the individual and minority ideas to result in conformity of opinion- the opinion of the majority (Schleifer, 1980, p.211). "The moral authority of the majority is based on the notion that there is much more enlightenment and wisdom in a numerous assembly than in a single man" (Tocqueville, 1969, p.247). Perhaps the most noteworthy was the overwhelming authority which public opinion in America had not over just judges, legislators, and other public official, but also over minorities and private nonconforming individuals. But what most troubled Tocqueville was the "subtle but irresistible moral pressure, which the majority could bring to bear, rather than any political, legal, or even physical coercion." (Schleifer, 1980, p. 196)"In America the majority has enclosed thought within a formidable fence.A writer is free inside that area, but woe to the man, who goes beyond it."(Tocqueville, 1969, p.255)Tocqueville emphasized equality as the problem of democracy. Ruling of majority is problematic as it suggests the notion of equality- "sheep leading sheep." Tocqueville makes a clear distinction between the dichotomy of equality and liberty. The notion of democracy suggests liberty yet the outcome has inclined towards equality. This in turn results in contentment- everyone is guaranteed an equal level of lifestyle and expectations therefore people's expectations becomes reduced to their households and domestic lives, "living in the same manner and seeking wealth by the same means" (Democracy in America; Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003). Therefore political liberty is easily neglected by Americans whose constant focus is on the "extraneous awards in the labour market." (Democracy in America, para 3)Given this overwhelming moral power of "majority opinion", Tocqueville realised it had the ability to ostracise minorities and to enforce conformity. Tocqueville argues that this is a "fault of democracy rather than democracy in America" (Tocqueville and the Tyranny of the Majority, para 4). Therefore the 'tyranny of majority' had two major outcomes on the average person living in a democratic society:1. Renounce responsibility in political life and accept majority opinion as his/ her own. ( Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003)2. Trust the state will ensure equality- crushing the independence of thought, reducing people's thoughts and expectations down to their households (and even more down to themselves).For Tocqueville the problem of democracy and its solution could be understood in terms of a simple formula: "equality was the cause; freedom, the remedy". " To combat the evils which equality may produce, there is only one effectual remedy: namely, political freedom" (Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967). Although USA lived in the boundaries of tyranny of majority in a democratic society, Tocqueville also felt America had also formulated mechanisms that stopped the 'tyranny' from developing further.Tocqueville saw government as becoming everyday more powerful, and individuals more helpless, and American experience suggest for the resolution of the democratic problem to take a new turn by employing "administrative decentralisation." (Zetterbaum, 1967,p.87). American federalism demonstrated that a unified legal system, a single structure of legal authority, was compatible with decentralized administration. The New England Township enabled Tocqueville to demonstrate both political and moral benefits of sustaining local autonomy in a political system. Administrative decentralisation fostered individual activity on matters important to the local community or township, proposing an increase in autonomy. By learning to care about and cooperate on political matters that affect the person on a personal level- on matters " he will see at a glance that there is a connection between this small public affair and his greatest private affairs;"(Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967) each citizen is acquired to take on public responsibility. "The township is thus the locus of the transformation of self- interest into patriotism "(Zetterbaum, 1967, p.92).As Zetterbaum (1967) expresses, by inserting administrative decentralisation into place, "such as local self- government, separation of church and state, a free press, indirect elections, an independent judiciary, and the encouragement of various associations for the pursuit of various social and political ends" will bring resolution to the democratic problems and encourage "the local political life to awake a conscious of public interest" (Why Do We Live In A "Smooth Tyranny"? para 3). As we see in Tocqueville's work, in America the lawmaking authority has been given supreme power but its representatives change annually, so that that no one holds the power for too long but so it can also "have a like effect on the execution of th law and on the public administrative activity" (Tocqueville, 1969, p.249).Of all the democratic devices, freedom of association is most important as democracy associations protect the right of minority against the tyranny of the majority. According to Tocqueville, learning to associate is the prerequisite for the for the preservation of civilisation itself and it is absolutely essential for democratic society's well being. By organising and operating by associations, men learn the art of adapting themselves to a common purpose."A people among whom individuals lost the power of achieving great things single handed, without acquiring the means of producing them by united exertions, would soon relapse into barbarism" (Tocqueville, as cited in Zetterbaum, 1967).By the utility of associations, citizens can go beyond their individualism, mitigating the tyranny of the majority, but also overcoming the weakness to which democracy is prone. (Why Do We Live In A "Smooth Tyranny"?; Zetterbaum, 1967) Religion also plays a big part in reducing tyranny of majority. Tocqueville strikes a utilitarian attitude toward religion throughout. He believes that religion can combat both the individualism and materialism democracy produces religion shows men that there are goals and aspirations and it reminds men of their obligations to one another. Religion overall teaches humility therefore taking the attention from oneself and also balances out the process of capitalism and the marketplace (Tie, personal communication, 28 July, 2003). Tocqueville argues that religion can remain a strong influence on democratic society only if it stays clear of politics; entering into them will inevitably suggest that religious system of belief are subjective towards majority determinations (Zetterbaum, 1967, p. 117). Decentralisation, distributing power over smaller units of management, is evident in contemporary New Zealand democratic society; the most obvious decentralisation that is put in place is the separation of the judicial and the state so neither the judicial court or the state can have more power than the other. Another example can be exemplified through throuHowever lack of decentralisation is also prevalent in relations to contemporary New Zealand and the welfare system. In John Tamihere's speech on the welfare system in New Zealand he proclaims "it is no good having a growth and innovation strategy is large numbers of our community cannot participate." He continues to claim that "the ministry must be decentralised By associating ourselves with other people and certain groups, it allows us to activate our freedom and voice our opinion and values. There are a lot of social and political interest groups that individual citizens can organize themselves into. The notion of pluralistic system minimises the risk of political extremes from emerging, such as the case with the different parties that are evident in New Zealand government. Activating diverse range of parties such as Labour, National, NZ First, Greens just to name a few, allows different perspectives and values to be present and avoids one overwhelming majority to take over. Tocqueville views this type of capillary power also beneficial as no one party or group will be more dominant than the other. Tocqueville analysed the future of American democracy but he also gave guidelines to democratic society in general. Tyranny of majority focuses on the shunning of individuals/ minorities and enforcement of conformity. Equality plays a big part in the 'tyranny' as it leads to contentment and lowering of expectations of an individual. But to every problem there is a solution and Tocqueville felt that America had formed effective mechanisms such as administrative decentralisation, association and religion to mitigate 'tyranny of majority.'

RELATED

Du Bois, Rousseau, Toquville, Plato - english - summary

502 words - 3 pages side. In “Democracy in America” Tocqueville believes that the American system has a greater capacity for general ideas; Tocqueville says the democracy if people reach out to government and laws they would get equality. That is not the case with Du Bois, there is no equality in Du Bois’ America; black people are bided by laws like Jim Crowe laws that takes away from voting, lands, and self-respect. Tocqueville is a European aristocrat, he believes

FREE To an Extent : A look at the lives of Freed Nothern Blacks in Colonial America - History - Research Paper

2586 words - 11 pages of abolitionists, 5 Greene, L. "The Negro in Colonial New England." 6 De Tocqueville, A., "Democracy in America." 5 life for free blacks was far from idyllic, due to northern racism. Most free blacks lived in racial enclaves in the major cities of the North: New York, Boston and Philadelphia. There, poor living conditions led to disease and death. Even wealthy blacks were prohibited from living in white neighborhoods due to whites' fear of

Essay On Past Religion of America

533 words - 3 pages small way. Simply possessing an opinion and acting on it was purposeful in this time when many new ideologies and beliefs were adopted.So Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in admiration of the superior organization of the country in the midst of so much reform conflict. The sheer pleasure of promoting a cause led to the numerous reform movements around the United States in the 1800s preceding the Civil War, the climax of each reform in the embodiment of

Constitutional Law - The UK and its Constitution - Law - Assignment

3275 words - 14 pages , as it would be limited by legislation. Alexis De Tocqueville supported this by clarifying “[i]n England, the Parliament has an acknowledged right to modify the constitution; as, therefore, the constitution may undergo perpetual changes, it does not really exist; the Parliament is at once a legislative and constituent assembly.”[footnoteRef:16] On the other hand, a constitution is more compatible with democracy and will be able to bridge the gap

Research Paper On The Wage Gap In The United States, And Class Struggles From The Underclass With Sources Included

3633 words - 15 pages ed. 30 Aug. 2005Appelbaum, Eileen and Larry W. Hunter "UNION PARTICIPATION IN STRATEGIC DECISIONS OF CORPORATIONS" NBER 23 oct. 2003De Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America. Translator George Lawrence., ed. J.P. Mayer. New York: Perennial classics, 2000Industrial Workers of the World.Knights of LaborLeonhardt, David. Class Matters. New York: Times books, 2005Preamble to the IWW Constitution. < http://www.iww.org/culture/official/preamble.shtml>

Levels Of Planning Assignment

1770 words - 8 pages Planning and organizing in respect to Wells Fargo is essential to the success of the company. The vision of Wells Fargo Bank is to move to the next stage going from "good to great," (wellsfargo.com). The organization has constantly reinvented itself through the years by creating new departments, products, services and new positions. The changes that have been made to the organization have been instrumental in the success of the company. Planning

Sun Life Case

7990 words - 32 pages Table of contents1: Summary 22: Main Contents of the report 3-202.1: Introduction 32.2: Problem and the followed procedure 42.3: Sun Life Financial from strategic managerial viewpoints 42.3.1: Sun Life Financial's strategic logic 62.3.2: SWOT analysis 102.3.3: PEST analysis 132.3.4: The attractiveness of the Chinese insurance market 172.3.5: Strategies and city choice 183: Results, conclusions and recommendations 224: Bibliography 231

This essay explains why it might be hard for parents to bring up children in the Christian faith

512 words - 3 pages In order to answer this question we must firstly look at what is done at the birth of the child. If they are baptised as a baby, they clearly include no opinion in the situation. If this child doesn't believe in this faith there will be obvious rise against this as they get older and realise what it means.Furthermore, a particularly social child who is busy quite a lot of the time may find it hard to go to Church when they are supposed to and

Vpost: Case Study

436 words - 2 pages V-post has the ability to substantially improve its profit margin, but it may difficult to realize that with the insight from Singpost, it can and will happen overnight. V-post is currently selling maximum range of approximately million bucks value of goods each day. As V-post faces many intense pressures to be more and more competitive and to increase profitability, a new perspective must be directed to the reduction and control of expenses

Bhopal Gas Tragedy

1749 words - 7 pages Disasters happen when multinational corporations though having enormous resources tend to look the other side when most of the people are uneducated and their governments do not care for them and their safety and laws are usually bent if not broken by the corporations for their benefit.On the night at around 1 a.m. on Monday, December 3, 1984, when most of the people were at home sleeping, a deadly toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked out

Standardized Tests: Helpful Or Harmful?

2147 words - 9 pages Before entering the "real" world and making decisions about careers and life, there is one major decision one is faced with. The question of which institution will best fit their needs to prepare them for life. There are several choices to choose from. From Ivy League Schools to State Schools as well as Historically Black Colleges and Universities the list goes on and on. These schools are viewed in society on a scale. Ivy League Schools are

American History

371 words - 2 pages Throughout American history, the development of plantations (farms) in the American colonies arrived as immigrants arrived in small farms. The American people settled on the land west of the Mississippi for many diverse reasons. As the years went, by the profit and demand for crops such as tobacco grew larger. At that time, large plantation could had over 400 acres of fields growing anything from tobacco to maize and sugarcane(in the south), as

"Love In The Time Of Cholera" By Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Stylistic Analysis

815 words - 4 pages The author uses from the first person point of view. This is viewed in the first person because the author uses pronouns such as "we" and "my" in the story. To have pronouns such as "we" and "my" is the definition of first person narrators. An example of this can be seen through the following phrase:"My mother is not an inventive or convincing liar, and the excuses which occur to her are obviously second rate."We know that the narrator is

Albinism: Characteristics And Symptoms, Causes And Treatments

355 words - 2 pages Characteristics and symptomsThe characteristics and symptoms of albinism are:- very light skin color- blondish-white colored hair- visual impairments that require glasses- tendency to sunburn easily,- hearing impairments- blood-clotting problems- red/pink eyes- Low Vision- Sensitivity to bright light and glare- involuntary eye movements- "Slowness to see" in infancy- Inability of the eyes to work togetherThese are all symptoms of albinos but an

Contemplating Racism

1124 words - 5 pages From the beginning of recorded history, possibly before then, humans have found a necessity for classifying and categorizing every aspect of life. This need for order has been used to efficiently organize and clarify the endless details on Earth. This arrangement of objects in groups has also created a very sinister and volatile mindset that some people live by. This associative manner of classification has lead to the formation of beliefs in