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Western Kentucky University

Government theses

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The Masterless Society: Observations On American Democracy By Alexis De Tocqueville, James Tyrie Jr. Dec 1977

The Masterless Society: Observations On American Democracy By Alexis De Tocqueville, James Tyrie Jr.

Government theses

French political theorist Alexis de Tocqueville’s views concerning American democracy were examined in order to discern key aspects of democratic thought and practice in America. Tocqueville found certain fundamental premises such as individual freedom and “equality of conditions” at the base of democracy in America. From these basic premises come several paradoxical results, namely the masterless society, economic materialism and “tyranny of the majority.” These paradoxes are controlled by safeguards of associations, the press and the judiciary within the system. It was found that Tocqueville’s detachment and foresight give his thought greater meaning than that of many contemporary ...