What did Tocqueville think about individualism?

What did Tocqueville think about individualism?

As a critic of individualism, Tocqueville thought that through associating for mutual purpose, both in public and private, Americans are able to overcome selfish desires, thus making both a self-conscious and active political society and a vibrant civil society functioning according to political and civil laws of the …

How does Alexis de Tocqueville define individualism?

The French aristocratic political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–59) described individualism in terms of a kind of moderate selfishness that disposed humans to be concerned only with their own small circle of family and friends.

How does Tocqueville distinguish individualism from selfishness?

Tocqueville distinguishes individualism from selfishness. Democratic man believes he must be self-reliant but feels keenly his weakness in the face of a mass of other “individuals.” The practical manifestation of individualism is man’s increasing withdrawal from public into private life.

What did Tocqueville think about aristocracy?

Tocqueville argues, “In aristocratic peoples, families remain in the same state for centuries, and often in the same place. That renders all generations so to speak contemporaries.” Aristocrats feel a duty to both posterity and ancestors.

Is the emergence of individualism the enemy of democracy?

Consequently, he explicitly dissents from Tocqueville’s connection of the emergence of individualism with the progress of democracy or equality. For Bellah, individualism is the enemy of democracy, emerges in opposition to it, and can be eradicated by more of it.

Why was despotism dangerous to the bourgeoisie?

If citizens are too individualistic, despotism becomes a dangerous possibility because individualists can either choose to fulfil their civic duties or exercise their freedom. For Tocqueville, excessive equality also led to materialism and selfish individualism in the bourgeoisie.

What is the cure for the misery of individualism?

F or Bellah, the cure for the misery of individualism is the completion of democracy or “economic democracy.” It is his contention that the misery and anxiety of democratic affluence would disappear in the process of the democratic destruction of economic distinctions. He is somewhat unclear concerning why this would occur.