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"The father saw from afar the limits at which his authority had to expire; and when time has brought him to those limits, he abdicates without difficulty."
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America).[1]
 
Tocqueville expresses surprise that commentators do not dwell more on the influence of inheritance.  He believes that the laws and mores of inheritance “should be placed at the…

Alexis de Tocqueville’s Theory of Democracy and Revolutions. Michał Kuź. Warsaw: Lazarski University Press, 2016.
 
Michał Kuź’s Alexis de Tocqueville’s Theory of Democracy and Revolutions is an attempt to combine Tocqueville’s political theory with the insights of contemporary social scientists on politics, culture, and technology. Tocqueville, he argues, formulated a general model of political change that has been shown to have…

Max Weber in his sociological classic The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism addresses the question of what gives birth to rational capitalism in the west. Weber proposes that for Protestants, especially New England Puritans who experienced a sense of anxiety in their assurance of salvation, the Calvinist conviction of “calling” led to a type of this-worldly asceticism which…

Mormon Scholarship
The obstacles confronting one to write about Mormon culture, specifically its religion and its relationship to liberal democracy are enormous: the conceptualization of liberal democracy and Mormon culture, the unique origins and nature of the Mormon religion, and the either adversarial and conspiratorial or apologetic and self-congratulatory accounts of Mormon history. These difficulties are compounded by the fact that…

Conserving America? Essays on Present Discontents. Patrick J. Deneen. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press, 2016.
 
The current political polarization in the country today can be characterized as the Political Left calling for cultural liberation in the form of identity and sexual politics and the Political Right demanding the economic liberation of the free market. Whereas the Left believes that government,…

Both Tocqueville and Weber confronted the injection of mass suffrage into the liberal democratic polity with trepidation and caution but for different reasons: for Tocqueville, democracy produced a condition of social equality and Cartesian pragmatism that could lead to individualism, cultural mediocrity, and ultimately majority tyranny, while for Weber the domination of administrative bureaucracy and its use of instrumental rationality…

Democratic Aesthetics in Tocqueville
In his analysis of democracy Alexis de Tocqueville makes a number of observations about the relationship between political culture and arts. He writes about the theater, the poetry, the arts of democratic peoples, as well as about literary industry and about the strange ambiguity of architecture, namely, why Americans build both important and insignificant monuments. These observations…

Cosmopolitanism Today
The word cosmopolitan implies that the world itself can be regarded as a polis or political community and that it is possible for the human being to live as a citizen (polites) of the world. For its proponents, this ideal of universal citizenship is associated with enlightenment and sophistica­tion, the liberation of the heart and mind from parochial prejudice…

Philosophy and the American Outlook
Tocqueville presents American democracy in its practice as learning by doing and not through philosophical ideas. But in the first part of volume 2 [of Democracy in America], he turns to philosophy to consider not the influence of philosophy on democracy but of democracy on philosophy, on "intellectual movement in the United States." This is an…

The Conservative Foundations of the Liberal Order: Defending Democracy against Its Modern Enemies and Immoderate Friends. Daniel J. Mahoney. Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute Press, 2008.
 
In The Spirit of Liberalism (1978), Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr., distinguished between “modern conservatism that accompanies liberalism” and “classical conservatism that preceded liberalism.”  Mansfield told us, “modern conservatism was born in rebellion against liberalism.” However,…