Tag Archives: Tocqueville

HomePosts Tagged "Tocqueville"

Plenty of liberals—and not just liberal professors—think there is a conservative conspiracy to use online education and MOOCs, to destroy genuinely higher education in this country. I see no organized conspiracy, and much of the liberal paranoia amounts to whining about the results of legitimate political defeats. Nonetheless, there is something to the thought that hostility to higher education as it…

So everyone’s talking about the article by the intellectual Russell Jacoby on the alleged fact that there are no conservative intellectuals anymore.
The article isn’t much good, in fact. One problem is that it doesn’t really explain what an intellectual is.
The first outstanding criticism of modern intellectuals came from the lefty philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He explained that in a modern, sophisticated…

Populist waves have been a constant in American politics at least since the Jacksonian era of the early nineteenth century, and traces of populist sentiment can be detected as far back Bacon’s Rebellion in colonial Virginia.[1] While the historical and ideological contexts of these movements vary wildly, their essence is always the desire to shift political power away from some…

"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…