The democratic rule of the majority is paradoxically ethical and tyrannical. “Democracy in America,” by Alexis De Tocqueville analyzes the tyranny of the majority theory and its role in forming political ideology and the constitution in America…
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The system of democracy has arisen as a result of oppression by aristocracy and monarchy. Aristocrats and monarchs pledged allegiance to Catholicism and often suppressed certain liberties. As the world’s first modern democracy, America stands as a beacon to the world. Marked disparities lie in both narratives of De Tocqueville and Mill. Both De Tocqueville and Mill carry onerous burdens about the tyranny of the majority in their theses; however they both attack the same topic, justifying their fears about the majority rule using different premises. On one hand, De Tocqueville takes note of American democracy as it implements the majority as its government its distinguishing traits and also downfalls; on the other, Mill is more predisposed to liberty considerations, detailing the distinctive qualities of liberty – both tackling the pitfalls of governing the individual, threats to individuality and by extension the nation under the rule of the majority. The combination of all these causes forms so great a mass of influences hostile to Individuality, that it is not easy to see how it can stand its ground. It will do so with increasing difficulty, unless the public can be made to feel its value—to see that it is good there should be differences, even though not for the better, even though, as it may appear to them, some should be for the worse. If the claims of Individuality are ever to be asserted, the time is now, while much is still lacking to complete the enforced assimilation. De Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” and John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty,’ are similar because they both have numerous legitimate concerns about the right and plight of the minority and individual in the face of a system of politics ruled by the majority. Both thinkers delve into these pertinent subjects to substantiate their points. The narratives of both political thinkers also concur because they continue to dissect all forms of government and trace the effects of certain governmental structures and distributions of power, concentrating power into the hands of the public. De Tocqueville’s main preoccupation is the definition and sovereignty of the American people, whereas Mill’s is the supremacy of the general will. These differences exist because De Tocqueville’s argument centers on the system of democracy – a brand of government for the people, of the people and by the people. De Tocqueville reasons that for government, one party must be lesser, while the next must be greater. Following this logic, he realizes that even democracy has its inequalities. He refers to the origins of democracy – a system of government put into effect by the people, for the people and of the people. However, he is quick to underscore that there are some weighty implications with the rule of the people. Collective government is evidently encapsulated in the U.S. Constitution, “We, the people.” The elections, the democratic process, is actually glaring evidence of the rule of the majority in which the people elect a government based on a majority count. Since minorities are not given enough say or authority, American democracy ultimately tyrannizes the minority, empowered with the ability to ignore conveniently, prosecute and persecute dissidents. By elucidating on the repressive origin and character of democracy, De Tocqueville informs that American democracy is ruled by a majority, suppresses the minority, conforming to the general will. Likewise, John Stuart Mill critiques the power of the general wil
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(Alexis De Tocquevilles Democracy in America (1835, 1840) and John Essay)
“Alexis De Tocquevilles Democracy in America (1835, 1840) and John Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/history/1393490-alexis-de-tocquevilles-democracy-in-america-1835-1840-and-john-stuart-mill-on-liberty-1859.
Utilitarianism is often summarized as “the greatest good for the greatest number” being used to calculate the moral correctness of an action, decision, or policy for both individuals and society on a common standard. Utilitarianism ideally judges actions based upon their outcome in producing the greatest happiness or pleasure for the greatest number of people, and therefore the ‘utility’ of an action can be calculated through its use in the production of the social good.
However, in order for these rules and regulations to be obeyed, there must be an autonomous government that ensures people follow the rule without using any favor in its administration (Bowie and Simon 56). Therefore, this essay is going to support the crucial role played by society in ensuring citizens enjoy their liberties, freedoms and happiness, as advocated by Mill in his two books On Liberty and Utilitarianism.
In both instances the individual cannot be practically existent outside of the community, nor can civil society itself exist without being composed of a network of individuals. Both Marx and Mill share this fundamental acceptance, however each chooses to focus on a different aspect of the relationship for emphasis.
Referring to it as the principle of utility, Mill believes that the highest normative principle is that actions are moral as they tend to promote happiness and immoral as they tend to produce sadness or dissatisfaction. Although Mill was a utilitarian, he argued that not all forms of pleasure are of equal value, using his famous saying "It is better to be Socrates dissatisfied, than a fool satisfied." In this regard, John Stuart Mill rejects the classical virtue theory.
The constraint may be physiological, moral, social , religious and in all the cases it limits the human being.
John Stuart Mill discussed this problem, of liberty-constraint in his essay: "On liberty". But the interest for this concept has appeared since childhood.
John Stuart Mill is considered among one of the fathers of liberalism, who proposed the concept of an expansive liberty with minimal restraint. His work 'On Liberty' is a complete set of principles that addresses the ideal nature and extent of liberty to be exercised by society over an individual.
Uprooted from England, the American settles built a new democratic society with more equal terms and ranks afforded to every citizen, leaving behind the walls of aristocracy and throwing off the yoke of the motherland. This pioneering spirit was set in contrast with those of the Native American Indians gave birth to a distinct social condition and resulted to legislative pursuit of utopian objectives by democratic means.
He says that Americans believe that human intelligence can understand everything and thus undermine the significance of philosophy and spirituality in their individual and communal lives; but unfortunately for man in many instances the truths exceed his human limits
-month visit they conducted many inquiries and interviews with more than200 people on American social practices, law, and politics (Tocqueville, n.d). Moreover, after Tocqueville returned to France, he read a couple of documents that reflected on his trip and revealed in Western
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