Democracy in America


Alexis de Toqueville

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Democracy in America: Chapter 52 Summary & Analysis

Tocqueville reiterates his claim that democratic independence, which makes people suspicious of authority, also encourages them to embrace free institutions. Tocqueville acknowledges that such love of independence may well elicit fears about anarchy and disorder. However, he argues that anarchy is to be feared far less than servitude, and he approves of independence to the extent that it prepares people to fight against servitude.
Tocqueville explicitly acknowledges the fear of anarchy most likely because this was something that many of his contemporaries, especially those who shared his social position, feared about democracies. He only raises the point, though, in order to replace that concern with another.
Civic and Religious Institutions Theme Icon
Individualism and Materialism   Theme Icon