Tocqueville Tyranny Of The Majority Analysis

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Brenton Desai 24-hour Late Ms. Mckinney April 21, 2014 Word Count: 1500 Tyranny of the Majority In Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, he discusses his experience with the structure of American society and the effects it has on the people. He points to the emphasis on equality that he sees in America as a reason for its success as a new, developing nation. The increasing equality of conditions leads to the governmental structure of majority rule, where decisions are made based on number of opinions. Tocqueville initially praises the democracy in America but then goes on to warn against the possibility of the “tyranny of the majority” and the downside of the majority having too much power and influence. Because of the consequences of the tyranny of the majority that I have seen in present day life and Tocqueville’s own reasoning, I believe he is right to suggest that the majority’s power needs to be limited to a certain extent in order to allow a sufficient balance between freedom and equality, which are necessary to the happiness of a society. Tocqueville opens the book with a discussion on the equality of conditions that he experienced in America, and the general trend toward equality that he sees all over the world. The desires of the people and their freedom to pursue them produce a trend in which socioeconomically, the rich lose wealth and the poor gain it, and politically, a poor man has the same ability to influence the government as a rich man. This trend toward equality of conditions leads to the system of government that Tocqueville saw in America, in which the majority holds political and social power based on the notion that, “there is more enlightenment and wisdom in a numerous assembly than in a single ma... ... middle of paper ... ...manner to the one suggested by Tocqueville, and I believe it is very conducive to the flourishing of the country. The rights of the minority are not only respected, but also championed as a point of pride. It is a culture of liberty to dissent with the majority when needed, balanced with the political equality of all eligible citizens. Such a balance is what allows a government to rule with efficacy while maintaining justice to the minority. This culture is a result of powerful leaders like Dr. King Jr., who fought against the majority with integrity. Leaders like Dr. King were able to break free of the social pressure that plagued the nation in Tocqueville’s time. Dr. King demanded equality and respect for the minority’s liberty to exercise their rights free of fear of retribution, turning a tyrannical majority into a majority that leads a flourishing democracy.
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