The Slothful Tyrant

In the first volume of Democracy in America, Tocqueville warns us about a new and sinister form of oppression to which modern democratic peoples are susceptible: “the tyranny of the majority.” In olden times, abusive rulers used harsh punishments to coerce their subjects, and even just rulers were surrounded by flatterers seeking to harness publicContinue reading “The Slothful Tyrant”

Sources of Civic Strength

Thomas Jefferson, whom Tocqueville considered “the most powerful apostle democracy has ever had,” firmly believed in “a natural aristocracy among men.” Members of this natural aristocracy are in principle distinguishable from those of the “tinsel-aristocracy” still clinging to power in the Europe of his day. “Artificial aristocracy” is “founded on wealth and birth, without eitherContinue reading “Sources of Civic Strength”