SOCB42 Nov 8
Looks at America as the ideal democratic society.
different because T was not of middle class family. He was from aristocrat.
he was emprisoned during french revolution. sad end of a world: this is how
he ssaw the french revolution. not something holding back productivity, rather
there was noble qualities to fuedal society? opporutnity for individuals to stand
above the rest, order, belngning etc. the new world was wiping it away.
negative things democracy can bring? what are they? he went to america>
democratic society in purest form. similar to other authors where they went to hot
grounds of commerce.
Democracy as a Way of Life
not a political system, rather a day to day life that extends into everything.
the big revolution was increasing equality of conditions> more ppl lead live
similar to one another than before. how we got from a world more defined by birth
(aristocratic) to one defined by equal conditions (democratic society).
Basic Principels of Aristocratic Society: (pgs 3-4)
1. power and authroity are hereditory
2. Force: comannd and obedience
New sources of influence:
i. clergy: at the time anybody could become priest (poor or rich). gave
ppl from non artistocratic opportunities to rise up. they start to have authority over
rgions because the church owned land.
ii. civil war: lawyers started to become key to aristocrats.
iV. enlightenment: science, literature, arts expanding. emergence of
museums, learned societies. salons> gathering of ppl doing the arts. dindt have to
come from aristocratic family to be very good at arts etc.
these helped to weaken the capacity of land, power, birth to generte new social
source of power. kings could turn to these new powers in their constant rivalries
with nobilty. the kings brings these guys (normal ppl) on their side.
Why was this happening?
1. Crusades: the aristocrats thought they needed to got ot palestine to
conquer. many died and lost tresure. so the group got weaker.
2. townships: they started to emerge. had decion making happening in democratic
ways. each member was free. 3. invention of modern firearms: before it was horse and armour but now guns
outweigth the advantage over teh aritocracy: this changed warfare etc
4. printing press. before this it was very expensive to create books. so only the
rich had access. now it can be mass produced so everybody could read
5. mail: hooks everybody of what's happening everywhere else. create an
informed populous. makes them want to have a say
6. religious change> protestantism. luther and calvin critique catholic church
from within. mideval catholic churhc says not all ppl have access to god. always
someone higher than you . protestantism says everybody could have access to god.
the priests in teh p church did not wear flashy robes and they did not have to got to
preists to confess sins
7. discovery of america: it become symbol tat anybody has opporuntity to change
their lives than what you were born into. get on a boat, leave and remake yourself.
Sense that democracy is an inevitabe tidal wave sweeping across society (p 6)
by/through gods will
can't control democracy> but we must guide tje transformation to be fruitful
reactionaries, fighting against those fighting against those of democracy. there are
Challenges of Democracy
1. what was good about the society that existed before ie the aristovratic
i. noble class: nobes check central power. extrmeme concentration of
power is bad so this society it has strong nobikty to stop tendecies toway tyranny.
ii. king's divinity provided cehcked power. (granted power by god, use
power in a religously sanctioned..
iii. noblesse oblige: sense of obligation noblity feel towards tehri
perasants and ppl/ provide medical care for sick etc…
iv. peasants looked up to the nobilty: born a peasant in a world like
that. accept fate. never comes up to challenge tehk
dont feel bad about being at the bottem, dont try to improve conditions> sense of
stabilt and order. acccept the heirarchy as it.
they try to change this view, not accepting it as natural.the catholic church sided
wiht the nobility. standing against fredom and equality. the ppl figting for equality
becoming secular atheists.now the society is unsettling.