Classical Soc – November 23 – Lecture 10
- Social Relations
- The Future of Democracy
- Why do people in society tend to become more individualistic?
o In an aristocracy, what I do now affects my family in 100 years. I think about sacrificing
myself for something bigger than myself.
You live life in a hierarchy. There’s always a lord above you, and so you always
feel like you’re at the call of that individual. If there’s someone below you, you
feel like you owe them something.
Meeting occurs in public, on the battlefield.
o In a democracy, everyone is equal and no one accepts that someone is higher than you.
You think about what YOU THINK. Not what future generations think.
Owe a duty to humanity as a whole, but that’s a very weak observation. How do
you ever talk to humanity? You can’t call them because it doesn’t exist. The idea
that you’re supposed to care about something that isn’t real weakens the
o Individualism is not the same thing as selfishness. It means that the meaning in my life
comes from the realization of the meaning of my life. The meaning of my life has to do
with my private sphere (ie. Family)
When you focus your attention on you, you just stop caring about what
goes on beyond yourself and your family.
o These people are easy to control by an outside authority.
Melancholy (around page 512-513)
You're never really sure if you’re on the right or wrong path of life.
In an aristocracy, everything’s planned for you.
In an aristocracy, if you're rich, you’re generally stuck in your position.
In a democracy, you’re trying to figure out how to protect/keep your
- How to control individualism
o Public involvement
o Civil Association
Any group that you’re involved in gets you involved
490, maintaining an involvement in clubs,
There’s often various administrative were involved in things, You have
to have practice
o The doctrine of self-interest well understood
There’s some idea or some concept that you can cause you to infrt …. Nothing is really good unless it’s good for me (aristocratic)
Democracy – whatever is done for yourself ought to be good for other
You want to get someone to go to the military, you better give them a
Also exists in religion:
• either God exists or doesn’t exist
• if God does exist then you act against him
your going to hell
• if God doesn’t exist, then doesn’t matter
• self interest for believing in God
You should do this because it’s going to work out making things better
for you. That’s the incent
- Social Relations
- How are social relationships expected to change from aristocratic to democratic societies?
o Centralization of power in an aristocratic society and according to Tocqueville, that is
Sympathy- how is it to see - HIGH IN CLASS - GENERALIZED for all of
someone else’s misfortune; - Everyone in the each humanity
conditions in which it matters to class has a very similar - We’re all in one giant
you and doesn’t matter to you. background and life, and class, and so it’s very
so the sympathy is easy for us to imagine
prevalent. everyone else’s
- LOW OUTSIDE CLASS circumstance.
- Everyone outside of your - LESS FOR PARTICULAR
class is foreign and alien; PEOPLE
you have no connection - There’s not much
to them. personal loyalty. You
- Doesn’t mean that give money for humanity
people don’t help each relief across the world,
other across classes. but you don’t know your
They do, but not out of neighbors name.
sympathy, instead out of - WWII – Germans could
generosity and loyalty. at least have sympathy
It’s part of your being. for the captured
Germans brutal to the
Russians. How is that the
same people are
barbaric and inhumane
for one and not the
other? Sympathy isn’t
just its nice to help
people. Its your ability to
connect someone else’s life to yourself
Reserve – the idea of feeling - Of birth- RARE/LOW; - LOW
disconnected with the other The only way you can be More people are similar
people rich is to be born rich. to one another; the idea
You’re stuck pretty much of equality
if you’re not like that
You’re reserved because
you don’t want to admit
that there’s a negative
differentiation with the
Tocqueville – silent war
in society, top keep
people who aren’t down,
and you got people who
are at the bottom trying
to go up
Service – relationships between - You can be born into - Everyone’s always trying
servants and masters servitude (if your father to move up. Your role is
was a butler, you’ll be a not prescribed to you at
butler), and even within birth. There’s no
the trade there are separate class of
distinctions (butler is servants, which means
higher than a cook who that there’s no special
is higher than a maid). servant personality
- Being a servant is a class. types.
Thus, there is a servant - The deeper change is
honor: being a high-level that servants become
servant. They live their equal to their masters.
life through the lives of - You always think that
those superior to them. you might be the master
- HEREDITARY; SERVANT later (you’ll progress).
NOBILITY - Why do you listen to the
- INTIMACY BETWEEN master? Because you
MASTERS AND made a deal; you had a
SERVANTS contract (for these two
hours, I clean your
house, and if you want
me to clean something
specific, I’ll do that).
However, doing what
you say does not define
me. Outside of the
contract, we’re just two
people and neither of us
is superior to one
another. - Their relationship is
- Minimizes warmth; do
not develop that bond
and life long sense
Parent/Child – How does power - COLD, FORMAL; BASED - Each of us, as
exercise in a society? ON OBEDIENCE AND individuals, speak or
COMMAND; BASED ON have a direct
TRADITION AND relationship to social
DEFERENCE TO authorities. These
AUTHORITY powers speak to each of
- Powerful people don’t us individually.
speak directly to the - The position of the
entire population. father as the point of
- The father would be the political entry is
head of the family, and weakened. He ends up
the face of the family to being like everyone else
the political world. If the in the family, but just
most important people older and richer.
in society want to tell - Moreover, the past
families something, they doesn’t have the same
tell the father, who tells type of authority
everyone else, more because things are
specifically their sons. always changing. The
Father commands, sons past is merely
obey. It’s a cold, distant, information.
and severe relationship - The relationship