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Tocqueville reading 1.docx

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Feb 25: Tocqueville  Despotism: the exercise of absolute authority, absolute power or control  Before, there was never an absolute power that tried to subject all people indiscriminately to details of an uniform code  would have failed because of: o Inadequate education o Imperfect administrative machinery o Natural obstacles raised by unequal conditions  Ex. Roman emperors had a lot of power and people obeyed same monarch, most provinces had separate administration (so details of daily/social life escaped monarch’s control) - Power limited, had few main targets but left the rest of the people alone  If despotism was established in Tocqueville’s time, would have degraded men rather than torment them  Rulers could easily bring public power into own hands + impede in sphere of private interests o But as men become more alike/equal, public mores become more humane + gentle  Type of oppression which threatens democracy, no word for it  Mankind consists in children and his personal friends  Compares mankind to state: o Wants to think that citizens enjoy themselves,
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