In his book IV, De Tocqueville discusses the influence of democratic ideas and feelings on the society they govern. De Tocqueville sees serious ills within the system of democracy. Chiefly, his concern is with independent men acting with no other guide than their own will. This complete independence, according to De Tocqueville, will undoubtedly lead to men only valuing the leaders they have chosen. The equality and independence men receive from democracy may be the factors that cause them to defer from democracy’s authority. Men living in a democratic nation adopt the notion of a powerful central power and that is the power that they recognize.
This system promotes the ideas that men have no superiors or inferiors. This leads to men feeling apart from others and left to their own private affairs. Now these men, with regards to public interest, will follow their natural wants and needs. Their private interests become the basis for their public dealings. De Tocqueville also sees education as an important part of democracy. It takes an educated population with a willingness to participate to make democracy realize its potential.
As the gap between educated and non-educated citizens widens, the amount of power held by the few at the top drastically increases. De Tocqueville recognizes the ” Despotic Potential ” of democracy. An example used is the Roman Empire. While its range of power was grandiose in size, the basic principle was that it had a single ruler with unlimited power.
... corruption. In relation to the theme, a white man fears a black man receiving power because he has treated blacks unfairly and in ... . But the native community was affected by this because the educated, once they had left, did not want to return back ... families. Instead the old aged men and women worked and the returning ones that were educated just sat there and drank lazily ...
Role were clearly defined for its society. Even in feudal societies of Europe contain clearly defined roles for its members. Democracy created the belief that all people were equal. Men enjoy the power and liberty brought by equality but they feel disdain for the rulers which they have not chosen. With no clearly defined intermediary classes, should the government fail people were left to their own devices.
This will lead to every member going off following their own interests and the eventual rise of a powerful leader who has gained unlimited rule. De Tocqueville does leave us with the hope of redeeming democracy. He will not say which system is necessarily better but he will contend that they are different. The success of either, however, depends on the willingness of its participants to make it successful. The system of Democracy is perpetuated by the population it controls.
Men decide whether or not the equality afforded to them leads them to “servitude or freedom, to knowledge or barbarism, to prosperity or wretchedness.” (p. 317).