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Tocqueville

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UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE

NAME HILARY

SURNAME MABHENA

REGISTRATION NUMBER R151042T

PROGRAM HONOURS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

COURSE POLITICAL THEORY II PA112

LECTURER MR MASUNUNGURE

TEACHING ASSISTANT MR MARAWAKO

TUTORIAL GROUP TUESDAY 3-4

QUESTION IN DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA, TOCQUEVILLE IS DEEPLY WORRIED ABOUT THE POTENTIAL OF DEMOCRATIC TYRANNY. DISCUSS THE VALIDITY OF THIS CONTENTION.

This essay is an exposition of the concerns raised by Tocqueville in his book Democracy in America particularly his greatest concern that is the possibility of democratic tyranny/tyranny of the majority arising if democracies are left unchecked. Tocqueville observes that the movement towards democracy and equality of conditions having progressed farthest in America was likely to spread to other parts of Europe as well as the rest of the world hence moving him to analyse democratic governments in order to ascertain the merits and demerits of such governments thereby providing substantial solutions to help counter the ills of democracy. These ills are inclusive of democratic tyranny which according to Adamova (2013: 1) is tyranny of the majority founded in public opinion. Tocqueville notes with profound insight that democratic tenets include equality of social conditions, liberty, and active participation of individuals in political matters amongst others however he laments the possibility of democracies becoming a tool of oppression of the minority emotionally amongst others if the majority are allowed to will absolute power and have unrestrained influence over government .It should be noted however that whilst Tocqueville was greatly concerned about the possibility of democratic tyranny he also touches on the subjects of class oppression and democratic or soft despotism which will be illuminated below.
Ryan (1994: ix) states that Alexis de Tocqueville…...

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