Alexis De Tocquevile
Full text of the work
ofTocqueville (1840); the
same time that Karl Marx & Friedrick Engels were
propagating their writing:
Democracy in America is one of the most enduring description of the American democracy in the early 1800s. The keen observations of Tocqueville two hundred years ago are still true today of the American democracy. Tocqueville's impression of America in the 1840s is best described in the beginning of his book:
"AMONG the novel objects that attracted my attention during my stay in the United States, nothing struck me more forcibly than the general equality of condition among the people. I readily discovered the prodigious influence that this primary fact exercises on the whole course of society; it gives a peculiar direction to public opinion and a peculiar tenor to the laws; it imparts new maxims to the governing authorities and peculiar habits to the governed."
For those of us who freely condemn totalitarian governments and profess democracy as the best form of governance, it is best to examine Tocquevile's work to better understand the inner working of democracy. Most importantly, there are those among us who advocate a democratic form of government as it exists in America. By reviewing the preconditions of the American democracy, as described by Tocqueville, we can best determine whether such a form of government is best for Lao and its people.