“Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

alexis de tocqueville democracy in america

Alexis (July 29, 1805 – April 16, 1859) was a French political historian best known for, ‘Democracy in America’ (Two Volumes: 1835 and 1840) and ‘The Old Regime and the Revolution’ (1856). In both works, he researched the state and effects of the rising ‘equality’ in western societies.

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6 Responses to Democracy vs. Socialism – A Brief Summary Of Equality

  1. gobblox says:

    Except that America is not a democracy; it is a constitutional republic.

    “Democracy … wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”
    —John Adams

    “Democracy is the most vile form of government… democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention… incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.”
    —James Madison

    • Sad Hill says:

      Think Ron explains illustrates the point well…

      “Unlike a pure democracy, in a constitutional republic, citizens are not governed by the majority of the people but by the rule of law. Constitutional Republics are a deliberate attempt to hold in check the threat of mobocracy thereby protecting dissenting individuals from the tyranny of the majority by placing checks on the power of the majority of the population. The power of the majority of the people is checked by limiting that power to electing representatives who govern within limits of overarching constitutional law rather than the popular vote having legislative power itself. John Adams defined a constitutional republic as “a government of laws, and not of men.”Also, the power of government officials is checked by allowing no single individual to hold executive, legislative and judicial powers. Instead these powers are separated into distinct branches that serve as a check and balance on each other. A constitutional republic is designed so that “no person or group [can] rise to absolute power.”
      The original framers of the United States Constitution were notably cognizant of what they perceived as a danger of majority rule in oppressing freedom and liberty of the individual. For example, James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 10, advocates a constitutional republic over a democracy to protect the individual from the majority. The framers carefully created the institutions within the Constitution and the United States Bill of Rights. They kept what they believed were the best elements of majority rule. But they were mitigated by a constitution with protections for individual liberty, a separation of powers.”

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  5. [...] He then goes on to mention Alexis de Tocqueville, [...]

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