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by: Kylie Jakubowski


Kylie Jakubowski
Texas State
GPA 3.78

K. Grasso

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K. Grasso
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kylie Jakubowski on Wednesday September 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to POSI 2310 at Texas State University taught by K. Grasso in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see /class/212793/posi-2310-texas-state-university in Political Science at Texas State University.


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Date Created: 09/23/15
December 6 Class Material Tocqueville says that when you expandcentralize government it makes a new type of despotism But to understand this new tyranny one must look at an old despotism One example he uses is the Roman Empire Under the Imperial system the emperor had great power and it was not a good idea to lose his favor you could die be tortured lose your friendsfamily etc That said this old despotism was limited in that it was very difficult to actually offend the emperor This is because his demands were relatively simple pay your taxes remain apolitical and don t criticize him The new despotism Tocqueville worries over is different It has gentlegood intentions but it is an allpervasive presence The government does care for its citizens and wants to help them Tocqueville likens it to a parent caring for its children However this parent is an overprotective overbearing guardian smothering the child with excessive care and keeping it in a state of perpetual childhood The child citizens do not learn how to take responsibility fore their own life This quotnanny state is Tocqueville s new despotism 1 How will this quotnew despotismquot come to be Tocqueville says it will come into being via the democratic process with voters choosing to make government more centralized expansive and give it more responsibility Through this occurrence the despotism will gradually inadvertently be created Despite being a product of electoral processes once this despotism comes to be it will put an end to political democracy Political democracy will die ofapathy as a sheeplike population will no longer become willing to maintain political democracy 2 Is this new despotism inevitable according to Tocqueville No it can be avoided Tocqueville says America is an excellent example that democracy can work without creating quotnew despotism Why isn t quotnew despotism arising in America There are three characteristics that helps to explain why quotAmerican Solutionsquot a Decentralized government American federalism gives states a great degree of autonomy to function in their own way helping to prevent quotnew despotismquot Decentralized government and 2 quot 1 l 1 Implies a lack of 3 3 and promotes political participation b A culture of association In France people turn to the government to solve problems according to Tocqueville In England people seek help from aristocrats But in America he says that people seek to solve problems by looking to their neighbors for help Americans he says are great at selforganization to solve problems This trait is important in staving off quotnew despotism because 1 Its existence serves to reduce individualism and consumerism and 2 It keeps government small by solving problems that otherwise might need to be handled by the government c Religiosity a high level of religious beliefand involvement From the first day of his arrival in America Tocqueville was struck by the religious nature of Americans This trait acts as a check on the negative effects of individualism consumerism conformity and debased desires for equality Americans are still all of these things but they are tempered by religiosity However these three quotsolutionsquot are not easy to accomplish as democratic people tend to want centralized government tend to not be associative and snub tradition and authority religion In each case democratic people are being asked to do something that goes against their natural inclinations


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