Democracy's numerous pitfalls Essay

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When we first viewed the ancient theorists, both Plato and Aristotle supported a form of aristocracy where the preeminent members of a state would rule. Because they were the most knowledgeable, wise, and virtuous, they would know what is best for a state and its citizens. But human nature has convinced us that without properly limiting its power, a government has the power to rule arbitrarily, succumb to corruption, and introduce great inequalities. Tocqueville, however, argues that the development of equality in the world has fundamentally changed our worries about government and that democracy has become the new standard. But because of the alluring nature of democracy, it’s extremely easy for people to overindulge, so we must be …show more content…
By acting on emotion rather than reason, this state can easily descend into anarchy, and even if that doesn’t happen, the minority will still be constantly forced to conform to the majority.
America, however, was founded upon the principle of equality; its people are absolutely unwilling to subject themselves to the arbitrary rule of tyrant. As such, the citizens have an instinctive interest in their own affairs. The legislature, which represents the majority opinion, is the most powerful force in this government. Because of the majority’s influence in this state, it claims to be the true authority in a state and “nothing can check its progress.” Government and social power is centralized and subject to the people, who often lack wisdom and foresight. And “because it can do anything,” the absolute, unhindered strength of the majority actually threatens to destroy itself.
Democracy is inherently an extreme. For equality to prevail, as in the American experiment, Tocqueville claims that rights must be given to all or to none. Anything else would indicate inequality and would be indistinguishable from a tyranny. But such extremism leads to major drawbacks. The weak would compare themselves to the strong, unwilling to accept that anyone is their

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