What is Individualism?
Alexis de Tocqueville came from an aristocratic background and was raise in France. He wrote Democracy in America in the 1830’s. He spent a lot of time studying the political system of the United States because it was the most stable and prosperous democratic country. Tocqueville analyzes the strength and weakness in the government to answer his questions on why France’s government had so many failed attempts. He concluded, in his studies, that democracy in America and the equality of conditions could not be stop. In the first half of the book, he explains and gives reason to our structural government and gives us insight on what helps America maintain their freedom in our society. The second half of the book, which I will be focusing on, is about how Americans tend to focus on equality, materialistic things, and individualism and he explains how this will lead to tyranny of the majority. Also in the second half, he describes that Americans lack the desire to want freedom.
Individualism is defined in two ways, one way is the American view and the other is by Alexis de Tocqueville. How Americans define, individualism is by being unique having your own style your own thoughts and having special characteristics. We see being your own individual as good. On the other hand, Alexis de Tocqueville sees being an individual as negative, in a democratic state. He defines it as “a reflective and peaceable sentiment that
disposes each citizen to isolate himself from the mass of those like him and to withdraw to one side with his family and his friends, so that after having thus created a little society for his own use.”(482). He feels are only concern is ourselves he views this as being selfish. We obsessed with only our own practical problem and of those dear to us such as, close relatives and friends. Tocqueville also believes the more humans isolate themselves from the society at large “the bond of human affections is extended and...