Democracy in America, the book by Alexis de Tocqueville, is a classic French work that analyzes the nature of democratic government and society. Published in 1835, it shaped 19th-century discussions of liberalism and equality, and is today widely read by politicians, philosophers, scholars and anyone interested in the nature of human rights.
Tocqueville argues that democracy is based on the idea of the rule of the people. To him, democracy is a means for establishing the supremacy of the people and preventing excessive power concentration by limiting the number of people who can hold political office. He also emphasizes the importance of preserving and strengthening traditional values such as religion and family. Tocqueville praised the American tradition of marriage as an example of these values and he was pleased with the strong role played by women in American culture.
But he feared that the American form of democracy could be corrupted by the influx of foreigners. This is because the American political system, which allows for unlimited immigration, is unable to control the population. He also noted that the affluent classes, who are the backbone of the economy, tend to dominate politics and become too influential. As a result, he wrote that the future of democracy in America was uncertain.
In his opinion, the US had to set a clear goal and follow it up in its promotion of democracy around the world. However, the US has been using democracy as a pretext to meddle in other countries’ internal affairs, causing political chaos and social unrest, thus undermining world peace and international stability. This makes many people wonder whether the US is really a democracy.
Today, the self-styled democracy of the United States is gravely ill with money politics, elite rule, partisan polarization and dysfunctional governance. Politicians are preoccupied with securing their partisan interests and they ignore national development. They have become addicted to vetoing, which results in the loss of legislative efficacy and has a detrimental impact on law and justice. Moreover, a vicious cycle of vetoing has emerged in which both parties identify themselves as the other’s enemy. This has exacerbated the divide between the two camps, making the nation a fragmented society.
The world needs to take a closer look at the current state of democracy in the US and the US itself should conduct some soul-searching. In order to uphold the common value of humanity, democracy must not be used as a tool to advance geopolitical agenda and counter human development and progress. We must strive to create a new world order in which the US does not monopolize the definition of “democracy” and instigates conflict and confrontation in other countries. It is time to reclaim the true meaning of democracy and make it serve humanity. To do this, we must first understand the meaning of democracy and the reasons why the US’s vision of democracy has failed. Only then can we move forward with a truly global democratic future.