In 1824, Alexis de Tocqueville published his classic treatise, The American Dilemma. His name is synonymous with the classic Treatise of Liberal Economy, and many people consider him the father of modern economic thought, including classical liberalism. The key thesis of his book is that democracy encourages freedom, whereas excessive government control and intervention promote slavery and aristocratic rule. Many people think of his thoughts in terms of democracy in America.
It is tempting to view America’s founders as nothing more than utopia-worshiping fools who wanted the masses to have all the material goods. That’s a bunch of nonsense, as any student of European history will tell you. Alexander Hamilton, for example, saw the US Constitution as the supreme example of democracy. He understood the vitality of democracy, and he saw the potential for freedom and economic prosperity that came from a direct democracy built on individual liberty and free markets.
Many Americans today think of America as a country stuck in a backward political science. They point to the social conditions in modern America and say that is why they oppose democracy. They don’t like democracy because it gives them too much freedom, or because they think everyone has their own rights. No one is allowed to be abusive to anyone else, and no one is forced to agree with someone else’s religious views or political philosophy. In short, Americans believe that they are the victims of a political system that does not protect their individual rights.
The fact is that America is unique, and it was not always like that. Throughout history, there have been many successful and powerful nations that have existed. Every great nation in the world has endured a civil war, and every failed nation in the world has tried to form its own government. None of these nations ever thought of itself as a democracy. In fact, most people in the world think of America as a degenerated government.
However, this unique political society in America can become a beacon of democracy to other nations. We all know that every single nation needs a stable government, a strong economy, and plenty of jobs. What America needs now is to start providing its citizens with opportunities for economic growth, social equity, and a greater sense of equality before it is too late. It may be too late for some Americans right now, but it will be too late for all of humanity if America does not make the change sooner rather than later.
There is hope for America. A future without democracy in America would mean that someone would come to call the shots and govern themselves. That does not sound like America to me. Instead, I think America should work harder at democracy and give everyone the opportunity to live in a community based on fairness, freedom, and equity. With enough time and effort America can reclaim her place as the greatest nation on earth. Perhaps you will join me?