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CHAPTER 13: Tocqueville’s Changing Visions of Democratic Despotism - James T. Schleifer, The Making of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America 
The Making of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, Foreword by George W. Pierson (2nd edition) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000).
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Tocqueville’s Changing Visions of Democratic Despotism
While shaping the last part of his book, Tocqueville also continued to weigh the chances for despotism and to examine its various forms. Sometime after 1835, he decided to consult some earlier definitions of despotism, and he turned to the famous Encyclopédie ou dictionnaire raisonné by Diderot, D’Alembert, and others. He copied the definition which he found there into his drafts, but not without a significant amendment.
“ ‘Despotism. Tyrannical, arbitrary, and absolute government of a single man.* The principle of despotic states is that a single person ... governs everything there according to his wishes, having absolutely no other laws than those of his caprices.’ Encyclopédie.” To this Tocqueville added: “This was written before we saw the despotism of an assembly under the Republic. *It is necessary to add ‘of a single power.’ ”1
The excesses of the Convention during the Revolution still so vividly reminded Tocqueville of possible legislative usurpations that he felt obliged to add his qualification to the definition of the Encyclopédie. Curiously, however, such an apprehension would rarely appear in the 1840 Democracy. His general distrust of assemblies would surface at least once,2 and on one occasion in his working manuscript, when returning to a specific description of America, he would mention the omnipotence of legislatures there.3
But the final text would delete even this reference to legislative power, and the warnings of incipient legislative despotism which had been so strong in 1835 would almost disappear in 1840. Perhaps in Tocqueville’s mind that tyranny was primarily associated with the democratic excesses of the American states.4 Its relative disappearance may be still another measure of Tocqueville’s shift between 1835 and 1840 from America in particular to démocratie in general.
The second part of the Democracy would discuss the tyranny of the majority, though with an emphasis somewhat different from that of 1835.5 And Tocqueville’s last two volumes would also not neglect the risk of the “tyrannical, arbitrary, and absolute government of a single man.” The 1840 text would revive the idea that there were two ways to be equal, in liberty or in servitude; and one possible master would be identified as the despot. “There can even be a sort of equality in the world of politics without any political freedom. A man may be the equal of all his fellows save one, who is the master of all without distinction.”6
For a time between 1835 and 1838, a particular version of this despot, the military tyrant modeled after Caesar and Napoleon, apparently captured Tocqueville’s imagination. He recognized that, in general, war played a significant role in undermining the liberty of nations.
“The first tyrant is about to come; what will he be called? I do not know, but he approaches. What is still lacking for this false image [?] of public order to disappear and for a profound, frightful, and incurable disorder to come into sight? What more is needed for this sublime authority, this visible providence that we have established among us, to trample under foot the most sacred laws, to violate at will our hearts, and to march over our heads? War. Peace has prepared despotism, war will establish it. Not only as a consequence of victory, but war simply by the need for power and concentration that it creates.”7
He added elsewhere: “In order to make war it is necessary to create a very energetic and almost tyrannical central power; it is necessary to permit it many acts of violence and arbitrariness. The result of war can deliver over to this power the liberty of the nation [which is] always poorly guaranteed in democracies, especially newly born democracies.”8
But Tocqueville’s heightened interest in the possibility of the general turned dictator went beyond these reflections on the wider influence of war. As he wrote, he began to develop a particular image of military despotism. Again, Louis de Kergolay probably served as a source of inspiration.
During the last months of 1836 and the first months of 1837, Louis was in Germany for travel, study, and observation. Alexis, who had advised him about topics worthy of investigation and methods of information gathering, was kept well informed of his progress and reflections.9 On one occasion Louis wrote:
I see democracy in the process of advancing not only in France, but also in many other countries. In America you witnessed the spectacle of democracy managing its own affairs or at least having at its head intriguers so dispersed that none were dangerous. But what will we say of democracy if, in Europe, we see it grounding itself in the government of a single person (d’un seul) ...; but we will then find that men have strangely forgotten all the ideas of personal independence about which they have made so much noise. I tremble to see all of Europe in the near future governed in the name of equality by armies and their leaders (hereditary or not), with this duty to maintain order (détail de police) which exists in a regiment, in a classroom, in a prison. After each man, even the least, wanted to be somebody, I picture to myself all turned into small boys that one spanks. Have you noticed how there are demagogues who are very little frightened by this outlook? Many of them are sharp fellows capable of leading their band of disciples to complete equality, of then putting their followers into the hands of whatever government to do with them as it pleases, of getting good positions for themselves, and of saying afterwards to this band: “My friends, you should be content because you are now all equal; now get yourselves out of this by yourselves; good-by.”
It makes little difference to me whether I live in a country more or less democratic; but I feel myself a decided enemy, an enemy by nature, taste, and conscience, of a situation such as I have just depicted to you.10
Kergolay here described a somewhat different sort of democratic despotism: rule of a nation by the military as though the entire society were a regiment.
In drafts of Part III of the 1840 Democracy, almost certainly written after receiving this letter, Tocqueville mused: “To reflect—if instead of the disordered despotism of the soldatesque, idea already known, it would not be better to introduce here the portrait of a methodical despotism where everything happens with as much order, detail, and tyranny as in a barracks.” And he prophesied reluctantly: “If I were permitted to raise the veil which hides the future from us, I would not dare to do it. I would be afraid to see all of society in the hands of soldiers. A bureaucratic, military organization, the soldier and the clerk. Symbol of the future society.”11
He also observed on one occasion: “The new aristocracy of soldiers is the only one which still seems practicable to me.”12 Even as late as July 1838, a brief outline of the last portion of the 1840 work would include the idea of the “Aristocracy of the men of war.”13
But eventually these visions would be largely shunted into footnotes. Only his general remarks about war opening the door to despotism would survive in the main body of the text.14 His deepest apprehensions would focus elsewhere. By 1840 a renewed dread of administrative despotism (and the rule of clerks) would largely displace his fear of military tyranny (and the aristocracy of soldiers). Nevertheless, Louis’s portrait of military dictatorship would contribute important elements to Tocqueville’s developing image of the Leviathan State.
The final part of the Democracy15 would contain the major portion of Tocqueville’s 1840 observations on despotism. He apparently accomplished most of the work on this important section between July and October 1838, while living at the château in Normandy.
One somewhat puzzling outline of this last segment, dated 28 July 1838, suggested a focus for the entire section quite different from the emphasis of 1840.
This outline, though incomplete, combined themes from several of Tocqueville’s last chapters, but departed substantially from the order in which these ideas would finally appear and concluded by emphasizing a pessimistic vision of social chaos and military despotism. What is most striking about this résumé, however, is the explicit use of despotism as the organizing thread. In 1840 the stated focus of the last section would be the concentration of power; despotism would be the inevitable but (almost) silent companion to the centralized state.
Since at least 1831, Tocqueville had worried that the trend toward equality might end in despotism. But between 1835 and 1840, just as he changed his mind about the center of the consolidated power which democracy entailed, so he now envisioned a different sort of despotism. What he had then briefly described, he now thoroughly developed. “I noticed during my stay in the United States that a democratic state of society similar to that found there could lay itself peculiarly open to the establishment of a despotism. And on my return to Europe I saw how far most of our princes had made use of the ideas, feelings, and needs engendered by such a state of society to enlarge the sphere of their power. I was thus led to think that the nations of Christendom might perhaps in the end fall victims to the same sort of oppression as formerly lay heavy on several of the peoples of antiquity.” In 1835 he had specifically cited the tyranny of the Caesars and had prophesied a future of despotisme d’un seul. But now he would declare: “More detailed study of the subject and the new ideas which came into my mind during five years of meditation have not lessened my fears but have changed their object.”18
After describing how democratic ideas and sentiments naturally favored the concentration of power and the establishment of a unified, ubiquitous, and omnipotent government19 and how various accidental causes exaggerated this tendency in Europe,20 Tocqueville would observe that this multiplication of governmental prerogatives threatened a totally new type of tyranny. “I think that the type of oppression which threatens democracies is different from anything there has ever been in the world before. Our contemporaries will find no prototype of it in their memories. I have myself vainly searched for a word which will exactly express the whole of the conception I have formed. Such old words as ‘despotism’ and ‘tyranny’ do not fit. The thing is new.”21
What he now foresaw more clearly was the possibility of the dictatorship of the centralized and bureaucratic state. “The social power is constantly increasing its prerogatives; it is becoming more centralized, more enterprising, more absolute, and more widespread. The citizens are perpetually falling under the control of the public administration. They are led insensibly, and perhaps against their will, daily to give up fresh portions of their individual independence to the government, and those same men who from time to time have upset a throne and trampled kings beneath their feet bend without resistance to the slightest wishes of some clerk.”22
His readers would be offered several elaborate descriptions of this New Despotism, including the following chilling portrait:
I see an innumerable multitude of men, alike and equal, constantly circling around in pursuit of the petty and banal pleasures with which they glut their souls. Each of them, withdrawn into himself, is almost unaware of the fate of the rest. Mankind, for him, consists in his children and his personal friends. As for the rest of his fellow citizens, they are near enough, but he does not notice them. He touches them but feels nothing. He exists in and for himself, and though he still may have a family, one can at least say that he has not got a fatherland.
Over this kind of man stands an immense, protective power which is alone responsible for securing their enjoyment and watching over their fate. That power is absolute, thoughtful of detail, orderly, provident, and gentle. It would resemble parental authority if, father-like, it tried to prepare its charges for a man’s life, but on the contrary, it only tries to keep them in perpetual childhood. It likes to see the citizens enjoy themselves, provided that they think of nothing but enjoyment. It gladly works for their happiness but wants to be sole agent and judge of it. It provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, makes rules for their testaments, and divides their inheritances. Why should it not entirely relieve them from the trouble of thinking and all the cares of living?
Thus it daily makes the exercise of free choice less useful and rarer, restricts the activity of free will within a narrower compass, and little by little robs each citizen of the proper use of his own faculties. Equality has prepared men for all this, predisposing them to endure it and often even regard it as beneficial.
Having thus taken each citizen in turn in its powerful grasp and shaped men to its will, government then extends its embrace to include the whole of society. It covers the whole of social life with a network of petty, complicated rules that are both minute and uniform, through which even men of the greatest originality and the most vigorous temperament cannot force their heads above the crowd. It does not break men’s will, but softens, bends, and guides it; it seldom enjoins, but often inhibits, action; it does not destroy anything, but prevents much being born; it is not at all tyrannical, but it hinders, restrains, enervates, stifles, and stultifies so much that in the end each nation is no more than a flock of timid and hardworking animals with the government as its shepherd.23
The omnipresence and apparent gentleness of this new tyranny were two of its most significant features. Unlike despotisms of old, it avoided violence and obvious brutality. But even though mild and benign, it, too, labored incessantly to render entire populations docile; it, too, enervated first individuals and then the entire nation.
Tocqueville described another important characteristic of the possible new despotism on an extra sheet in his working manuscript dated May 1838. “Show clearly that the administrative despotism which I am talking about is independent of representative, liberal, or revolutionary institutions, in a word of political power; whether the political world is led by an absolute king, by one or several assemblies, whether it is contested in the name of liberty or of order, whether it even falls into anarchy, whether it grows weaker and splits apart, the action of the administrative power will be neither less restrained, nor less strong, nor less overwhelming. It is a true distinction.... The man or the power [?] which puts the administrative machine in motion can change without the machine changing.”24
So the dictatorship of the state was different from and immune to most political changes, even seemingly fundamental ones. In the face of political upheavals the public bureaucracy would quietly continue to gather power and subjugate the nation.
By demonstrating that administrative tyranny did not necessarily mean an end to political confusion, Tocqueville hoped to disabuse many of his compatriots of a popular misconception about despotism. “Idea to introduce somewhere in this chapter, because my contemporaries fear disorder much more than servitude and because to get through to them it is necessary to use that fear. I know that the world in our time is full of people who lightly value human dignity and who would willingly buy, with all the liberty of the human species, the right to sell their harvest in peace.”25
People who would not respond to appeals for freedom had to be persuaded that their bargain for peace would be a bad one; the oppression which they initiated would be no guarantee of the social or political order they desired.
This insight about the peculiarly insulated nature of administrative tyranny also led Tocqueville to chastise his countrymen for their short-sighted concerns. “When, from the point where the natural development of my subject has led me, I notice all that happens in the world, I cannot keep myself from thinking that men are strangely preoccupied there by secondary interests and that they forget the principal need of the times in which they live. As a matter of fact, it is much less the business of our contemporaries to regulate the exterior forms of the society, to found or destroy dynasties, to establish republics or maintain monarchies, than it is to know if each one among them will retain the most precious privileges of their race and if they will fall below the level of humanity.”26
How far Tocqueville himself had come from his earlier concerns about legislative usurpations or new Caesars! He now saw that the greatest danger in democratic ages came from a much more fundamental trend toward the suffocation of individual liberties by the state, whatever its structural characteristics or its philosophical attachments. “We can quarrel over who will hold the instrument of tyranny, but the instrument remains the same.”27
This subtle ability of administrative despotism to flourish under many different political structures troubled Tocqueville for still another reason. He saw the grim possibility that such an adaptable tyranny could also clothe itself in the outward forms of liberty and rule in the name of the people.28 Of particular concern was the attempt by some of his contemporaries to legitimize centralization by appealing to the sovereignty of the people; they risked falling even more quickly into despotism.
“I listen to those among my contemporaries who are the greatest enemies of popular forces and I see that, according to them, the public administration must get involved in almost everything and that it must impose the same rules on all.... To direct, to restrain citizens constantly in principal as well as in minor affairs, such is for them its role. I go [?] from there to those who think that all authority must emanate directly from the people and I hear them maintain the same discourse. And I finally return doubting myself whether the exclusive friends of liberty are not more favorable to the centralization of power than its most violent adversaries.”29
Some men apparently believed that popular control, especially through elections, would sanitize the growing power of the state. So they mistakenly encouraged administrative centralization as democratic forms advanced. Tocqueville realized, however, that such procedures would only legitimize the despotism which he most feared.30 Even in 1835, remembering the increasing “democratic excesses” of certain American states, he had observed: “There is nothing as irresistible as a tyrannical power commanding in the name of the people, for while being clothed in the moral strength derived from the will of the greatest number, it also acts with the decision, speed, and tenacity of a single man.”31
On an extra sheet from the working manuscript of the chapter on “What Sort of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear,” Tocqueville finally summarized his forebodings about what later came to be called plebiscite democracy. “We tend toward liberty and servitude at the same time. We want to combine them even though they can not be joined. Not being able to be free, we at least want to be oppressed in the name of the people. Perhaps begin all this part of the chapter in this manner, in a harsh and abrupt manner, instead of letting myself run as I do. We rebel at having a class or a man for a guardian, but we are willing for the state to be one. Provided that one has the right to choose his master, that is sufficient.”32
Tocqueville had also once written in his working manuscript for the 1835 volumes that “one of the greatest miseries of despotism is that it creates in the souls of men who are subjected to it a type of depraved taste for tranquillity and obedience and a sort of contempt of themselves which end by rendering them indifferent to their interests and enemies to their own rights.”33 But now he wondered whether an elective tyranny might not be less degrading, at least in the short run. There the citizenry could at least embrace the myth that it submitted only to itself. In a gloomy moment, he even suggested in a margin of his 1840 working manuscript that such hollow freedom was all that people in democratic times could expect. “I do not know if, considering everything, this isn’t still the best ... that one can reasonably hope from equality and the only type of liberty it is capable of leaving to men.”34 But such deep pessimism would not last.
During times of démocratie the road to tyranny seemed alarmingly broad and easy. “As for me,” Tocqueville declared, “I see clearly what must be done to subject the world to tyranny in the name of democracy.”35 And the 1840 text would observe: “The chief and, in a sense, the only condition necessary in order to succeed in centralizing the supreme power in a democratic society is to love equality or to make believe that you do so. Thus the art of despotism, once so complicated, has been simplified; one may almost say that it has been reduced to a single principle.”36
To Tocqueville the successful strategy for any would-be despot or despotism seemed simple: offer equality in return for liberty. As early as January 1837, he wrote: “What it is necessary to do in order to take hold of despotic power among democratic peoples and during the centuries of democratic transitions. Ease of turning democratic passions against their object, of sacrificing liberty to the blind love of equality and to the revolutionary passions that it brings forth.”37 Elsewhere he queried: “What is the danger? To flatter the feelings of hate and democratic envy, and in this way to obtain power. To ladle out equality by the handful; to take liberty in return.”38
As a countermeasure, Tocqueville recommended an ardent attachment to political liberties. Here was the best hope for escaping the New Despotism. “Political liberty is the greatest remedy for nearly all the evils with which equality menaces man.”39 In various draft fragments he explained his position more fully.
Equality of conditions, the absence of classes ... are evils you say. It makes human nature smaller, establishes mediocrity in all things. Perhaps you are right.
Do you know a way to cure the evil by its opposite, that is by the establishment or even the maintenance of inequality, the permanent classification of men? No, at the very bottom of your heart you do not believe in the possibility of all these things.
But admitting that equality of conditions is an invincible fact, you contest its consequences in the political world; and you blame liberty and you call despotism to your aid; and you seek to assure present security at the expense of future races. And it is here that you are certainly wrong. For there is only Democracy (by this word I understand self-government)40 which can lessen and make bearable the inevitable evils of a democratic social state. 5 September 1837....
How will we be able to understand each other? I seek to live with dignity and honor and you, you seek only to live. What you fear the most from the democratic social condition are the political troubles that it brings forth, and I, that is what I fear the least from it. You dread democratic liberty and I, democratic despotism.
Many people consider democratic civil laws as an evil and democratic political laws as another and greater evil; as for me, I say that the one is the only remedy that one can apply to the other.
The whole idea of my politics is here.41 ...
I want to make it understood to all that a democratic social state is an invincible necessity of our times.
Then, dividing my readers into enemies and friends of democracy, I want to make it understood to the first that in order for a democratic social state to be tolerable, in order for it to produce order, progress, in a word, in order to avoid all, [or] at least the greatest of the evils that they foresee, it is necessary with all one’s might to hasten to give enlightenment and liberty to people who already have such a social state.
To the second, I want to make it understood that Democracy can not give the happy fruits that they await except by combining it with morality, spirituality, beliefs....
Thus I try to gather together all honest and generous minds under a small number of common ideas.
As for the question of knowing if a similar social state is or is not the best that humanity can have, leave that to God. Only God is able to say.42
Tocqueville summarized his position in yet another fragment: “Use Democracy to moderate Democracy. It is the only path to salvation that is open to us. To discern the feelings, the ideas, the laws which, without being hostile to the principle of Democracy, without having a natural incompatibility with Democracy, can nonetheless correct its troublesome tendencies and will blend with it while modifying it. Beyond that all is foolish and imprudent.”43
Thus centralization and despotism were both possible or, as Tocqueville believed at times, even probable results of démocratie. And whatever the possible democratic tyranny, Tocqueville saw centralization as the fundamental cause. Accumulated and unchecked power anywhere carried the seeds of oppression.44
Different probabilities about the establishment of one or the other of the various types of despotism resulted primarily from the question of who or what would gather power. If the legislature, then legislative despotism; if the people, then tyranny of the majority; if a leader (especially a military one), then despotisme d’un seul (militaire); if the administration or bureaucracy, then the Leviathan State.
But the chances for each of these despotisms also depended on two other major issues: Did the oppression result from the excesses of popular government, or from an effort, despite advancing equality, to resist political democracy? And probably more important, did the example concern Europe or America?
Tocqueville’s notions of despotism, especially in 1835, seemed essentially to be of two sorts. He began by assuming advancing equality of conditions and reasoned that two basic responses were possible. Social equality might be met with political democracy, that is, with some degree of popular participation, or, more broadly still, political liberty. In that case, the primary danger was excessive power delivered in the name of the whole people to the legislature, majority, or administration. And of these possible democratic despotisms, the most fundamental and threatening, because it usually served as the foundation for either legislative or bureaucratic authority, was the tyranny of the majority.
But the second response, instead of self-government, was a retreat to the authority of some leader who would offer himself as a refuge from the confusion of social democracy. Here the danger was the coming of a tyrant in the name of order. Some of the democratic despotisms described by Tocqueville arose from the coupling of political and social democracy, and some from a frantic effort to escape the political consequences of advancing equality.
The other important question about possible tyrannies involved the setting; was the Old or the New World meant? America had a peculiar but strong bias against powerful executives. And, as Tocqueville repeatedly made clear in 1840, the United States was also largely immune to several factors which hastened the coming of the Leviathan. In the New World, therefore, despotisms other than administrative or individual seemed more likely, at least for the near future. Tocqueville believed that the immediate danger in America was rather majoritarian tyranny, particularly as exercised through the state legislatures.
In Europe, however, a different fate threatened. Especially in France, the traditions of administrative centralization and Bonapartism enhanced the probability of other democratic despotisms. So what most frightened Tocqueville when he considered the future of his own country in 1835 was despotisme d’un seul and by 1840 the centralized and bureaucratic state.
The basic trend of Tocqueville’s thinking between the early 1830s and 1840 was toward an ever greater focus on administrative despotism. The 1835 text offered a theory and even the beginnings of a portrait of such a tyranny, but the 1840 volumes presented a fully developed vision of the New Despotism of the state. By 1840 Tocqueville’s image of the Leviathan, especially for Europe, had eclipsed most of his other notions of democratic despotisms. Just as his attention turned increasingly from the more “American” despotism—majoritarian—to the more “European”—bureaucratic—so too his entire book shifted, between 1835 and 1840, from what was more concretely American to what was more theoretically “democratic.”
Two other special changes in emphasis also occurred between 1835 and 1840. The first half of the Democracy stressed the despotisms of the society as a whole (the people or the majority) and the more traditional governmental or political despotisms of the assembly or the tyrant. The second part emphasized instead a novel vision of the democratic tyranny of the state. The concept of the Leviathan was not new with Tocqueville, but his idea that démocratie especially fostered this particular kind of oppression was much more original.
Moreover, Tocqueville in his 1835 volumes was still seeking to identify the potential agents of despotism in democratic societies. But by 1840 his thinking had pushed far beyond these earlier anxieties. He had now come to believe that the relentless concentration of power in the hands of the public administration was a far more fundamental threat to liberty than any potential usurpation of democratic authority by legislatures, factions, military heroes, or other individuals. By 1840, the threat of the New Despotism had, in some senses, made his concern about most other possible democratic tyrannies somewhat beside the point.
Still another measure of the link in Tocqueville’s mind between centralization and despotism in democratic times was the almost identical list of remedies which he offered for both. Although the 1840 volumes presented a somewhat more detailed political program, both halves of the Democracy made essentially the same recommendations for combating these twin dangers of democracy. Among the many possible antidotes prescribed in his book, Tocqueville especially urged local liberties, freedom of association, liberty of the press, an independent judiciary, and individual civil and political rights.45 The ultimate check on any threatened democratic despotism, he still insisted, rested with the opinions and moeurs of a people.46 Once again the crucial nature of moeurs in Tocqueville’s thinking was underscored.
At times during the making of the Democracy, as Tocqueville reflected on the threat of the various democratic despotisms, he was driven almost to the point of despair. Sometimes he “trembled” for liberty;47 sometimes he gave himself over to the idea that a sort of hollow, symbolic freedom was the best that democratic nations could expect. He reluctantly recognized that in many ways démocratie was more compatible with tyranny than with liberty.
But ultimately he backed away from such pessimism. He could not bring himself to believe that the prognosis, even for France, could be so bleak as to make despotism an almost inevitable result of advancing equality. Once again, personal moral presuppositions about human freedom and the benevolence of God led Tocqueville to the side of hope.48
One of the abiding attractions of Tocqueville’s work is the gallery of despotisms which he presented as the possible results of démocratie. Particularly for his contemporaries, one of the more intriguing of his ideas was the assertion that what men had to fear from democracy was not anarchy—the collapse of authority and social and political disintegration—but despotism—the gathering of all power into the hands of some symbol of democracy, whether the majority, the legislature, a leader, or the state itself. For the twentieth century, his fears about bureaucratic regimentation and militarism and his visions of plebiscitarian “democracy” and the Leviathan state have proved only too prophetic. As a draft of his 1840 volumes put the dilemma facing modern man: “Two questions to resolve. Despotism with equality. Liberty with equality. The whole question of the future rests there.”49
Democracy, the Individual, and the Masses
[1. ]“Rubish of section 4 entitled: ‘What [Sort] of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear,’ ” Drafts, Yale, CVg, “Rubish,” tome 4; cf. CVg, copy, Paquet 9, cahier 2, p. 79.
[2. ]See Democracy (Mayer), pp. 697–98.
[3. ]“Why the Ideas of Democratic Peoples About Government Naturally Favor the Concentration of Power,” Original Working Ms., Yale, CVIa, tome 4. Cf. Democracy (Mayer), p. 669.
[4. ]Also, in France during the late 1830s any legislative despotism was a remote possibility; what Tocqueville and others worried about was, instead, the threat of personal rule by Louis-Philippe.
[5. ]For elaboration, consult the two chapters on tyranny of the majority below.
[6. ]Democracy (Mayer), p. 503.
[7. ]Drafts, Yale, CVd, Paquet 5, p. 4. Cf. Democracy (Mayer), pp. 649–50; also see, in the 1835 volumes, ibid., p. 168.
[8. ]Drafts, Yale, CVd, Paquet 5, pp. 14–15.
[9. ]Concerning Tocqueville’s advice to Kergolay and especially his suggestion that Louis pay particular attention to local and provincial government in Prussia, see a letter from Alexis to Louis, Nacqueville, 10 October 1836, O.C. (Mayer), Jardin and Lesourd, 13:1, pp. 407–12.
[10. ]Kergolay to Tocqueville, undated letter, O.C. (Mayer), Jardin and Lesourd, 13:1, pp. 426–27.
[11. ]Drafts, Yale, CVa, cahier unique, p. 50; cf. Democracy (Mayer), p. 735. Tocqueville worked on his chapters on war and armies in democratic nations during late 1837 or early 1838.
[12. ]Drafts, Yale, CVd, Paquet 5, p. 4. Cf. Tocqueville’s own notes, Democracy (Mayer), pp. 681, 735. In addition to “aristocracies” of soldiers and bureaucrats, of course, Tocqueville would also predict an aristocracy of captains of industry; see his famous chapter, “How an Aristocracy May Be Created by Industry,” ibid., pp. 555–58.
[13. ]Drafts, Yale, CVd, Paquet 5, pp. 1–3.
[14. ]Democracy (Mayer), pp. 649–51, 677.
[15. ]Part IV, entitled “On the Influence of Democratic Ideas and Feelings on Political Society,” ibid., pp. 665–705.
[16. ]At first, Tocqueville had planned to make his final section a single, long chapter.
[17. ]Drafts, Yale, CVd, Paquet 5, pp. 1–3.
[18. ]Democracy (Mayer), p. 690.
[19. ]Ibid., pp. 665–74.
[20. ]Ibid., pp. 674–79.
[21. ]Ibid., p. 691.
[22. ]Ibid., p. 688; compare pp. 688–89.
[23. ]Ibid., pp. 691–92; cf. in chapter 11 above, Tocqueville’s earlier 1835 description of administrative despotism.
[24. ]Final long section on political society, Original Working Ms., Yale, CVIa, tome 4; cf. Democracy (Mayer), pp. 694–95.
[25. ]Final long section on political society, Original Working Ms., Yale, CVIa, tome 4; cf. Democracy (Mayer), pp. 687–89.
[26. ]Final long section on political society, Original Working Ms., Yale, CVIa, tome 4; cf. Democracy (Mayer), p. 702.
[27. ]Final long section on political society, Original Working Ms., Yale, CVIa, tome 4.
[28. ]See Democracy (Mayer), pp. 693–95; also pp. 687–89.
[29. ]Final long section on political society, Original Working Ms., Yale, CVIa, tome 4; cf. Democracy (Mayer), p. 670.
[30. ]Democracy (Mayer), p. 693.
[31. ]Ibid., p. 222; cf. also from the 1835 volumes, pp. 253–54, 396.
[32. ]Final long section on political society, Original Working Ms., Yale, CVIa, tome 4. Cf. Democracy (Mayer), pp. 690–95.
[33. ]“Political Effects of Administrative Decentralization,” Original Working Ms., Yale, CVIa, tome 1; cf. Democracy (Mayer), pp. 88–89.
[34. ]Final long section on political society, Original Working Ms., Yale, CVIa, tome 4; cf. Democracy (Mayer), p. 693.
[35. ]Drafts, Yale, CVc, Paquet 6, p. 60.
[36. ]Democracy (Mayer), pp. 678–79.
[37. ]Drafts, Yale, CVk, Paquet 7, cahier 2, p. 56.
[38. ]Ibid., CVc, Paquet 6, p. 58; compare Democracy (Mayer), pp. 673–74.
[39. ]Final long section on political society, Original Working Ms., Yale, CVIa, tome 4.
[40. ]In Tocqueville’s draft, “self-government” appears in English.
[41. ]Drafts, Yale, CVk, Paquet 7, cahier 2, pp. 53–54.
[42. ]Ibid., pp. 55–56. Cf. Democracy (Mayer), pp. 700–705.
[43. ]Drafts, Yale, CVk, Paquet 7, cahier 2, p. 52.
[44. ]See in the 1835 work, Democracy (Mayer), p. 252.
[45. ]In the 1835 portion, consult ibid., pp. 314–15; for 1840, pp. 695–702 (especially p. 701), 702–5.
[46. ]For 1835, see, for example, ibid., pp. 311–15; for 1840, pp. 693–95, 735. Another major safeguard was, of course, religion. For an excellent discussion of the importance of religion in Tocqueville’s thinking, consult Doris Goldstein, Trial of Faith.
[47. ]See Tocqueville’s comment: “As for me, ... I tremble for tomorrow’s freedom.” Drafts, Yale, CVh, Paquet 3, cahier 3, p. 29.
[48. ]Consult Tocqueville’s famous concluding passage, Democracy (Mayer), p. 705. On the issue of Tocqueville’s optimism or pessimism, also compare the viewpoint of Cushing Strout, who asserts that Tocqueville made an essentially “optimistic assessment” of America’s future, but an essentially “pessimistic assessment” of Europe’s; see Cushing Strout, “Tocqueville’s Duality: Describing America and Thinking of Europe.”
[49. ]Drafts, Yale, CVc, Paquet 6, p. 55. Cf. Democracy (Mayer), p. 705.