a majority vote is needed in order to pass laws that are in the best interest of the country as a whole, not just an individual. De Tocqueville, explored the common good of America and was able to locate the precise reasoning as to why the United States political system could continue to progress in such a democratic framework without any major outbursts of anarchy. After dissecting the political system and people of the country, his conclusion became clear. People in the United States have come from many different origins and have come together in search of a common good. The common good that became the foundation of America was independence, that # could only be fully found in a democratic society.
Many of the people that came to the United States, came from places of oppression and monarchal rule and were deathly afraid of any monarchal reoccurrence. With the founding fathers of the United States all in agreement that they wanted a secure system that would prohibit any type of monarchy, the common good of equality and freedom for all citizens came into play.This agreement, though quite different in content, was equivalent to the covenant that Hobbes society abided by, in that it was an agreement that everyone honored. What baffled De Tocqueville, was why such a democratic configuration wouldnt be feasible in Europe.
In his comparison study he confronted the reasons as to why the specific democratic system of America was viable there, but not in his native Europe. The justification that he came up with is actually quite interesting. The aristocratic ways of Europe have been so engraved in their political system, that any attempt at complete Democracy would cause more conflicts than compliments to their social arena. People in Europe are enthralled by their past ancestry and culture. Because these people are leading lives with such social segregation, any glimpse of complete equality would lead to more upheavals than celebrations.Bringing people of # lower classes and higher classes to a point where they are no longer separated by financial or family restraints would cause more chaos on the society. With people holding their ancestry so close to their hearts, feelings of spite and harshness are bound to deliver a mass anarchy, that would outweigh the societal unity that would normally be expected with the budding of equality and independence. Democracy would not be in the interest of the European countries because of the nature of their citizens, and the strong traditional feelings that they hold.
The common good of Europe is not necessarily the same as Americas. De Tocqueville deducted an answer that seemed to be pretty accurate when looking at the two government structures. He was very practical when he decided to base his social ideals on the present situations of people, instead of trying to start from the very primitive and natural stages of humans.Though this aspect of his research is different than Platos and Hobbes, it still allowed him to come up with a pretty similar solution to the two preceding philosophers.
De Tocquevilles way of looking at society allowed him to see that though a Democracy may be the best way for America to reach its common good, a Democracy may not be as efficient when dealing with the different communities of Europe. Karl Marx, a political philosopher from the nineteenth # century, is another very well known philosopher. Just like Plato, Hobbes and De Tocqueville, Marx had a vision of how a community that is segregated by social classes could possibly take up a new governmental structure that would best help all the citizens of the society, not just the aristocracies of the area. His ideal society would be”classless”.Marx saw societys structure to be a result of history, that would eventually smooth its way out.
The beginning means to his plan of the”classless” society would commence when a movement towards ending capitalism took effect. He saw capitalism as a way in which the bourgeoisie exploited their workers in order to increase the value of their productions. Unfortunately for capitalism, it had a lethal and self-destructive characteristic that would bring an end to it. This ruinous trait was its voracious need to compete and dominate the production market.The competition of the producers to produce more and in turn exploit their workers more, would eventually cause some of the producers to go out of business. With less competition there would be more lower level and oppressed proletarians.
The effect of having more proletarians than middle class citizens changed the society from being a capitalist community to a community of socialism. Eventually, this ever changing society would change from socialist environment # to a “classless” society. Marx held firmly that industrialism would be the key to the “classless” society. He calculated that more machines bearing the brunt of production would liberate humans from the harsh labor that they had endured.Because machines can produce more in a shorter period of time than humans, he speculated that their would be enough produce to allow everyone to live a generous life.
Hence, everyone would have an equal means to a good life and the society would turn from an aristocracy to a”classless” society. This “classless” atmosphere would be a communist environment where no one person owns land, but instead the property and goods produced on property would be custody of the state, not the individuals of the state. Karl Marxs theory of the state being the owner of all property, in a sense, put all people in the state on an equal level. Because the state owned all the produce and property, they were able to distribute the goods to all the citizens. This would reassure that all citizens well-beings were being met, thus the common good would be attained.Because of Marxs sensitivity towards the proletariat class and their needs, as well as the needs of the middle class, his theories were merely concepts that would help meet the common good # of the state as a whole, not just the elite. Marxs mentality is what puts him in the same class as Plato, Hobbes and De Tocqueville.
He sought a means towards improving the community; communism was the final concept he came up with, that he felt could enhance the living styles of all the people within his social arena. The ideas of Hobbes, De Tocqueville and Marx were all ways of making the means meet with an end. They all sought to provide a communal environment where all citizens could live without bias.Though Hobbes sought a monarchy, with one sovereign to lead the state, and De Tocqueville discovered that what is good for one state is not necessarily good for another and Marx founded a communist government he thought would best work for his state; doesnt mean that they did not all share a common goal.
It is obvious through their thoughts and words that each of these philosophers focused an immense amount of their attention towards forming the perfect political structures to manage the citizens of their states with. All three of them shared the same goal, their goal was to seek out the finest solutions that would resolve the dilemmas that their states faced, they were all on a quest for the common good. The only thing that separates these writers is the means they used, in an attempt to satisfy the end..the # common good. Plato was the earliest of all the presented philosophers.
His ideas and aspirations were all based on the knowledge that he acquired from his teacher, Socrates, and his own experiences.His thoughts of pursuing a common good for a community of people, not just for an individual, were foundational thoughts that had a drastic carry through on political philosophers that would follow. Hobbes, De Tocqueville and Marx have had noteworthy effects on the political systems that have emerged; but I can say with confidence, that at the root of their philosophical writings, is the seedling that Plato first planted. Platos thoughts were the first seedlings and roots in the search for the common good. Hobbes, De Tocquevilles and Marxs writings are the branches that have flourished from Platos seedlings.
The ideas and theories of political philosophy owe a great deal to Plato.Without Platos initial seedlings, we wouldnt have the strong foundation that has allowed us to obtain the means which has allowed us to come even closer to achieving the ultimate common good of society.