Despotism Essay

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Despotism

A despotism is defined as a system of government in which the ruler has unlimited power. Many of the aristocratic regimes of old can arguably be labeled despotisms, as well as some of the dictatorships of today’s modern world, if one can truly define ultimate power. De Tocqueville delved into this concept in his discussion of the newly forming American democracy and how he noticed this democratic revolution making it’s way towards Europe. De Tocqueville states that: “ The first and liveliest of the passions inspired by equality is, love of that equality itself.” (Reader 321) This is why democratic nations are more concerned with equality than liberty. Because of this love for equality, De Tocqueville argues that there
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Upon which, they return to their everyday lives feeling that they are the ones in control of their government.
De Tocqueville worries that this love for equality is that which could possibly threaten the freedom of the individual citizens. He is concerned that as more and more control and decision-making is taken from the people and placed in the hands of elected representatives, the people become more complacent and less apt to want to regain this control. In a sense, the people don’t want to worry themselves over such matters. In this changing of priorities by the masses, the government can slowly take more and more power from the people. Just enough that will not be noticed, or so irrelevant in the peoples minds that they will relinquish it quite easily. The government will begin to implement laws and regulations and it easily becomes so difficult to intervene in public affairs that even the most intelligent of men will not have the will power to try. And those that do are unable to make themselves noticed to the rest of the newly created mob that is called society, as the main body of citizens has become totally detached from government.
This possible problem with the effects of the democratic passion for equality is echoed in the writings of other authors as well. Mosca states his belief on the system of

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