Democracy in America - Volume 2, Part 2: Chapter 1-9 Summary & Analysis

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Volume 2, Part 2: Chapter 1-9 Summary and Analysis

Tocqueville asserts that even though liberty and equality are intimately linked, they are not to be confounded. For instance, total equality of the people's condition would only be possible in an ideal society where freedom itself is absolute. However, reality is such that no society is ideal. Therefore, in the real world, democracies tend to value equality over liberty. The advantages of an increased equality of social conditions are felt immediately by the people, as in most cases increasing equality means better living conditions and a more even distribution of civil and political rights. On the other end, the dangers posed by the policies that enable a higher equality of social conditions spread over a longer period and the negative outcome might not be easily traced back to its source. Freedom has opposite consequences: The...

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