Tocqueville is not part of Pettit’s egalitarian liberal version of republicanism, but that does not mean he is further from antique republicanism, Athenian or Roman, than Pettit, or that he is further removed from Rousseau.  Tocqueville uses Aristotelian republican language rejected by Pettit, but favoured by Arendt, who as we have noted above was deeply influenced by Tocqueville.  ‘The township is the association so well rooted in nature that whenever men assembles it forms itself (62/ Book I, Part One, Chapter IV).  The echo of Aristotle famous comments on the place of life in the town or city as the natural end of human life (Politics I) is clear. Returning to Rousseau, Tocqueville’s language is permeated with that of Rousseau.  He declared himself a daily reader of Rousseau, along with Montesquieu and Pascal in a famous letter to Louis de Kargolay, and it shows.  The reading of Pascal and Montesquieu is consistent with the Rousseauesque element in Tocqueville.  Pascal’s view of humanity as torn between its Godlike and animal like aspects, the confusion of humans arising from the multiplicity of desires, and the dissatisfaction left when those desires are met, flows into the way Rousseau refers to humanity as it experiences inequality in The Discourse on Inequality and The Social Contract, and the way it experiences the tensions between individual will and general will in The Social Contract. The language of general and particular wills partly comes from Pascal’s essay on grace.  The contrast in Rousseau between the moral purity of a small republic based on patriotic virtue and equality in poverty; and a large monarchical commercial state, has parallels in Montesquieu.  On the whole, we might think that Montesquieu is more open to commercial society and states with a large territory, nevertheless he was  quoted by Saint-Just, the ideologue of the Jacobin terror, with regard to the virtues of simple republics.  The relation between Rousseau and Tocqueville is sometimes acknowledged (e.g. Melvin Richter’s ‘Rousseau and Tocqueville on democratic legitimacy and illegitimacy’ in Rousseau and Liberty, edited by Robert Wokler, 1995), but not often enough. As mentioned above, Tocqueville draws on Rousseau in explaining the nature of individuals in a democratic society, torn between conflicting and ever renewed desires, with regard to commercial life and all social connections.  It even incorporates the laws in democratic America, which are forever changing and conflicting.  The Constitution and the Supreme Court provides some counteraction to that, representing the general constraints that democracy requires if it is not to self-destruct.  Law as practised by advocates and by judges is key for Tocqueville, in that restraint and brings some of the virtues of aristocracy to democracy.  Tocqueville sees aristocrats as more concerned than the people with intellectual excellence, the long term, administration of the state, the survival of the nation and of basic institutions.  Rousseau’s own favoured system of government is elective aristocracy, rather than participatory democracy, and that is an outcome of his distinction between general will and government.  Like Rousseau, Tocqueville  refers to he unity of the political body.  Rousseau had opposed the unity of government to the Lockean idea of a separation between executive and legislative functions, which Rousseau regarded as an absurdity. Tocqueville has a version of the savage in Rousseau, in the American Indians.  The American Indians are beyond the pure savage stage in Rousseau, as they are not wandering the forest as isolated individuals.  They still serve as something that is ‘natural’, compared with the democracy of European settlers.  The situation of American Indians puts them in comparison with the early stages of private property and inequality in Rousseau.  He presents American Indians as individuals who are perfectly integrated into a group, who only exist as part of that group, as well as in a relation  with nature.  They demonstrate both perfect hospitality to guests and unlimited cruelty to prisoners of war.  These virtues are even those of antique city state, a comparison made by Tocqueville.  There is a relation between violence and simple freedom reminiscent of Adam Ferguson, with precedents going back to Tacitus’s view of ancient Germans and Britons. Tocqueville finds equivalents to European history in America, so while thinking of it as the place where British settlers could reproduce British ideas of law and free institutions in a pure form, he also thought of it as a place of traumatic history where all the worst aspects of European history could be found in a kind of clear simultaneity, where barbaric, antique and modern phases exist together.  Tocqueville is very taken with the idea of America as an offshoot of Britain, thought there were also Dutch, German and French settlers as well.  Tocqueville notes the terrible consequences for the American Indians of white settlement.  He thinks of it as violence which takes place with perfect legality.  All the expropriations of American Indian land, expulsions of people and forced movements, are within the law.  There is probably over simplification by Tocqueville on that point, but in the cause of an argument about the limits of law.  Much as he respects the rule of law as a guarantor of liberty with order, he is strongly aware that is can be an instrument of, or a cover for, the violation of the principles that we hope institutions of law serve.  Law requires a spirit amongst the people, for it to be used and applied properly.  He thinks of America as divided between three races (white European, black African and American Indian) and is pessimistic about the chances for just co-existence and integration between them, despite his respect for aspects of the American Republic.  He has a melancholic view of the fate of American Indians, which later history justified, and gives us the memorably sad image of American Indians leaving ancestral lands behind, near Memphis, crossing the cold river Mississippi, leaving their dogs behind, who then jump into the freezing waters in despair.

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