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Tocqueville's Paradoxical Moderation

Aurelian Craiutu
The Review of Politics
Vol. 67, No. 4 (Autumn, 2005), pp. 599-629
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25046469
Page Count: 31
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Tocqueville's Paradoxical Moderation
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Abstract

This essay examines in detail Tocqueville's paradoxical moderation by focusing on his rich correspondence and notes for Democracy in America. As Tocqueville's critique of the politics of the July Monarchy shows, he was a political moderate and an immoderate mind, and this uncommon combination explains the ambiguities and contradictions in his view of democracy. After exploring Tocqueville's views on moderating democracy, the essay examines the main elements of his new science of politics at the heart of which lies the idea of a wise balancing of various social elements, principles, and ideas. The final section comments on Tocqueville's elusive moderation and his search for greatness in modern politics.

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