Liberal Democracy; Democracy; Poverty; Law and Regulation;
The intention of this specific text is to persuade the reader to help end poverty today by joining ‘Make Poverty History’ and it uses persuasive language and techniques to do this – this essay will explain the effect on the reader and will focus on analysing persuasive language.
Democracy: Free Definition Essay Samples and Examples
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America, then, is a country in which there are no poor. This is not the effect of the government. There are, indeed, governments in the world which would make any people poor; but to such governments, a people as civilized as the Americans never would submit. Where there is sufficient protection of property, and sufficient freedom from arbitrary exaction, to enable capital to accumulate with rapidity, and where population does not increase still more rapidly, no one who is willing to work can possibly be poor. Where there is no poverty, there will be a remarkable freedom from the vices and crimes which are the consequences of it. It is remarkable how much of those national characteristics which are supposed to be peculiarly the result of democracy, flow directly from the superior condition of the people—and would exist under any government, provided the competition of employers for labourers were greater than that of labourers for employment. The personal independence, for example, of the labouring classes; their distaste for menial occupations, and resolute taking of their own way in the manner of performing them, contrasted with that absolute and blind obedience to which European employers are accustomed: what are these but the result of a state of the labour-market, in which to consent to serve another is doing a sort of favour to him, and servants know that they, and not the masters, can dictate the conditions of the contract? The unpleasant peculiarities which are complained of by travellers, in the manners of the most numerous class in America, along with the substantial kindness to which every traveller bears testimony, would be manifested by the English peasantry if they were in the same circumstances—satisfied with their condition, and therefore evincing the degree of social feeling and mutual good will which a prosperous people always exhibit; but freed from the necessity of servility for bread, and, consequently, at liberty to treat their superiors exactly as they treat one another.
Dictatorships & Double Standards - Commentary Magazine
The book, of which we have now described the plan and purpose, has been executed in a manner worthy of so noble a scheme. It has at once taken its rank among the most remarkable productions of our time; and is a book with which, both for its facts and its speculations, all who would understand, or who are called upon to exercise influence over their age, are bound to be familiar. It will contribute to give to the political speculations of our time a new character. Hitherto, aristocracy and democracy have been looked at chiefly in the mass, and applauded as good, or censured as bad, on the whole. But the time is now come for a narrower inspection, and a more discriminating judgment. M. de Tocqueville, among the first, has set the example of analysing democracy; of distinguishing one of its features, one of its tendencies, from another; of showing which of these tendencies is good, and which bad, in itself; how far each is necessarily connected with the rest, and to what extent any of them may be counteracted or modified, either by accident or foresight. He does this, with so noble a field as a great nation to demonstrate upon; which field he has commenced by minutely examining; selecting, with a discernment of which we have had no previous example, the material facts, and surveying these by the light of principles, drawn from no ordinary knowledge of human nature. We do not think his conclusions always just, but we think them always entitled to the most respectful attention, and never destitute of at least a large foundation of truth. The author’s mind, except that it is of a soberer character, seems to us to resemble Montesquieu most among the great French writers. The book is such as Montesquieu might have written, if to his genius he had superadded good sense, and the lights which mankind have since gained from the experiences of a period in which they may be said to have lived centuries in fifty years.
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That comprehensive survey of the series of changes composing the history of our race, which is now familiar to every continental writer with any pretensions to philosophy, has taught to M. de Tocqueville, that the movement towards democracy dates from the dawn of modern civilization, and has continued steadily advancing from that time. Eight centuries ago, society was divided into barons and serfs: the barons being everything, the serfs nothing. At every succeeding epoch this inequality of condition is found to have somewhat abated; every century has done something considerable towards lowering the powerful and raising the low. Every step in civilization—every victory of intellect—every advancement in wealth—has multiplied the resources of the many; while the same causes, by their indirect agency, have frittered away the strength and relaxed the energy of the few. We now find ourselves in a condition of society which, compared with that whence we have emerged, might be termed equality; yet not only are the same levelling influences still at work, but their force is vastly augmented by new elements which the world never before saw. For the first time, the power and the habit of reading begins to permeate the hitherto inert mass. Reading is power: not only because it is knowledge, but still more because it is a means of communication—because, by the aid of it, not only do opinions and feelings spread to the multitude, but every individual who holds them knows that they are held by the multitude; which of itself suffices, if they continue to be held, to ensure their speedy predominance. The many, for the first time, have now learned the lesson, which, once learned, is never forgotten—that their strength, when they choose to exert it, is invincible. And, for the first time, they have learned to unite for their own objects, without waiting for any section of the aristocracy to place itself at their head. The capacity of cooperation for a common purpose, heretofore a monopolized instrument of power in the hands of the higher classes, is now a most formidable one in those of the lowest. Under these influences it is not surprising that society makes greater strides in ten years, towards the levelling of inequalities, than lately in a century, or formerly in three or four.