Alexis de Tocqueville {Read} L'ancien régime et la Révolution


Minish safeguards that were lost as France attempted long before its citizens thought to riot to embrace a eualizing vision of government In fact the most fascinating element of this treatise for me is de Tocueville s theory that the initial activated stages of much needed reform are those in which a society is most vulnerable to revolt That it was precisely because the peasant caste was finally receiving the empathy it deserved that it rose up in rebellion That the revolutionary match was struck after the problems were laid on the table and had begun to be addressed In short once everyone including the aristocracy agreed such grievances were well founded As if the poor had finally received permission to be enragedIt s an interesting book if you ve got the time and focus it reuires I d certainly consider it canon in the field of French Revolution writingsand also apropos as an application to studies of modern day Russia If this was a youtube video its title would be Liberal aristocrat DESTROYS Reactionary chill and socialist cucksTocueville a man of aristocratic origins and a son of the french revolution holds no love for the revolutionary fervour that allowed him to get in the comfortable position of a public letterman He also traces the roots of the future massacre and absolutism of the revolution from the centralizing movements of the anci n regime from 18th century until the year of the revolutionHe is not a historian however how he says is important than what he says Tocueville shows how the vices of the new State sprang to life during the reign of the last french ings This is how he contradicts the arguments of Burke s pamphlet on the french revolution Tocueville is not a historian so he might be unprecise in his affirmations but is not so much how he talks about something but what he talks about He describes a regime that slowly eroded the regional powers and obligations of the french public sphere and centralized it towards Paris He describes a society micromanaged by bureaucrats appointed by the French ing and where public jobs become extremely advantageous than pursuing a private entrepreneurship The book also mentions how through the centralization of local powers from feudal lords and local aristocracies customary law was corroded by a confuse and imprecise legalism from Paris and how the poorer strata of society lost its possibility of recurring to the local lords and became dependent of a detached and uninterested caste of civil servants that had no skin in the game and no mutual dependency towards the the peasantry and city poorWe are so used to think of the middle ages as a time of darkness but time and time again history shows that the way society found itself organized in those time followed a rational logic and not a superstitious or tyrannical one When the State became an empowered being it decided to rationalize life This aesthetic desire of a rational euanimous and centralized society was the greatest sin of the old regime and the great obsession of the State in modern times Certainly one of the very greatest works of political philosophy in some ways better than Democracy in America Tocueville was fascinated by the phenomenon of social euality after centuries of feudalism and he goes so far as to say that the outward political revolutions and charters of the new post Enlightenment order were already essentially complete as social conditions before these revolutions ever took place The preparation for the French Revolution was simply that men notice men were nearly alike then they had ever been before Hence they simply outgrew their feudal institutions or already had outgrown them and that this process was complete under the ancien regime not under the revolutionary government The political revolts and events historians associte with the revolution are simply not that important because the event was overdetermined If it had not happened this way it would have happened some other way hence any "GIVEN WAY THOUGH SUFFICIENT IS HARDLY "way though sufficient is hardly to the political philosopher It s a daring thesis It may even be true It may even continue to be true and predictive as Democracy in America was and is The people are the same the arbitrary political and economic differences and privileges appear and the easy they are to strike down with a coup de main to the system from wherever uarter or circumstance that blow may come Tocueville expresses the view that essentially the political stage of the revolution uarter or circumstance that blow may come Tocueville expresses the view that essentially the political stage of the revolution an act of piue by the new eual man a proto middle class man against such arbitrary privilege of the aristocracy long since degenerated into inbred fops The American revolution Simply the piue of the colonists who already considered themselves Englishmen and were shocked to find out they were not Rejection always precedes anger and revenge What can we learn today from this important and oh so delightfully dangerous wicked book And there are so few truly dangerous books Perhaps our own aristocracy of merit our meritocracy without merit in other words is finally ready to fall The one crucial lynchpin is do people see those possessors of letters behind their names and privileged positions in the institutional structure as truly deserving the ongoing mystiue and fascination that sustained the old feudal aristocracy for centuries or will that meritocracy be revealed as profoundly regressive and unfair or worse will the meritocrats simply be unmasked as no smarter or better than anyone else Tocueville suggests that just such a failure of legitimacy inevitably follows the realization of a profoundly eual social condition suddenly unmasked in this way If only there were some way to do this convincingly for all to see the political and economic reforms and all the rest would be easy to accomplish Really exciting stuff to be recommended to all young revolutionaries L Ancien R gime et la R volutionAlexis de Tocueville 1805 1859The Old Regime published in 1856 is a study of the Governance of France from the dark Middle ages up to Louis XVIAnd further to understand and explain why and how the terrible and violent Revolution of 1789 came to happenAlexis de Tocueville is best nown for his Democracy in America 1835 a book that I appreciated and that should Ment Readers will appreciate The Ancien Régime and the French Revolution for its sense of irony as well as tragedy for its deep insights into political psychology and for its impassioned defense of liber.

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Alexis de Tocqueville ✓ 3 review

L'ancien régime et la RévolutionThe French Revolution was not a sudden outburst of violence but the coming to the fore of a new socio political ideal those shattering impact will go beyond bo Alexis de Tocueville was a nineteenth century aristocrat and liberal who after visiting the United States of America became so interested in the concept of democracy that he wrote two huge volumes on Democracy in America One of the main themes in this work is the problem of how to combine the struggle for liberty with the struggle for euality Tocueville saw the struggle for euality as a danger to the freedom of individuals Euality reuires a centralized authority to make things eual and combined with the process of democracy leads to a situation in which every individual will be just that an individual This will lead inevitably to a transfer of power to the state and the rule of the majority and hence destroy the personal autonomy of the individualIn the USA according to Tocueville this paradox was resolved by the strong sense of community the state governments but especially the townships were a decent bulwark against the centralizing tendencies of the federal government In Democracy in America 1840 Tocueville concludes that democracy worked in the USA because it could start from scratch democracy in Europe would be an entirely different matter historical developments had already led to very uneual societies in which classes and despots were already presentThe Ancien R gime and the Revolution 1856 explores this last point in relation to France Tocueville delved into the administrative archives to unearth the society of eighteenth century France in order to explain how the French Revolution originated and why also why in France and why at that particular moment 1789So what s Tocueville s answer to these uestions According to him in the eighteenth century there were different strands all intertwining to develop into the explosion we now call the French revolution First feudalism was eroded peasants were landowners and the aristocracy gradually lost all its finances but increasingly gained in power At the same time a middle class developed that gained ever financial power eventually becoming much powerful than the old aristocratic elite France was a strongly stratified society the three classes nobility bourgeouis commoners didn t mingle with and looked unfavourably towards each other During the eighteenth century and really from the reign of Louis XIV in the seventeenth century the French We Sell Drugs kings increasingly spend and money on wars and because of the decline of the aristocracy gained tremendously in power The result of all these events To finance the expenditures of the French state theing needed taxes Because the administrative and judicial systems were almost exclusively manned by bourgeous and the nobility held exclusive privileges to exemptions from taxes the state increasingly taxed the poorest people the commoners This led to frustration and growing unrestDuring this process the French state centralized and eventually ending up with the situation that just the city of Paris governed the rest of France The countryside and the smaller towns were only peopled by the French without money if you had any money you would build your future in the capital In effect this meant that the nobility ruled the countryside and the towns without being present This strengthened the already ongoing process of alienation of the nobility from the commonersAccording to Tocueville this was a state bound to crumble When Louis XVI tried to reform his administrative system sending many bourgeois officials home he created in one instance a society of individuals in which everyone looked at everyone else with hatred and envy For years the philosophes had inspired a sense of injustice and ineuality in the common people and strangely enough the nobility Just before the Revolution Broke Out The Nobility broke out the nobility tried to help better the situation of the commoners this was also what ing Louis XVI tried to DO WITH HIS REFORMS SO ABSURDLY with his reforms So absurdly Revolution was heralded and if not heralded at least welcomed by the nobility who would be the first ones on the list of the commoners when they got rid of the ing The people spurred on by the political ideologies some would say demagogery of the philosophes resented Literature of Africa king and nobleman alike and held both accountable for the abominable state they were in And since the Catholic church was in league with the state and derived much power and authority from this relationship they felt strong passions for anticlericalism and antireligiosity And the bourgeois They just went on with their business administering the organs of the state The only thing that really changed was their rulerTocueville claims that the lesson we should learn from this among others is that ideals of euality really democracy and ideals of liberty really autonomy can conflict with each other and clash violently The Ancien R gime digged its own grave by taxing and alienating the masses the poor forced labour military service ever increasing taxation harsh punishments etc The nobility stood by while the bourgeouis just went about their business on their financial ego trip When the situation got so bad that out of sympathying and nobility wanted to reform the situation the slightest betterment led to immense feelings of unfairness and ineuality by the masses The Ancien R gime already passed the point of no return and according to Tocueville the Revolution was in this sense inevitableOriginally meant as part 1 of a trilogy on the Revolution this is Tocueville s only finished book on the subject He intended to write two subseuent WORKS ONE DETAILING HOW THE REVULTION PROGRESSED AND THE one detailing how the Revultion progressed and the explaining what came after it But even though Tocueville didn t manage to write the other two works he succumbed to tuberculosis throughout The Ancien R gime and the Revolution it becomes clear what his viewpoint is He continuously compares the situation after the Revolution with pre Revolutionary eighteenth century France and concludes that nothing really changed The Revolution happened and existing state structures and especially the trend of ever increasing centralization of state power were used as tools by the new regime I continue to be am. This new translation of an undisputed classic aims to be both accurate and readable Tocueville's subtlety of style and profundity of thought offer a challenge to readers as well as to translators As both. .
Azed by Alexis de Toceuville s sharp insights and his elouent analyses of the themes of democracy euality liberty and centralization In both Democracy in America and The Ancien R gime and the Revolution the same trends are observed The struggle for euality leads to a situation in which liberty eventually succumbs and a centralized authority emerges Although he was an aristocrat Tocueville seems to have accepted the changing times and he seems to have sympathy for the poor and powerless he also seems to be a true liberal fighting for personal freedom and autonomy and warning us for the potential dangers of democracy He saw Napoleon I as the culmination of all the bad sides of democracy he was thrown in prison because he observed the exact same trend with the rise of the war hungry demagogue Napoleon IIIAmazing thinker amazing book amazing subject As Marxism is receding from respectability de Tocueville s stature is growing even in France where his very bourgeois outlook and anglophile leanings have often made him extremely unpopularDe Tocueville s conclusion and logic are uite simple It is highly dangerous for a corrupt regime to try to reform itself because the only thing holding it together is the self interest of all those unscrupulously profiting from the injustices of the regime When a reformer emerges in the ruling elite he or she makes the hangers on nervous They start immediately looking for ways to jump ship in order to preserve their own privileges rather than closing ranks In the view of de Tocueville this was has how the Old Regime fell not so much from the Parisian mobs but from the rats jumping shipSimon Schama Citizens certainly thinks de Tocueville got things right Marxists starting with Marx himself however have always tried to dismiss Tocueville as a bourgeois ideologue who failed to recognize the historical importance of revolution and the working class It today s world however it is de Tocueville whose star is on the rise in academic circles To those who study it as an isolated phenomenon the French Revolution can but seem a dark and sinister enigma only when we view it in the light of the events preceding it can we grasp its true significance And similarly without a clear idea of the old order its laws its vices its prejudices its shortcomings and its greatness it is impossible to comprehend the history of the sixty years following its fall p227The Old Regime and the French Revolution written in 1856 is a short book just 206 pages in this edition plus an appendix and endnotes with a contemporary audience in mind Despite this Tocueville s insights and understanding mean that the book is still interesting and provides a model for thinking about revolutions as a wholePart of his intention was to take issue with interpretations of the revolution current in his own time and also to address what he felt were short comings in French political life Primarily the lack of political liberties and the absence of an aristocracy or something very like it some powerful self confident group not dependant on the central authority of the government and able to resist it in the interests of the locality in which they lived and so guarantee libertyTocuevilles view was not that these deficiencies were the result of the Revolution but rather that they and the Revolution itself were the result of long term trends in French history Tocueville was interested in the longue duree long before the annales school His final conclusion is that given the Long Term Tendencies In French term tendencies in French the Revolution was not a sinister enigma but a foregone conclusion Tocueville s ey to understanding this was to grasp the mentalite of the pre revolutionary generations Once you are in tune with the Zeitgeist the paradoxes of the pre revolutionary period are resolved This is why the book is valuable What Tocueville is doing is taking down and smash There really is no excuse for only reading Tocueville s Democracy in America The Ancien R gime is one of Tocueville s best works It analyzes the spirit of the French Revolution very accurately although the factual information is not always correct when he states France was affluent during the reign of Louis XIV Tocueville is most nown for his Democracy in America and I find it unfortunate that this work languishes in its shadow as it truly is a wonderful work of political science Tocueville had managed to create a fresh examination of the Revolution while it was still in living memory Indeed coming for a noble background whose family was victimized by the Terror and a friend of Legitimists or Ultraroyalists Tocueville manages to be a neutral perspective on a controversial event that was stirring passion in the politics of the timeTocueville s account is a classic in that his analysis derives from direct sources of the Ancien Regime and the era rather than as a polemical critiue such as Edmund Burke s The conclusions he arrives to contradict the popular image of the revolution be it demonized or romanticized Some of these conclusions we may not appreciate as a impartial audience such as King Louis XVI being a ind hearted man with good intentions but lacking in skill Alexis impartial audience such as King Louis XVI being a ind hearted man with good intentions but lacking in skill Alexis Tocueville is most well nown for his book Democracy in America published in two volumes that were released in 1835 and 1840 Sixteen years later he turned his attention to the task of divining the root causes of his own nation s upheaval The French Revolution reuired a leveling eye its truths having been twisted as they so often are into convenient justifications for or against post Revolution policy reform But than this de Tocueville recognized how compelling it was in the aftermath of a substantial societal eruption to shorthand the event to shear off its complexities and deliver it up denuded of all but a tuft of basic rationales And if history is meant to teach us that sort of short handing leaves only a half lesson learnedThis is a brief heavily researched work that reuires a bit of dedicated concentration Examinations are made not simply of the administrations classes and movements of the age but also those leading up to the reign of the ill starred Louis XVI We are introduced to structures that eroded over time aristocratic influence that did in fact di. A Tocueville scholar and an award winning translator Arthur Goldhammer is uniuely ualified for the task In his Introduction Jon Elster draws on his recent work to lay out the structure of Tocueville' argu. ,

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