Marx And Tocqueville Research Paper

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Samuel Lum Xinde Modern Social Theory Section B1 Prompt C Title: Tocqueville and Marx as modern social theorists Modern social theory arose as a response to the changes in society, sparked particularly by the French Revolution. The accomplishments from the French Revolution laid the very framework in which societies was thrust into the modern. Alexis De Tocqueville and Karl Marx were the few theorists at the forefront whose writings embody the spirit of modernity. Tocqueville and Marx had the immaculate ability to grasp history, looking at societies from times past to present, recognize the interconnectivity and interrelatedness between them and with broad topics such as religion, the politics and the development of the economy. Modernity…show more content…
Like Marx, he saw the interconnectivity of all aspects, from religion to politics and economics. Unlike Marx however, Tocqueville saw the society as a “body united”, each part a reflection of the entire body. Tocqueville was able to understand the workings of the democratic society in America. For example, in his section “Why great revolutions will become rare”, we glimpse into his unique understanding of the system: “If there ever are great revolutions there, they will be caused by the presence of the blacks upon American soil. That is to say, it will not be the equality of social conditions but rather the inequality which may give rise thereto.” (Tocqueville, 639) We see in this statement Tocqueville’s view of the society. Tocqueville did not merely “observe” America in his visit, but diagnosed it and produced a through understanding of it, placing equality into a larger context. He was able to see the meanings of equality in the micro and macro perspective. Unlike Marx, it is not a structure, it is a body where adjusts itself until it aligns with the posture of equality. If blacks are on America soil, there will be inequality and thus in order to align itself with the surrounding equality; it needs to adjust itself through a revolution. Indeed, we see the predictive power of Tocqueville from his recognition of the contingent element of society, from the Emancipation…show more content…
They were able to capture the troubled spirit of modernity so aptly, through means of practical contexts and empirical applications. They were able to create theories such as Marx’s historical materialism to connect history with the present. They were able to answer the metaphysical questions so crucial to our existence: Who are we and what should we do? Despite the failure of Marx’s idea of communism in the 21st century, and the struggles of current day democracy in America, they were modern social theorists in very right. In Harrington, he says “The very existence of social theory as a scientific project is itself a creation of modernity.” (Harriginton, 2005) These theorists, Marx and Tocqueville believed in human agency; and in the words of Marx: “human sensuous activity,

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