The Absurdity of Thanksgiving Politics

We at QNUW hope all of you had a delicious and festive Thanksgiving meal.  While perhaps not the most trad of holidays, what with its celebration of the Enlightenment overtaking the shores of the New World in its own flimsy manner of comradery in a time of struggle, it remains a staple of the American experience and, more importantly, an excuse to drink good booze and eat good food with the family.  You could almost look at it as a throwback to the feasts of saints once common in Catholic practice—it lacks that religious dimension, obviously, but in an age of modern secularism, the glorification and memorial of the Pilgrims at Plymouth play the part of a sort of American pre-Christmas celebration: it’s the beginnings of the American genesis, the prelude to what would become the Revolution. Continue reading “The Absurdity of Thanksgiving Politics”

The Riddle of Steel: New York Times’ Edition!

Bret Stephens posted an amusing Op-Ed in the New York Times yesterday entitled “Repeal the Second Amendment”.  Bret Stephens, for those who aren’t aware, self-identifies as a conservative, and as is somewhat typical of the NYT op-ed crew who lean Right, he’s a card-carrying Republican who stands firmly on his principles to appeal to the NYT’s Left-liberal Democratic platform in this dangerous, Trump-tocratic, post-Obamanite era.  He is, in other words, one of the typical New York elite: clueless, educated, disconnected, and snobbish. Continue reading “The Riddle of Steel: New York Times’ Edition!”

A Not-So-Brief Guide to Tocqueville’s Democracy in America (Part 6 of 13)

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6. Chapter 10 – Vol I Conclusion

The final chapter of Volume I concerns itself with two issues that are inextricably linked: the status race holds in the relations between the peoples on the American continent, and the possible ways in which the dissolution of the Union will eventually take place.  It also marks the conclusion of Volume One of Democracy in America. Continue reading “A Not-So-Brief Guide to Tocqueville’s Democracy in America (Part 6 of 13)”

The American Republic is Unrecognizable

This is getting to be a commonly heard phrase.  “The republic cannot stand with behavior like this in its highest offices,” the conservative commentators barked under the Clinton dadministration.  “The republic is doomed with all these warmongers and invasions,” came the outcry from liberal elite after 9-11.  “The republic will be bankrupt in a few short years,” the lounge-chair conservative economists cried as Obamacare passed.  And now, from the Left, as we’ve come to expect: “the republic is a fascist state run by a giant orange!”  At least they’ve found a taste for subtlety. Continue reading “The American Republic is Unrecognizable”

A Not-So-Brief Guide to Tocqueville’s Democracy In America (Part 4 of 13)

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4. Part II: Chapters 1 – 6

Part 2 of Volume One begins with Tocqueville briefly noting that up until this section, he has only bothered with explaining the theories and structures of the government and the social state of the American union.  Part 2, he writes, will be concerned with filling these theories with the substance of the power behind its words.  It is the ‘invisible hand’ of democratic function that Tocqueville seeks to explain here. Continue reading “A Not-So-Brief Guide to Tocqueville’s Democracy In America (Part 4 of 13)”

A Not-So-Brief Guide to Tocqueville’s Democracy In America (Part 3 of 13)

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3. Chapter 8

Due to the length of chapter eight, summary and discourse on its contents has been given its own chapter in this guide.  It concerns the federal constitution and the general composition of the American federal system.

Chapter 8 – Of the Federal Constitution

Finally, at about page 186, Tocqueville gets to what we modern Americans probably thought the book was going to be about on page one: the democratic order of the American federal government.  He reiterates that, until this chapter, he has been concerned with explaining and detailing the structure of the social and governmental apparatuses that keep the government and people stable.  Continue reading “A Not-So-Brief Guide to Tocqueville’s Democracy In America (Part 3 of 13)”

A Not-So-Brief Guide to Tocqueville’s Democracy in America: Part 2 of 13

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2. Chapters 5 – 7

Chapters five, six, and seven are concerned more with the details of the law and organization of the American political structure than with general theories as to its governance.  Chapter five concerns the ground-up formulation of the American government, emphasizing the regional autonomy of townships and counties, but stopping short of analyzing the federal government.  Chapter six looks at the judicial system as it is practiced in both general principle and specific case.  Chapter seven is a look at the American political jurisdiction and how it compares to France. Continue reading “A Not-So-Brief Guide to Tocqueville’s Democracy in America: Part 2 of 13”

A Not-So-Brief Guide to Tocqueville’s Democracy in America: Part 1 of 13

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1. Tocqueville’s Introduction, Chapters 1 – 4

The first part of this guide covers roughly the first hundred pages of Democracy in America, beginning with the author’s introduction and ending with the fourth chapter.

Tocqueville’s Introduction

Tocqueville begins his book with a thirty-some page introduction in which he states, and then later restates, that Democracy in America is not a travelogue.  Nor, does he add, is it merely a catalogue of various American institutions.  Instead, it is a work of political science that attempts to capture the growth of a liberal-democratic revolution that Tocqueville believes is sweeping the West. Continue reading “A Not-So-Brief Guide to Tocqueville’s Democracy in America: Part 1 of 13”

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