Marx Versus de Tocqueville

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Christopher English
Foundations of Social Science
Dr. Kelley
9/17/12
Marx versus De Tocqueville
Intelligent, respected, revolutionary, and revered are just some of the superlatives used to describe the multitalented Karl Marx and Alexis De Tocqueville. These two European men both living during the time of the French Revolution, would go on to create works and research that would socially shake up the world. Both individuals held drastically different views about society as a whole, Democracy, socialism, the revolution, and whether or not society could be categorized. Even though they have varying opinions spanning many different topics one fact is un-debatable, that without the lifetime contributions of both Marx and De Tocqueville the Social Sciences as we know them, and the way society views itself would never be the same.

Karl Heinrich Marx was born into a middle-class family in Germany, in 1818. As a young man he became interested in ideas of Hegelians, studied philosophy, and began writing for a local newspaper, and eventually creating his own newspaper. Marx’s influence began to pick up steam as he teamed up with friend and fellow socialist Friedrich Engels. With Engels as a co-writer of great literary pieces, Marx became one of the most influential people during and since his time. Alexis De Tocqueville was born to parents of provincial nobility in Northern France in 1805. De Tocqueville became interested in politics as a young man and pursued politics at a young age which eventually led him to America where he would later complete his most famous work, the book Democracy in America.

The subject of Democracy pits Marx and De Tocqueville on two different sides of the spectrum. One of their most glaring differences is when it comes to the Democratic government and the idea of liberty and private ownership. Marx thought the social inequality due to the capitalist system would always impede the progress of the Americans and the supposed “sovereignty...
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