Tocqueville on Modern Discontent

Wed, January 29, 2020 5:00 PM at 104 S. Kedzie Hall

Dr. Dana Jalbert Stauffer, Associate Professor of Instruction and Research Fellow in the Government Department at the University of Texas in Austin, explores the insights that can be gleaned from Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic work, Democracy in America, into the moral, political, and spiritual dilemmas of our age. 

As he sought to capture the effects of democracy on public and private life, Tocqueville was moved to reflect on the aspects of human nature that are frustrated and suppressed in the modern era. Carefully tracing his remarks about human nature throughout the work reveals his understanding of the complicated fate that certain human longings meet in the modern world. Professor Stauffer argues that Tocqueville’s arguments can help us understand both the sources of modern democratic discontent and the reasons that we struggle to see those sources.