Online ISSN 2286-0266
Print ISSN 1223-0685
Copyright © 2019
Œconomica by SOREC
 
Ştefan UNGUREAN
Universitatea "Transilvania" din Braşov

The stake of this essay is to propose a rediscovery of Tocqueville, which means to bring to light “the effects of analogy or isomorphism which, starting from the actual forms of knowledge, make a figure that has become unclear or disappeared perceptible”. Starting from a postmodern perspective, those features of modernity that were present “in nuce” within the American society, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, can be emphasized. Outward kinetism in relation to nature, to which an internal kinetism defined by social mobility and political democracy corresponds, the emergence of a subject able to support the kinetic movement, a project-driven subject motivated both by the need for equality and the need for liberty in a constant effort of desacralization and innovation (“to do otherwise and better”) and which is permanently threatened by the anomie, socially, and the “tyranny of the majority”, politically, these are the themes of this analysis dedicated to the American modernity, one that pretends to belong to Western society as a whole. “On Democracy in America” falls into the category of “great narratives”, constructions that aim to explain the past, the present and the future, the society, but also the individual. Significant segments of reality belonging to the “world of life” and “the world of the system” are taken into account, and we find assessments of the economy, law, justice, politics, military and warfare, organization of the state, on the one hand, and literature, art, morals, subjectivity, on the other hand, plus the interconnections between the two worlds. As the writing reflects the Cartesian spirit of the thinker attentively to what he sees, the lectured press, the laws studied, the statistical documents he had access to, the testimonies given to him, the journals and the memoirs he read, the toqeuvillian discourse fits into what postmodernist theory calls “an assemblage of enunciation”, in which, in Deleuze’s words, “the purpose of writing is precisely to carry life to the stage of a non-personal power”.


ŒCONOMICA no. 2/2019
Keywords: kinetism, subject, truth, uncertainty, authoritarianism, equality, freedom
JEL: A14, D72, P48, Z13
Tocqueville and Modern Times. “On Democracy in America”, in a Postmodern Reading [Tocqueville şi modernitatea. “Despre democraţie în America” într-o citire postmodernă]