Tocqueville and Marx: Not Opposites

48 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009

Date Written: 2009


Several decades ago when I was a graduate student in political science, the common wisdom among eminent social scientists concluded that Tocqueville was the liberal answer to Marx.1 Writing at approximately the same time, diagnosing the social and political ills of the mid-nineteenth century, and predicting the future, Tocqueville and Marx appeared to many as opposites, and because Marx was wrong, then Tocqueville must be right. More specifically, these political scientists claimed that Tocqueville correctly predicted that a vibrant pluralism would substantively uphold democratic traditions, whereas Marx failed in his prediction of an end to class struggle and the emergence of a classless society.

Suggested Citation

Boesche, Roger, Tocqueville and Marx: Not Opposites (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

Roger Boesche (Contact Author)

Occidental College ( email )

1600 Campus Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90041
United States

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