- JAPANESE POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION
- 年報政治学 (ISSN:05494192)
- vol.59, no.1, pp.1_37-1_60, 2008 (Released:2012-12-28)
One of the thinkers whom Hayek praised very highly is Tocqueville. Hayek regarded Tocqueville as one of the best liberal thinkers of the 19th century who developed most successfully the political philosophy of the Scottish thinkers such as Mandeville, Hume and Smith. And the title of Hayek's The Road to Serfdom (1944) was named after what Tocqueville had called the “new servitude”. Evidently Hayek's argument on tyranny or despotism in the book had many similarities with that of Tocqueville in Democracy in America. However, there were, in fact, several big differences between them. Tocqueville defined individualism in a negative way: individualism “disposes each citizen to isolate himself from mass of his fellows and withdraw into the circle of family and friends”. But Hayek defined it in a positive way: the essential features of individualism were, for Hayek, “the respect for the individual man qua man”. While Tocqueville considered political freedom most important as a bulwark against the majority's tyranny or a new democratic despotism, Hayek considered economic freedom most important. Tocqueville endeavored to make the best use of democracy to make people good public citizens. But Hayek had skepticism and disappointment with democracy, which seemed to make Hayek resemble Plato rather than Tocqueville. These differences between them seem to pose a significant problem for state-society relationship in the contemporary world.