Tocqueville and pantheism
- Issue date
Oficyna Wydawnicza AFM
Krakowskie Studia Międzynarodowe 2009, nr 2, s. 159-166.
"The very short chapter on pantheism in De la Démocratie en Amérique [On democracy in America] is probably also one of the most profound, in the sense that it suggests one of the very mysterious aspects of the soul of democracies. Or maybe, in this prophetic manner which is the author’s own secret, one aspect of the future democracies’ soul. As we know it, Tocqueville does not content himself with a magnificent description of the spirit of democracy as he sees it with his own eyes, but he is suggesting its developments and avatars, including those, which were not yet visible in his time. In many cases, almost two centuries later, we do see that he has predicted, like a Pythia, situations that were rather unlikely in his contemporary times. We could quote two cases of such predictions, which still amaze us today: the extraordinary description of the ostracism striking those, who we refer today as to “politically incorrect” and chapter VI of the Première Partie, entitled: “Ce qui fait pencher l’esprit des peuples démocratiques vers le panthéisme” [“What makes the spirit of democratic peoples incline towards pantheism”]. Naturally, the first symptoms of what he is announcing can already bee felt in the very core of societies living before his eyes. "(...)
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