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By Diana Boros

Utilizing political philosophy to argue the necessity for social and public artwork initiatives to be part of the typical lives of usa citizens, Boros creates a brand new synthesis of philosophical principles to aid the political price of public artwork.

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Performance and installation art, the “happenings” of the 1960s, and graffiti and outsider art became frontline discussions even in the mainstream art world. The defining movement in art for the twenty-first century has been to put it on the street. We must support and encourage this still-evolving trend, which is vital to the revitalization, and thus advancement, of our public lives, and ultimately, of our democracy. Conclusions The aim of this work is to make a contribution to two main areas of political philosophy, and political science in general, by looking at ideas of participation and community in a democracy, and by highlighting the need for revitalizing changes that seek true individual freedom and empowerment through art.

Tocqueville himself implies his observations will stand the test of time, as they are the inevitable ref lection, or by-product, of democratic governance. In this chapter I employ several of Tocqueville’s primary observations about democracy and American life to demonstrate that individual creative rebellion (for him, as exemplified through religious experience) in the pursuit of liberty plays a necessary role in American political life. Tocqueville argued that the Puritan drive for work, and the full embrace of a commercial mindset alongside the adoption of democratic goods, creates the potential for an apathetic and conformist American people, without much perceived need for community, or an understanding of the human condition; and that this weakness could be improved through religion.

Tocqueville and How a Love of Commerce in Democracy Breeds Excessive Individualism Tocqueville believed that a quest for, and the attainment of, property created an independence and drive that supported liberty, but that excessive self-interest and its consequence, greed, corrupted the benefits of a focus on commerce (Drolet, 2003). As we can learn from the Puritans, a hard-work ethic and a desire for material success yield a pragmatic and self-reliant worldview; but, without the benefits of a complementary religious life that asserts ultimate moderation and benevolence, as well as an active voluntary civic life, the excessive and diffused love of commerce will threaten to produce a society far less communally minded than that of our earliest European settlers, as individualistic citizens become increasingly alienated from their fellow citizens, from the potential complexities of public life, and thus become increasingly susceptible to the “soft despotism” Tocqueville feared.

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