Alexis De Tocqueville's "Equality of Condition" as a "Fundamental Fact" of American Society

French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville is one of the most well-known political philosophers on equality and democracy, and he is undoubtedly the one who has been referenced the most in several works of literature. According to Tocqueville, democracy is a providential system based on the ideas of equality of situations (Deneen, 2011). Because the theorist believed that there was a need for equality not only in the liberal material but also in the universal assumption that there should be no apparent differences in material, social, and personal entities, the concept of equality of conditions was seen as a fundamental entity for societal coexistence in the US (Deneen, 2011). Today, many American organizations have built on the principles set by Tocqueville to promote human rights and democracy and that have enabled the reduction in social class in America ("Inequality Organizations, Think Tanks, and Academic Centers," 2017). It is worth believing in Tocqueville’s concept of equality of condition by reflecting upon the actions, mission, and participation of the Institute of Policy Studies and Hedge Clippers promotion of equality between the rich and the poor.

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) is a multi-issue think tank that is based in Washington DC that is foundered on the need for equitable, ecologically sound, and a sustainable society through its mission of turning transformative policy ideas into acts. The organization is founded on the principle of peace, justice, and a viable environment for the present and future generations (Institute of Policy Studies, 2017). The key issues that the movement is focused on, however, include climate, economy, energy, finance, human rights, inequality, labor, poverty, trade, and the need for peaceful coexistence. The treatment of the IPS has been critical in the understanding of the foundation for the need for democracy and the rule of law. One such consideration is the realization that the Institute has no government funding because of the assumption that it would be difficult to advocate for the truth about the power when one is funded by the same body that they are targeting to screen. It is also built on the fact that there is a power of convening because through progressive movements, there is a chance for the subsequent weakening of objectives, which mean that the IPS convenes are unlikely to be challenged by justice, peace, and other factors. The last relevant factor that has enabled the organization to be a significant movement for equality of condition through its treatment of social issues is the realization that it offers for public scholarship. It turns ideas into effect by employing staff who have disciplinary and professional research and writing skills and relevant experience in social activist activities. The staff also needs to have a shared belief that social dynamic movements are the key to the success of most social change advocacies (Institute of Policy Studies, 2017).

Meanwhile, Hedge Clippers are another related American political movement that is set to expose the cunning hedge fund schemes and the mechanisms that the rich in the US use to manipulate political systems to gain an advantage over the middle-class and the have-nots. The institute focuses on divulging the damage that the millionaires and billionaires have done on the climate, the economy, the communities, and the American democracy (Hedge Clippers, 2017). The working principles that have since enabled the appreciation of the organization as a movement supporting Tocqueville’s “equality of condition” have involved the criteria that it uses to execute its functions. The body is focused on identifying the politicians who are called out to perform the unlawful and undemocratic dirty work that the rich and influential demand in their favor while causing harm to the economy and the citizens’ sustainable development (Hedge Clippers, 2017). Hedge Clippers also calls for the mainstream population and America as a whole to stand up for a government that works for them and not for the influential and wealthy in the society. Some of the campaigns that the organization has since been involved in include movements related to leadership and collaborative contributions involving agency networks across the nation, digital activist, community groups and labor unions.

By analyzing the vision and mission that these two groups have, it is noted that there are remarkable parallels and differences that enable the understanding of the essence of equality of condition as a fundamental act. One key connection is that both organizations seem to be interested in eliminating individualism while promoting the tyranny of the majority. The IPS, for example, is dedicated to several issues that serve to benefit the American public including the environment, the climate, trade, peace, and energy (Institute of Policy Studies, 2017). Similarly, Hedge Clippers is aimed at meeting the demands and rights of the working American population while fighting the rich who are using their connected networks to gain an unfair advantage. Another similarity between the two and that can help in the understanding of how the treatment of the groups promotes equity of condition is that they both believe in the empowerment factor. The public is challenged that as much as the organizations are there, they ought to take the lead at a personal level to regain their political dignity. The idea is a further breakdown of Tocqueville’s strategy to resist isolation and weakness in their effort to building a culture of democracy.

Meanwhile, it is also worth noting that there are selected differences between the two which nevertheless help in understanding the necessity for equality of condition. One significant highlight is that while the IPS is primarily focused on writing and discussing the issues through published articles, Hedge Clippers is more of a movement that works through actions. It is, however, noted that the IPS operates through local, national, and global frameworks through its researchers and writers who partner with social movements. Hedge Clippers, on the other hand, works using networks and community groups to expose the Wall Street billionaires who are destroying jobs and harming the working population. Nevertheless, both movements have a shared objective of ensuring that democracy is upheld.

In summary, the IPS and Hedge Clippers are two America-based groups that improve the understanding of the rule of law, equality, democracy, and the overall need for human rights advocacies. The status that the organizations have in the society through the activities they both engage in including fighting for the poor on issues related to the climate, exploitation, and on their individual rights comport Tocqueville’s equality of condition. The similarities between the two are that they are both focused on promoting the needs of the mainstream while empowering the oppressed to fight for their rights. The variation in the groups’ operating schemes is that while Hedge Clippers is more action-oriented, the IPS is less involved in executing the change. Nevertheless, the experiences of both enable the appreciation of democracy and the rule of law as advocated by political theorist Alexis de Tocqueville.


Deneen, P. (2011). Tocqueville, Alexis de. First Principles. Retrieved on March 12, 2017 from

Hedge Clippers. (2017). Who are Hedge Clippers? Hedge Clippers. Retrieved on March 12, 2017 from

Inequality Organizations, Think Tanks, and Academic Centers. (2017). Institute for Policy Studies. Retrieved on March 12, 2017 from

Institute of Policy Studies. (2017). About. Institute of Policy Studies. Retrieved on March 12, 2017 from

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