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Mill’s main criticism in his second essay was well taken: Tocqueville, in failing to define democracy with precision, sometimes confused its effects with those of a commercial civilization in general. As a nation progresses in industry and wealth, its manufactures expand, its capital grows, its class structure changes, and the intermediate group between poor and rich, comprised of artisans and middle class, multiplies. This may seem to make, as Tocqueville believed, a trend to equalization, but it could be merely one of many consequences from augmented industry and wealth, which created a highly complex society without necessarily furthering political freedom and democratic equality. Mill doubted whether in itself a commercial civilization, aside from other influences, necessarily equalized conditions among men. At any rate it failed to do so in Britain. There, he wrote, “The extremes of wealth and poverty are wider apart, and there is a more numerous body of persons at each extreme, than in any other commercial community” (193). Owing to their abundant children, the poor remained poor, while the laws tended to keep large concentrations of capital together, and hence the rich remained rich. Great fortunes were accumulated and seldom distributed. In this respect, Mill thought, Britain stood in contrast to the United States, although in commercial prosperity and industrial growth she was similar.
de Huszar, introduction by Friedrich A.
Buchanan, of and ; contributor of various Forewords to
XV, 519. Actually the year does not appear on this letter, but its being dated from India House rules out any later edition of the and the other information rules out earlier ones.
Alternative Views on Monetary Reform" Pamela J.
XIV, 348 (25/2/55), from Palermo. In the event, other factors outweighed this consideration, and Mill offered Parker and at the same time, though suggesting (as actually happened. appearing in February, and in April, 1859) that the latter be published “somewhat later in the season” ( XV, 579 [30/11/58]).