I've been reading Henry David Thoreau's Resistance to Civil Government recently. It's a very interesting essay from 1849 and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in progressive thoughts on democratic theory.
I was wondering if there are more early philosophers/critics of modern* democracy from the 19th century or maybe earlier? Or any literature from that time that I really should know?
*) "modern" in terms of not ancient greek forms of democracy.
Some additions/clarifications. I'm not a native english speaker, maybe I confuse some words. By critics I not necessarily mean to be against something. I'm also talking about constructive criticism. Okay, maybe Thoreau is more than that. But his thoughts on the 19th century U.S. politics can be read quite constructive.
Well, here is one example. Thoreau said a major problem of democracy was/is that a legitimated majority can rule over any minority. It's not good sense/ intellect ruling over will to power/violence but majorities over minorities. Thoreau might be the more deconstructive type of critic, but there is so much truth in it. Have a look at Egypt for instance. Young people losing their lives on the streets fighting for more freedom, and what do they get after legit democratic elections?
But I don't want to go offtopic now. I'm looking for literature similar to Thoreau's thoughts as explained above. Nietzsche might be a good start, I've not been digging deep into his work.