Michael Tocqueville's View Of Individualism

1486 Words6 Pages
Though Tocqueville does not accept individualism but only up to a certain point that it offers freedom of thoughts through the recognition of individual’s sovereignty. Hence, he views individualism as a more tamed and civilized version of egoism. Overall, Tocqueville does not favor individualism other than free thinking because it makes people to be independent and the recognition of individual’s rights arises people to yield to their own self-interest. As Tocqueville states, “when the duties of each individual toward the species are far clearer, devotion to one man becomes rarer: the bond of human affection stretches and slackens” (Tocqueville 586). Hence, this societal bond, which is greatly enforced in an aristocracy where people were dependent…show more content…
He just believes that this freedom of choice comes with a great burden, which requires heavy responsibility, and most people are weak to carry out this burden. Dostoevsky sees true freedom as the freedom of choice and volition, and when men are taken away this freedom, they will cease to be free. A true freedom is the freedom to choose and take responsibility of the choices one made. As I stated earlier, this is called the burden of freedom because people have to differentiate between good and evil, to make moral choices and to take responsibility of their action and choices. But the people are prone to make immoral judgments because he believes that men are not just rational but also irrational beings. With this irrational side, people are prone to make bad decisions that can hurt themselves and others as well. Yet, this suffering that comes from the burden of freedom is important for humans to achieve a higher state in the world because suffering allows men to redeem their sins and improve themselves by trying to incorporate good actions for the wellbeing of the society. In addition, Dostoevsky relates freedom with responsibility through using the religious parable of the Christ’s return during the time of the Inquisition in the Grand Inquisitor. The Inquisitor tells Christ that He is no longer needed and argues that people cannot handle the freedom that he brought to the mankind – the freedom of the will. The Inquisitor tells Him that people are too weak to carry out this freedom and hold onto their faith in their own volition so the Church has provided humans with what they crave the most – miracles, authority, comfort, and security – in return for their faith. From this story, what Dostoevsky implies is that when happiness and security are given freely to people, people will easily

    More about Michael Tocqueville's View Of Individualism

      Open Document