Freedom In Tocqueville's Analysis Of American Democracy

Freedom can be defined as the absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government. Throughout the years, America has developed a government that is based around the American people’s freedoms. Some could argue that in today’s world, our freedoms are either not met, or are unequally distributed. Philosophers throughout America’s time have studied what it is to be free and if it is achievable by all. While some would agree that all are free, others would believe democracy allows no freedom. Authors such as Smith, Marx, Tocqueville, and Dewey all have contributed their form of a reliable government and have paved the road for our government today. Adam Smith believed we have the freedom to create a living for ourselves within …show more content…
Freedom was beneficial for the creation of a democracy, too much freedom could cause democratic disposition. As argued in Democracy of America, Tocqueville explains that when everybody begins to feel depraved of equality, the weak will want to bring down the strong to their level. To ensure that democratic disposition did not occur, individualism and materialism must be kept to a minimum. According to Tocqueville, freedom can be defined as ability to think for yourself and act on free will. However, if the social changes in a government are shaped by the people or circumstances, people will become so equal, they will begin to demand more power. The problem with individualism is that it separates you from the government. For a democratic government to be successful, its citizens must have a clear consciousness and be able to sacrifice themselves for the betterment of the government. Tocqueville would rather have a society created upon selfishness than individualism because with selfishness, you are more passionate about yourself instead of those around you, who could possess more freedom than you. A crucial factor in the democratic revolution according to Tocqueville was religion. Although the reaction to religion being a key factor in the government, Tocqueville believed that those who advocate for liberty “must know that liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality …show more content…
Different from the other authors, Dewey dismisses liberty. Dewey’s freedom requires two conditions, firstly the necessary material means to fulfill one’s desires. Secondly, developed mental capabilities allowing one to use foresight. These preconditions conclude that we are no longer free by nature, as Smith would have it, but rather be made freed and have ‘something to be achieved.’ To achieve having freedom in a Liberalism world, Dewey argues that we must reconstruct society to allow for attainment of effective freedom. This form of freedom in today’s America could not be achieved by many, and liberal politicians would not agree with Dewey’s standpoint. Dewey’s freedom can only be attainable by those who have the means to, a.) have all their means fulfilled and b.) be able to afford a good education to have the intelligence Dewey speaks so highly

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