“Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual
is sovereign.” (Mill, 13). John Stuart Mills philosophy regarding the
ideal society separates the individual from society. He is clear to not make one more important
over the other, yet holds the individual accountable to society only if they
act in a way that may interrupt the community.
comparing Ernest Becker’s philosophy to both John Stuart Mills and Karl Marx,
Mills philosophy would provide society with the significance and esteem Becker
tells us about. When individuals are positioned
in society with the freedom of the 3 liberties, liberty of conscience, pursuit
and combination, they are able to make their own choices. Society interruption, according to Mills
would only make individuals feel constricted and not in control of their own
decisions. “No society in which these liberties are not, on the whole,
respected, is free, whatever may be its form of government; and none is completely
free in which they do not exist absolute and unqualified.” (Mills, 16)
all kinds of work where there is cooperation of many individuals, the
connection and the unity of the process are necessarily represented in a will
commands and in functions which, as for the leader of the orchestra, are not concerned
with partial efforts but with a collective activity. It is therefore a productive work which must
be accomplished in any mode of combined production.” (Marx, 89). Marx explains his
ideal society as one that the individual and society work together. One
orchestrates and the others follow to keep up.
Unlike Mills, Marx believes a society that is overlooked and held
accountable by another. Ones feeling of
significance when reporting to a someone who is superior could not be good for self-esteem.
Society craves the opportunity to be an individual who
is trusted to make good decisions in life.
Accountability is also important, both for the individual and society. I believe that if an individual has the opportunity
to make life decisions on their own that are positive for society, they pride
themselves when the outcome is positive for them and society. We feel a sense of value and seem to hold our
heads up higher when we are in an equal environment that lets us think without the
influence of someone higher than we are.
Having consequences if this freedom is abused will ultimately make the individual
think many times over before moving forward with any decisions. This is a great balance that supports Becker’s