Mill, Tocqueville and Marx concepts of freedom

The Concept of Freedom

The term freedom refers to the ability to talk, act, and think according to one's own desires. Another way to look at freedom is as a circumstance that protects people from being enslaved or imprisoned. Various scholars have played important roles in the global effort to secure freedom. Among the scholars whose work contributes to this topic are Mill, Tocqueville, and Marx. As a result, this study offers a discussion of such scholars' theoretical perspectives and thoughts regarding the principles of ensuring freedom. Mill is famous due to his classical contrary theory of freedom that grounded all other theories of liberty. His claims were based on the argument that the society had no claims far as the separate existence of the individual is concerned. Furthermore, he argued that the community could only interfere with the actions in which the individuals affected another. Thus it's worth nothing to say that Mill justified individual freedom in opposite to unlimited social and state control.

Tocqueville's Perspective on Freedom

On the other hand, Tocqueville refers to liberty as the potential for virtue dismissing the arguments that involve freedom to as a self-evident virtue. His arguments are based on historical perspectives primarily on political and social views. He argues that free communities do have a natural taste to freedom thus if left for themselves, they will lead to a regret. He, therefore, calls for equity in liberty confirming the fact that freedom is a sacred thing that allows for individual virtue.

Marx's Contribution to Understanding Freedom

In addition to scholarly writing concerning liberty is concerned, Marx contributions cannot be overlooked. His concept of freedom is delivered as developed by the Marxist's proponents argues that Marx analyzed freedom against the background of socio-economic conditions. They further say that freedom involves the understanding of the laws of nature and society that can lead to man's benefit. Thus they argue that freedom can only exist where there are no cases of alienation, exploitation, and oppression.

Marx's Work as the Most Reasonable

However, about the contribution of these three theorists, Marx work seems to be more reasonable than any other work. The reason behind his thoughtful work is the fact that Marx deals with the economic and social conditions of the people in his arguments. As mentioned above, the Marxists called for a world free from alienation, oppression, and exploitation. Thus it implies that Marx's concept of freedom bears a humanistic basis of liberty. Furthermore, his theory is more plausible due to the fact that it condemns the dehumanizing effects such as capitalism systems associated with the nullification of freedom.


In conclusion, it's quite clear that Mill, Tocqueville, and Marx contributions to the concepts of freedom cannot be overlooked while the debate concerning securing freedom is concerned. Although these theories appear to differ the fact remains that in one way or another, scholars today apply such theories while defending their arguments and as a supportive tool in academic work. However, Marx deserves recognition due to his approach that tends to address the socio-economic conditions about freedom. It's no doubt that if put in place, the Marxist theory cannot only lead to civilization among the people but also can lead to equality in society. To my point of view, Marx theory as laid down by the Marxists appear to be reasonable due to its beneficial contribution to the community.

Works Cited

Lichtman, Richard. “The Social Context of Mill’s Theory of Freedom.” Journal of Socialist Theory, vol. 38, no. 2, 2010, pp. 189-205. Accessed 4 Dec. 2017.

Nemani, Abhi. “The Curious Fragility of the Freedom: Tocqueville, Friedman, and the Economic Liberty – Abhi Nemani.” Abhi Nemani, 24 Nov. 2009,

Nepal, Padam. “MARXIST & Bourgeois Concepts of Freedom.pptx.” Scribd, 2014, Accessed 4 Dec. 2017.

Scanlan, James P. “J. S. Mill and the Definition of Freedom.” A Journal of the University of Chicago Press, vol. 68, no. 3, 1958, pp. 194-206. Accessed 4 Dec. 2017.

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