IntroductionThisessay is about Emile Durkheim’s theory of ‘Individualism and the intellectuals’which is introduce by Steven Lukes. Lukesis trying to shed the light on the political studies, liberalism and value ofan individual in the political society.Biographyof Steven Lukes: Steven Lukes was born on 1941 in north eastern England. He is a social theorist and Britishpolitical.
Lukes completed his study atRoyal Grammar School in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1958. He went to Oxford as a student to studyphilosophy, politics and economics at Oxford and then he got more interested insociology which was not really an existence much in Oxford than. In 1968, hecompleted his doctorate on the work of Emile Durkheim. Currently he is working as a professor at NewYork university teaching politics and sociology. He was a widower; he has threechildren from his previous marriage. In2006 April, Lukes married Katha Pollitt who is a political commentator and anauthor. He has a profound influence on his career of Emile Durkheim who was aFrench sociologist and a philosopher who can help us to understand whycapitalism makes us richer and yet frequently more miserable.
Inthis section I am going to summarize the text which was introduced by StevenLukes he has republished Emile Durkheim’s theory of ‘Individualism and theintellectuals”. Further I will discusstheorist’s wider concerns related to text.’Individualismand the intellectuals’ is highly inaccessible and minor known essay written bya wonderful sociologist ‘Emile Durkheim’. Lukes is saying that there are so many reasons to why he is explaining,translating and republishing this article.
This has been written by Durkheim in the response of political andsocial crisis when he was at the top of his authority (Carman, 2008).First,it is to provide some input of political theory which is the agreement ofopinion of all the students of politics and sociology to give respect to themain cause of modern political stupidity, corruption not working in the best feasibleway. It is not often asking the mainreason for the existence of completely unacceptable state of affair is theindifference by the public, specially their most important and intelligent forpolitical members for political questions and practical administration.
Mostly current plans for reconstruction ofmodern political life have their own purpose. There are two promising program which have been put onwards are theproposal to enhance the scope and importance of local government and more urbanplanning which seeks to manage development in an equitable and community basedmanner for substituting direct representation of economic and professionalinterest in political parties. One ofthe most important contributions for this mode of solution has given by EmileDurkheim. He provides a history ofideas, finalized by systems, theories and current schools. Moreover, it includes the ideas which are socialwho works in the premises of classic cycle theories. Thus, by merging two different perspectivestogether Durkheim’s work findings are the point of view of much more ideas withsociopedagogical receptiveness and to the study ideology hence Durkheim cannotprovide systematic analysis of the ideology concept, but he uses the term andproposes of the point.
Secondly it is ofinterest in history and thirdly it provides details and speaks about the ideaof its author (Sage Journals, 1969).Accordingto this political theory here we are discussing the ability to talk about inthe support of liberalism which presents the key issues of the moral basis ofperson’s rights, the criteria and limitation of politically set obligationfurther we discuss the rights and acceptance of authority, what are theresponsibility of an intellectuals and the positive effect of liberalism. In this text Durkheim’s explain the rights ofan individual by focusing the principle of respect of a person. According towhich a human is consider as an individual who has a status of moral as well asreligious rights. This principle setlimitation for political obligation set by the political party. State cannot blame a person because individualrights are much more important than State (Barry & Osborne, 2013).
Moreover,he refuses to agree and do argue by giving his point of views based on moraland ethical reasons rather than religious beliefs. Where the ability to do something is beingconsidered very important and agreeing with expert’s opinion is logicallyjustified. The issues which are related to the common judgment of men suchdeference is opposite to the reason.
Here comes the responsibility of the intellectual to use logic inthinking for a problem of moral and cultural values considering the warmth andexcitement of the crowd and image of the authority (Durkheim & Bellah,1973).Finally,Durkheim’s narrates that a complete dedication should be given to an individualliberty and Political liberty should depend by working on political and socialnorms. The negative eighteen centuryliberalism should be fulfilled for the upcoming progress and must be finalizedand accomplished.
As we consider the eighteen-century formulation ofindividualism should correct and practice it without modification. Somehow it was reliable a decade ago but nowit should be completed and modified because it presents individualismnegatively (Bishop, 2007).Inthis text theorist is addressing the political rights of an individual andindicates that they have all kind of moral, ethical and social values.
He further explains that all the restrictionswhich were set by politics got some limitation by new principle ofliberalism. He elaborates liberalism inan advantage for society. He involvesDurkheim’s theory on individualism and the intellectual in his career andconsiders it the most reliable theory, according to which an individual’sfreedom is consider as the most significance part of the politics (Levey,2007). Government is there for thesafety of an individual and state has no right to overrule an individual’sliberty. The intellectuals have some responsibility to solve the problems andimprove judgment in decision making. Wecannot compromise an individual liberty at any cause and all the aspects ofsocial and political norms must by consider under political liberty.Individualism is a moral, political or social outlook that stresses humanindependence and the importance of individual self-reliance and liberty(Adamson, 2005).
As to author’s concern the intellectuals put their reasoninghigher than authority because according to them individual’s rights areinalienable. Accordingto Karl Marx an Individual’s freedom and nature relates to a society.Individualismis an ideology and political philosophy which indicate the value of anindividual. It is the key concept inliberalism infect it is a core concept. Individualism has supreme importance in terms of the rights and in termsof need over a collective group.
Societyis basically just an aggregation of an individual.Thisidea is very different from the idea of collectivism which we see particularlyin socialism, traditional concept, even in Islamic ideas. While we individual is subsumed with in acollective of a nation and collective of a class which is a working class oreven in the family. Individual comesfirst logically and morally prior to society.Locke’stheory of individualism- according to him the concept of individualism isdescribed as theological foundation. The creator of the world creates all hiscreation same hence every individual is considered equal to other individual;no one has right to rule over other.
Every individual should respect the rights of other individual. Therefore; human freedom is founded onreligious doctrine in Locke’s concept of individualism (Gustafson, 2001).Theaspects of liberalism such as anti salivary, anti-imperialism, anti-racist,anti-homophobic put the individual first (Nussbaum, 2011).Kant(an alignment philosopher) argue that individuals are “ends in themselves” heemphasis the course of dignity and the individual worth for every human being.Lockeemphasis universal human rights where he argues that no one ought to harmanother in his life, health, liberty and possessions. So, for Locke theindividual comes first, and they may form a social contract to join society tobe better off (Nussbaum, 2011).Individualismmakes an individual the more focus on the fundamental importance to its premises,there are three aspects such as Liberalism, existentialism and anarchism theseare the movements which make the human as a main part of analysis.
Individualism must evaluate as the right ofthe individual to freedom and self-realization. They have the freedom to write, think according to their own way(Nussbaum, 2011).Individualismin American literature; at the end of the nineteenth and at the start ofTwentieth century the concept of Individualism in American author’s prospectivereferred as the dominant priority of an individual on the ground ofself-standing and personal growth. Moreover, Walt Whitman is the firstrevolution voice of individualism, through his poems “Song of Myself” herelates individuals in social surrounding to a blade of grass, he described thefact that everyone should acknowledge and be proud of the services and partperform by everyone in this world (Vess and Nelson, 1999). ‘Accordingto Ahuvia, (2002), John Stuart Mill’s theory on Individualism-Before Mill’sinput of individualism; Kant had redesigned Locke’s views. He rejects the grounds which are related tostudy for individuals and instead accept grounds related to metaphysics. Mill’s wishes his theory on individualismwidely acceptable by removing the need of theological foundation as well asmetaphysic foundation and wants his theory to totally base on physiologicalconcept regarding pain and pleasure. Mill’s somehow rejected the need of social contract and stated: “Afavourite contrivance has been the fiction of a contract, whereby at someunknown period all the members of society engaged to obey the laws, andconsented to be punished for any disobedience to them; thereby giving to theirlegislators the right, which it is assumed they would not otherwise have had,of punishing them, either for their own good or for that of society … I needhardly remark, either for their own good or for that of fiction, this maxim isnot superior in authority to the others which it is brought in to supersede.
” Millclearly rejects the concept of binding. Therefore,rather than put his concept of individualism on metaphysics, theological andcontractual foundation; he surrounded his theory with psychology. Mill’s theory of individualism believed thatindividuals have ultimate authority of their own action, so he considers it thestrongest course of action for liberalism (Verschraegen, 2002).Dewey’sviews- rather than presenting his theory based on previously explained conceptsDewey make his theory according to the existent situation.
America had become depend on each other andworked as collective orientation. Hence,he thought the collectively working environment should be practice meeting thecurrent needs. Dewey believes that the solution of the problem has been alreadymentioned earlier. By exercising the “best knowledge and the best intellectual’smethods” we can use social knowledge given by experts and modify it accordingto current situation using the knowledge of how to tackle the situation(Palumbo and Scott, 2005).
Britishambassador to the United States (1907–13), wrote in The American Commonwealth(1888), “Individualism, the love of enterprise, and the pride in personalfreedom have been deemed by Americans not only their choicest, but theirpeculiar and exclusive possession (Lukes, 1970).Theintellectual is someone who is involve in brainstorming, some sort of criticalthinking and research work towards society and find solution for itsproblem. Somehow the intellectual takesparticipation in politics either to support or to defend injustice bydeference, editing or rejecting an ideology and by supporting the system ofvalue (Jackson, 2000).Whenwe involve intellectuals in the political circumstances that intellectual hassome major responsibility towards the nation and its duties. They should have uses their mind and exercisetheir ideas most likely. They can comefrom any part of life; they should involve all their knowledge to, but theyshould believe that they know everything and put all their effort to giverational judgment. The intellectuals consist of enlightened elite who involvesin political matters to give guidance to the masses for their objectiveinterest. The role of the intellectualsderived from an ethical system that relies on reason to explore objectivejustice.
Intellectuals demand thatbecause of reason ability they have access to the universe (Lukes, 1969). ConclusionInconclusion, to sum-up the whole text; Steven Lukes sheds light on the theory ofEmile Durkheim about ‘Individualism and the intellectuals” which shows theimportance of an individual considering its moral, ethical, social andreligious rights above than State. Herehe mentioned the duties of the intellectuals towards all the decisions whichthey make. He further elaborates and doargue that the liberalism which was taking negatively in eighteen centuriesshould be re-condition to accomplished and completed. He further explains that liberalism haspositive impact on society.Theoverall agenda of this text is to describe the procedure through whichindividuals socially consolidate into society and to provide a sample forunderstanding the relation between the individual and their society.
Durkheim believes that every individual holdssome quality which makes him different from one another; these differences setall of us apart with in a society. Everyindividual has their own quality of thought, influences, desires and otherthings. They gave more importance to individualliberty rather than political liberty; an individual is not responsible for allthe social and economic situation of the country.
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