Major Movements of Opinion About FreedomJune 28, 2021
We have mentioned above that freedom is an ethical concept in the sense that individuals are free – not prevented – and bear responsibility for their actions, basically on the axis of the discussion of free will and determinism, and therefore it is basically an ethical problem.
In this part of our site, we will try to get to know the main views of people about freedom in social life – social freedom – by following the limitation we set at the beginning. The main ones of these views can be listed as libertarianism (libertarianism), individualism (individualism), communitarianism or communitarianism and liberalism.
It can be said that libertarianism is an ideological point of view that opposes all kinds of determinism that prevents human liberation, opposes all kinds of rules and mechanisms that limit human freedom, and argues that the results of conscious human actions cannot be reduced to causal explanations or the principles of classical liberalism, which opposes state controls (Güçlü et al. . 2008, p. 1110). While defenders of libertarianism interpret elements such as the free market economy, which capitalism is trying to spread, and freedom of movement, as indispensable for social life, they strongly oppose moral-conservative restrictions (ibid.). We can count Robert Nozick (1938-2002) and Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992) as the most well-known representatives of libertarianism in the 20th century. The main views on which both thinkers agree on social freedom can be listed as follows: 1. Freedom means the absence of state or individual control. 2. The main task of the state is not to regulate the welfare of the society and the distribution of property or capital, but only to protect the social order and to provide public services that do not occur spontaneously. When the state goes beyond this limit, it will inevitably become totalitarian and individual freedoms will be curtailed, something to be avoided.
Libertarianism, on the one hand, opposes all kinds of restrictions on people, and argues that the intervention of the state to the individual in social life will not be legitimate. The best-known advocates of libertarianism in the 20th century are Nozick and Hayek.
Individualism, similar to libertarianism, is a doctrine that puts the individual at the foundation of all social life, and moreover, defines and interprets the individual within the framework of qualifications such as “existence in itself”, “purpose in itself”, “highest value” (ibid., p. 243). One of the most familiar forms of individualism, namely methodological or explanatory individualism, can be found in thinkers such as Karl Popper, John Stuart Mill, Max Weber, F. A. von Hayek. According to this understanding, only the reality of the individual is in question, and the areas of existence such as social reality, integrity, social structure, which are claimed to be included in the individual, are only a construction of the mind (mind). In other words, it is meaningless to talk about a social reality other than the individual. The opposite of this, holism, is the doctrine that is tried to be grounded by thinkers such as Karl Marx, August Comte, Emile Durkheim, who set out from the ontological assumption that the whole is more than its parts and argue that the social structure or the whole is more determinant than the individual (ay, p. 270).
Individualism is a doctrine that sees the individual as the real real entity and argues that concepts such as social reality and integrity will mean nothing unless they are individuals. However, holism interprets the whole as more than the parts, in other words, society as a whole that expresses more than the individual and has more decisiveness.
While there are similarities between individualism and libertarianism, there are also similarities between holism, which opposes individualism, and collectivism or communalism, which has sharply criticized liberalism. Collectivism is a doctrine that argues that for the sake of individual freedoms, social integrity and the value sets that make society a society cannot be ignored, on the contrary, our social characteristics determine our individual preferences, in short, the individual is socially dependent on a determinism. According to this doctrine, even freedom and equality, which are seen as universal principles, cannot be explained independently of our social characteristics, tendencies, in short, who we are; because, as Alasdair Mac Intyre (1929-), one of the leading advocates of collectivism, stated, “…We participate in human society with one or more characters assigned to us, that is, roles assigned to us…I am someone’s son or daughter, someone else’s niece or uncle; I am a citizen of this or that city…. Accordingly, what is good for me must also be good for those who carry these roles. As such, I inherit various indebtednesses, legitimate expectations and obligations from the past of my family, city, tribe or nation” (Mac Intyre 1984, translated from p. 216 et al.: Yazıcı 2008, p. 176).
Libertarianism and individualism assert that the individual is essential, while holistic