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Essay: Theorists on positive/negative liberty

Sample Essay

Positive liberty is not relevant to political and social institutions as proven above so canindividuals or groups acieve positive liberty? Can positive liberty be applied to the society and the state? Should it be applied? Is it beneficial for the people or the state to apply positive liberty? These questions form the basis for arguments by various theorists. Plato, Epictetus, Christian theology,Kant, Marx, Rousseau etc support positive liberty and Ockham, Hobbes, Lock, J.S. mill, Libertarian party etc support negative liberty.

           Positive freedom is attributed to collectivity and Rousseau’s theory of freedom supports positive liberty. Rousseau stated that individual freedom can be attained through participation and the community can exercise collective control but by acting in favour of ‘General Will.’ Rousseau also believed that liberty is the powerindividuals have to change the government and let democracy rule. In simple words, Rousseau meant that democracy is guarantee of freedom because according to him the society is self-determinant one so every individual had a right to decide whether to participate in the democratic process or not (Roger Masters, 1968).

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