Individuals are important members of a community for a single community is a composition of different individuals. Being individuals of one community, we are now evolving in a community with different likes, dislikes, culture and tradition. With these, we are now exposed into the decisive steps towards the world’s civilization. With the existence of different race and ethnicity, this multicultural citizenship arises as an answer to many issues and conflicts as individuals cry for support and recognition of their racial and cultural identities.
Many people, youth and adults do not know hat their personal foundation is that is why, being individually attached to the community having different cultures, beliefs and fashion preferences, most decisions, likes and dislikes of these members of a particular community were affected by the opinions and preferences of the community evolving around them. These people are now part and members of the community. So even if an individual is a part of a community, there is a big difference between an individual and a member of a community.
Individual Freedom in a Democratic Community Democracy refers to a system of government rather than to individuals. It is based on three elements: competitively selected leaders, public decision-making, and popular participation. A democratic political system includes the entire social process of political decision-making, from government agencies to citizens’ groups; it includes both government and society.
On the other hand, Freud had clearly define the difference of being a member of a community and an individual, where a decision of a member of a community is greatly affected by the community around him, where as an individual makes a decision which is mindless of any opinion of the community around him. (Civilization and its Discontents, 49) David Hume emphasized in An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals that an individual had different dilemmas such that his character was developed and recognized in accordance to how he deals with it.
An individual’s character is not inherited and thus, developed by personal endeavors or one’s own exertion. But measurements of democracy typically focus on institutions rather than individuals; however the two are inextricably linked. Individual freedoms are necessary to sustain democratic institutions. Democratic institutions are more likely to protect individual freedoms. On the other hand, freedom is something an individual enjoys; it is the absence of oppression from both government and other agencies although it should be practiced that where there is freedom, there is responsibility.
Here, even if democratic traditions emphasize three inalienable freedoms enumerated as rights to personal security, personal expression, and political participation, it is in this respect, that freedom of expression of was limited. With this, Tocqueville sited the irony of this situation where the definition of democracy totally differs to what is really practiced in America, where people bear marks of their origins and it is where and how a person was born that will affect hi being his personality and the rest of his career.
Tocqueville said that America is the most democratic country in the world, and it is at the same time (according to reports worthy of belief) the country in which the Roman Catholic religion makes most progress. At first sight this is surprising. Two things must here be accurately distinguished: equality makes men want to form their own opinions; but, on the other hand, it imbues them with the taste and the idea of unity, simplicity, and impartiality in the power that governs society.
Men living in democratic times are therefore very prone to shake off all religious authority; but if they consent to subject themselves to any authority of this kind, they choose at least that it should be single and uniform. Religious powers not radiating from a common center are naturally repugnant to their minds; and they almost as readily conceive that there should be no religion as that there should be several. Conclusion At the present time, more than in any preceding age, Roman Catholics are seen to lapse into infidelity, and Protestants to be converted to Roman Catholicism.
If you consider Catholicism within its own organization, it seems to be losing; if you consider it from outside, it seems to be gaining. Nor is this difficult to explain. If Catholicism could at length withdraw itself from the political animosities to which it has given rise, I have hardly any doubt but that the same spirit of the age which appears to be so opposed to it would become so favorable as to admit of its great and sudden advancement. More recently, economic and social rights have been included under the umbrella of freedom in many nations, but not the United States.
Disadvantaged groups within society, such as women or minorities, are often denied freedoms given to others. Therefore, to measure a society’s freedom two dimensions must be addressed: the range of rights the most free segments of society enjoy; and what proportion of the population comprises these most free segments. Tocqueville stated that democracy not only lacks that soundness of judgment which is necessary to select men really deserving of their confidence, but often have not the desire or the inclination to find them out.
It cannot be denied that democratic institutions strongly tend to promote the feeling of envy in the human heart; not so much because they afford to everyone the means of rising to the same level with others as because those means perpetually disappoint the persons who employ them.
Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and its Discontents. W. W. Norton & Company; Reissue edition (July 1989) Hume, David. An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. Open Court Publishing Company; 2 edition (June 1960) Tocqueville, Alexis de (Author), Henry Reeve (Translator). Democracy in America. University of Virginia, (June 1, 1997)