Both Marx and Mill regard it as a mistake to view the state as the sole threat to human freedom. Both worry about the potential of society itself to oppress the individual. While the state may play a role in stifling human freedom, it should be neither the beginning nor the end of our analysis. Please write an essay comparing how Marx and Mill understand the nature of social oppression and what they recommend as the best strategy for resisting and overcoming it.
Among the themes you may want to consider in your discussion are history, modernity, the nature of freedom and unfreedom, alienation, self-development, ideology, and the role of rights. (These are just suggestions – you do not have to, and probably should not, try to address all these themes.) In what ways do Marx and Mill converge and diverge? Whose view (if any) is more persuasive, and why? Both Marx and Du Bois are theorists of inequality. They both seek to understand the material, political, and ideological forces that maintain the subordination of one group to another.
Please write an essay comparing how Marx and Du Bois explain the reproduction of inequality – in the form of capitalism for Marx and white supremacy for Du Bois. What are the causes of inequality? What if anything should be done to challenge inequality, and how optimistic should we be about the success of our efforts? Where do Marx and Du Bois converge and where do they diverge? Does Marx have something to teach Du Bois or vice versa?
Does one of these theorists shed more light on the sources of inequality, and if so, why?Both Mill and Du Bois prize individual self-development, and both are haunted by the forces that stand in its path. Please write an essay comparing their treatment of this topic. According to each thinker, why is self-development a paramount ideal, what are the principal forces opposed to it, and what strategies will best promote it?
Please assess the relative value of their respective accounts. What does Du Bois see that Mill does not, or vice versa? Do their accounts complement each other, or are they in tension with each other? Should we seek to combine their insights, or prefer one account to the other, and why?
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