“Modernity is a complex aspect of humanity. It has various definitions, just as there are various proponents and opponents to various views. Modernity is a concept that incorporates numerous aspects of humanity that include sociological, political, artistic and scientific aspects. In a nutshell, modernism refers to the period in time which initiated the shift towards capitalism and industrialization. Modernity covers various theories that well-known personalities in the field of sociology proposed. It is an entity describable from various perspectives.
Tocqueville was able to see the differences that stood out between the past and modernity. According to him, modernity has characteristics of isolation, individualism and unsettledness. This is a paradox because individual have grown to have a resemblance to one another. With modernity came a form of control that one cannot resist. It is not the kind of control that was there in the past, where people used brute force such as tyranny. Rather, this is control of the mind and character. He compares the modern man to sheep led by a shepherd, which is the government. In modern life, according to Tocqueville, equality is a relentless force. The advantage of this system is that it serves as an impetus for hard work. Though people see it as a vice, individualism can be channelled to work for the common good of the people. The downside to this approach of the modern world is that when people are equal to one another, there is a tendency to lack the willpower and the guts to fight for their independence. There is no independent mind.
Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels shared a theory of history. They drew out an interconnection between humans and nature. According to them, modernity is the changes in the environment in relation to material circumstances. The distinction of the past and modern times comes through the manner of satisfaction of vital human necessities…”
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