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Soc. Sci. 2 Article for Discussion B-Tyranny of Choice

Posted by Brian C. Ventura on October 5, 2011

You choose


If you can have everything in 57 varieties, making decisions becomes hard work
The tyranny of choice


Dec 16th 2010 | PARIS | from PRINT EDITION

THESE are momentous times for the British potato crisp. Little over a generation ago the humble snack came in just a trio of flavours: ready salted, cheese and onion, or salt and vinegar. Today the choice is tongue-tingling: Thai sweet chilli, balsamic vinegar and caramelised onion, Oriental red curry, lime and coriander chutney, vintage cheddar and onion chutney, buffalo mozzarella and herbs, chicken tikka masala. And those are merely the varieties confected by a single crispmaker, Walkers, a division of PepsiCo, which turns out 10m bags of crisps every day for the British market alone. Venture towards the gourmet fringes of the crisp offering, and the choice and exoticism multiply: jalapeño pepper, roast ox, horseradish and sour cream, Ludlow sausage with wholegrain mustard. Crisps these days can be crinkle-cut, thick-cut, ridge-cut, square-cut, hand-fried, reduced fat, sold in six-packs, grab bags, party size or family packs.

Wheel a trolley down the aisle of any modern Western hypermarket, and the choice of all sorts is dazzling. The average American supermarket now carries 48,750 items, according to the Food Marketing Institute, more than five times the number in 1975. Britain’s Tesco stocks 91 different shampoos, 93 varieties of toothpaste and 115 of household cleaner. Carrefour’s hypermarket in the Paris suburb of Montesson, a hangar-like place filled with everything from mountain bikes to foie gras, is so vast that staff circulate on rollerblades.

Choice seduces the modern consumer at every turn. Lattes come tall, short, skinny, decaf, flavoured, iced, spiced or frappé. Jeans come flared, bootlegged, skinny, cropped, straight, low-rise, bleach-rinsed, dark-washed or distressed. Moisturiser nourishes, lifts, smooths, revitalises, conditions, firms, refreshes and rejuvenates. Tropicana, another part of PepsiCo, turns out freshly pulped juice in more than 20 different varieties, up from just six in 2004; it says there could be as many as 30 in the next decade.

Thanks to a mix of modern medicine, technology and social change, choice has expanded from the grocery shelf to areas that once had few or none. Faces, noses, wrinkles, breasts and bellies can be remodelled, plumped or tucked. America in 2008 alone saw 2.5m Botox injections, 355,671 breast implants, 341,144 liposuction treatments, 195,104 eyelid lifts and 147,392 stomach tucks, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Teenagers can choose to surf, chat, tweet, zap or poke in ways that their parents can barely fathom. Moving pictures and music can be viewed, recorded, downloaded or streamed on all manner of screens or devices. The internet has handed huge power to the consumer to research options, whether of medical procedures or weekend breaks. Even the choice of price-comparison sites to help people choose is expanding.
Offline choices have multiplied too. European Union citizens can move, study, work and live wherever they like within the union. Vouchers and other school reforms in many countries give parents increasing choice over where to send their children. Modular university courses offer students endless combinations. The University of California, Berkeley, has over 350 degree programmes, including Buddhist Studies and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies, each made up of scores of courses.

Choice has come to some of life’s biggest personal decisions as well. In many countries couples can decide whether and where to marry, cohabit, divorce or remarry. Internet dating promises to find a match from a database of potential partners. Women in the rich world can choose when, and whether, to reproduce. “Do I want a baby? Will I find love again? Is this it?” screams the front cover of one recent women’s magazine. Mothers (and sometimes fathers) can choose to work, or not, or take time off to raise children and then go back to their jobs. New life can be created against the odds. For sufferers from many chronic illnesses, life in old age can be prolonged—or ended.

Too much of a good thing

Many of these options have improved life immeasurably in the rich world, and to a lesser extent in poorer parts. They are testimony to human ingenuity and innovation. Free choice is the basis on which markets work, driving competition and generating economic growth. It is the cornerstone of liberal democracy. The 20th century bears the scars of too many failed experiments in which people had no choice. But amid all the dizzying possibilities, a nagging question lurks: is so much extra choice unambiguously a good thing?

Over the past decade behavioural scientists have come up with some intriguing insights. In one landmark experiment, conducted in an upmarket grocery store in California, researchers set up a sampling table with a display of jams. In the first test they offered a tempting array of 24 different jams to taste; on a different day they displayed just six. Shoppers who took part in the sampling were rewarded with a discount voucher to buy any jam of the same brand in the store. It turned out that more shoppers stopped at the display when there were 24 jams. But when it came to buying afterwards, fully 30% of those who stopped at the six-jam table went on to purchase a pot, against merely 3% of those who were faced with the selection of 24.

The researchers repeated the experiment with chocolate as well as student essay topics and found similar results. Too much choice, concluded Sheena Iyengar of Columbia University and Mark Lepper of Stanford, is demotivating. Others have since come up with similar results from experiments with writing pens, gift boxes, coffee and even American 401(k) pension plans. (It is not all that way: German researchers, by contrast, found that shoppers were not put off by too much choice, whether of jams, chocolates or jelly beans—though this may be down to Germany’s price-conscious shoppers and the sheer dreariness of the country’s supermarkets.)

As options multiply, there may be a point at which the effort required to obtain enough information to be able to distinguish sensibly between alternatives outweighs the benefit to the consumer of the extra choice. “At this point”, writes Barry Schwartz in “The Paradox of Choice”, “choice no longer liberates, but debilitates. It might even be said to tyrannise.” In other words, as Mr Schwartz puts it, “the fact that some choice is good doesn’t necessarily mean that more choice is better.”

Daniel McFadden, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, says that consumers find too many options troubling because of the “risk of misperception and miscalculation, of misunderstanding the available alternatives, of misreading one’s own tastes, of yielding to a moment’s whim and regretting it afterwards”, combined with “the stress of information acquisition”. Indeed, the expectation of indecision can prompt panic and a failure to choose at all. Too many options means too much effort to make a sensible decision: better to bury your head under a pillow, or have somebody else pick for you. The vast majority of shoppers in the Californian grocery store faced with 24 jam varieties simply chose not to buy any. The more expensive an item—a car, say—the more daunting the decision. As the French saying has it: “Trop de choix tue le choix” (too much choice kills the choice).

Surely, though, knowing that lots of choice is out there still feels good? The thrill is in the anticipation of falling upon the perfect Tuscan hotel, or shade of duck-egg blue with which to repaint the kitchen. Or the reassurance that competition to supply all that choice of electricity or telephony is keeping prices down and pushing service up. But not, according to psychologists, if more choice raises expectations too high, which may make even a good decision feel bad. The potential for regret about the options not taken—the faster car, the hotel with the better view—seems to be greater in the face of multiple choices.

Expectations have been inflated to such an extent that people think the perfect choice exists, argues Renata Salecl in her book “Choice”. Consider seduction. Bookshops are crowded with self-help guides and self-improvement manuals with titles such as “How to Choose & Keep Your Partner” or “Love is a Choice”. Internet dating sites promise to find the perfect match with just a few clicks of the mouse. This nourishes the hope of making the ideal choice, she says, as well as the fanciful idea that there are “quick, rational solutions to the complicated question of seduction”.

Confusion, indecision, panic, regret, anxiety: choice seems to come at a price. In one episode of “The Simpsons”, Marge takes Apu shopping in a new supermarket, Monstromart, whose cheery advertising slogan is “where shopping is a baffling ordeal”. “How is it”, muses Ms Salecl, “that in the developed world this increase in choice, through which we can supposedly customise our lives and make them perfect leads not to more satisfaction but rather to greater anxiety, and greater feelings of inadequacy and guilt?” A 2010 study by researchers at the University of Bristol found that 47% of respondents thought life was more confusing than it was ten years ago, and 42% reported lying awake at night trying to resolve problems.

It could be that today’s children, growing up in a world of abundant choice, will find decisions even harder to take when they grow up. Their lives may be packed with instant choices as they zap from one site to another while texting a friend and listening to music on YouTube. But much of this is reflexive activity. The digital generation is doing what Mr Schwartz calls “picking”, not “choosing”: “With a world of choices rushing by like a music video,” he says, “all a picker can do is grab this or that and hope for the best.” Young people have grown up with masses of choice, says Dan O’Neil, a British life coach who helps people overcome indecision, “but they have never learned to make a choice and run with it. In adult life, they aren’t equipped to cope.”

Following the crowd

Ever since the 19th century, when Levi Strauss began to stitch denim jeans for Americans and Abram Lyle started to sell tins of golden syrup to the English, brand managers have made it their business to offer shoppers an easier life. Brands simplify choices. They are a guarantee of quality or consistency in a confusing market, and a badge of trust. Companies spend heavily on marketing and legal advice to protect or reinvent their brands and keep customers loyal, exploiting customers’ aversion to choice.
The more that options multiply, the more important brands become. Today, when paralysed by bewildering choice, a consumer will often turn to a brand that is cleverly marketed to appear to be one that others trust.
In Italo Calvino’s novel “Mr Palomar”, the eponymous hero is dazzled by the mouth-watering variety of cheese he comes across at a fine Parisian fromagerie. “Mr Palomar’s spirit vacillates between contrasting urges: the one that aims at complete, exhaustive knowledge and could be satisfied only by tasting all the varieties; and the one that tends toward an absolute choice, the identification of the cheese that is his alone,” writes Mr Calvino. In the end, “he stammers; he falls back on the most obvious, the most banal, the most advertised, as if the automatons of mass civilisation were waiting only for this moment of uncertainty on his part in order to seize him again and have him at their mercy.”

Despite the crisp flavourologists’ best efforts, there is a limit to how many packs can be stacked on a supermarket shelf. What of stuff that is distributed digitally, however, where choice is almost limitless? Technology has cut media distribution costs and made available a vast new array of material that caters to specialised or obscure tastes, in music, video or the written word. In this universe of proliferating choice, demand is said to be shifting from a few mass products (at the head of the distribution curve) towards a great many niche interests (at the tail end), as argued by Chris Anderson in “The Long Tail”.
It turns out, however, that despite the availability of all the extra stuff the hits are as important as ever. In 2009 there were 558 films released in America, up from 479 in 2000, not to mention the gigabytes of videos and film uploaded or shared online. Yet it was also the year in which one film, James Cameron’s “Avatar”, broke all box-office records to become the highest-grossing film ever, beating the director’s own 1997 blockbuster, “Titanic”. However many niches there are, in other words, film-goers or TV viewers still want to watch what everybody else is watching, and musicians still manage to release mega-hits. Indeed, in a world that celebrates individualism and freedom, many people decide to watch, wear or listen to exactly the same things as everybody else.

When less is more

In small corners of the temples of consumption, business has begun to wake up to the perils of excess choice. Some firms employ “choice architects” to help guide consumers’ decision-making and curb confusion. Tropicana’s extra fruit-juice varieties boosted sales by 23% in Britain in 2009. But now the company puts colour-coded bottletops on sub-categories of juice to help customers “navigate what can be a difficult range”, says Patrick Kalotis, its marketing director in Britain. In “Nudge”, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, two American academics, cite a study of company retirement plans. When a default option automatically selected an investment portfolio, saving employees the chore of picking their own mix of assets, participation shot up from 9% to 34%.
Some firms have pruned their ranges to avoid confusing shoppers. For example, Glidden, an American paint brand, decided in 2009 to reduce its palette of wall colours from an eye-dazzling 1,000 to a mere 282 because of a change in “Americans’ priorities from ‘more is better’ to ‘less is more’”. L’Astrance, a three-star Michelin restaurant in Paris’s swanky 16th arrondissement, offers no choice at all on its menu: Pascal Barbot, the chef, concocts what he fancies from produce picked up in the market that day. And sometimes less really is more. When Procter & Gamble, an American consumer-products company, thinned its range of Head & Shoulders shampoos from 26 to 15, sales increased by 10%, according to Sheena Iyengar in “The Art of Choosing”.
“Traditionally, companies said that it’s all about the customer, and therefore give them everything they want,” says Glen Williams of Bain, a consultancy. “In reality, this can make it difficult to identify which products the customer really wants, and can create problems for managing the business.” Offering too many jazzy options for new cars, say, may not only confuse consumers but add to production costs and increase the potential for factory-floor bungles. A 2006 Bain study suggested that reducing complexity and narrowing choice can boost revenues by 5-40% and cut costs by 10-35%.

At the same time the anti-globalisation and green movements have stirred a consumer backlash against a surfeit of choice. Campaigns urge shoppers to buy locally grown fruit in season, and to shun cherries in winter or green beans flown in from Kenya. A “voluntary simplicity” movement calls on households to do away with excess consumer choice and lead a low-consumption, eco-friendly life. Courses promise to help people shed the distractions and stresses of the consumerist world and journey towards their inner wholeness. Short of turning the lawn over to organic vegetables and selling the car, books with such titles as “The Power of Less: The fine art of limiting yourself to the essential…in business and in life” or “Living Simply: Choosing less in a world of more” suggest practical ideas for cutting down on the effort of decision-making. The advice seems to boil down to shopping less often, keeping less stuff, watching less TV and sending fewer e-mails.
Life coaches offer to help with the perplexity of bigger choices. As recently as the early 1960s, in the world elegantly portrayed by a TV series, “Mad Men”, society gave both women and men far fewer options. Dealing with the strains and expectations of choice is today’s payback. “At a certain age, my clients have this sudden realisation that life hasn’t gone quite the way they intended, and they feel stuck,” says Mr O’Neil, who runs life-coaching classes. In the past they would have just got on with it. Today, he says, “they are paralysed by having too much choice.”
Fifty years after the contraceptive pill was first licensed in America and 37 years after the Supreme Court legalised abortion, women seem to agonise more than ever about breeding. “We’ve grown up with a lot more choice than our mothers or grandmothers; for them, being child-free wasn’t a choice, it was pitied,” says Beth Follini, an American life coach who specialises in the “maybe baby” dilemma. “The anxiety comes from worrying about making the wrong choice.” Having options seems to make people think they can have control over outcomes too. Sometimes, says Ms Follini, choosing is about learning to live without control.
Those in the business of helping people choose offer various tips. Mr O’Neil says the key is taking a decision: “The truth is that it doesn’t matter what we choose, only that we do choose.” Stick to the choices that matter and eliminate the rest, suggests one advocate of simple living, who supplies no fewer than 72 steps to choose from in order to simplify life. Another helpfully explains that “when you approach simple living, sometimes the decision is clear-cut. Sometimes it’s not.” The trouble with simplifying your life, it turns out, is that it involves too many choices.

 

from PRINT EDITION | Christmas Specials

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38 Responses to “Soc. Sci. 2 Article for Discussion B-Tyranny of Choice”

  1. Doreen Joy Sorolla said

    Thai sweet chilli, balsamic vinegar and caramelised onion, Oriental red curry, lime and coriander chutney, vintage cheddar and onion chutney, buffalo mozzarella and herbs, chicken tikka masala—mouthwatering and mind-boggling choices, but they’d still share the same fate in the toilet. Rousseau praises simple living and clearly sees the the improvement in arts and sciences as the root of corruption of the minds of men (as based on his work A Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences). To quote a part from Moorehead’s The Paradox of Our Time “…more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness”. Perhaps the more we are exposed to the influences of civilization, the more our we become rotten. Everyone is too engrossed of trying to do what is right. Even Nietzsche must have thought that man is pitiful enough that he wrote “The best of all things is something entirely outside your grasp: not to be born, not to be, to be nothing. But the second-best thing for you—is to die soon”(The Birth of Tragedy, 1872)

  2. John Vincent Vargas said

    Choice is an expression of freedom .If you many options means you have the freedom and no one can control you. Everything we do we have the so many choice that’s make us dizzy and our concentration decreases. In the article choosing is about choosing goods in supermarkets, choosing universities, foods to eat but who can choose this?-The middle class, this is the problem that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels addresses to us. It is something that choice is only for middle class and out of reach of poor families and workers. The topic here is about problem of choice which for middle class, what about the poor? They will be forever ignored. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels don’t like this,they want to replace capitalism with socialism. Where everything is owned by people thus no one is above another.

  3. Errol V. Jino-o said

    In accordance with Rousseau’s point on ‘man is born free but everywhere in chain’ I can say that the context, Tyranny of Choice have relations with Rousseau’s point. As what we have discussed, man is born free means, we have no ideas of rules about the teachings of the society; and everywhere in chain means, we embrace rules from the teachings of the society. We are free to buy anything we wanted but we are bound/ in chained with too many choices. In going to a market or a store we just only wanted to buy to satisfy our needs but when we have already reached the market, confusion then enters for there are lots of items we tend to choose of. It is by then that choice chains us in what decision must we pursue.

  4. Rama Lo Palanog Romero BA Psychology said

    Choices will always face us in our daily lives. It will not leave us because as technology improves, it also multiplies since technology is making it vary from one form to another. It is true that too many options can lead to difficult decision-making since you have many choices to choose from. If we decide to choose something, we need a thorough investigation because what we have decided will later on affect us whether we regret it or not. Once we have chosen the wrong decision it cannot change the outcome of the first decision we had. Our decision is so precious that is why we need only fewer options to choose from to prevent the risk of misperception and miscalculation, of misinterpretation of the available alternatives, and of yielding to a moment’s urge and blaming ourselves in the end. To make our life plain and simple, live with few options. But when you know how to choose the best option from the rest then there is no problem at all.

  5. Ma. Victoria Nortiga said

    Our society is advancing rapidly. Thus, every innovation carries with it blossoming options that intrigues people to keep on choosing.
    However for Rousseau, we must not be influenced by the advancement of reason for it promotes the backwardness of humanity and uproots individuals from their own attachment to nature. This variety of choices pulls us away from a simple, gentle, and genuine lifestyle of which we are to acquire at the first place. From potato chips, to pants, to technologies, etc,..we are being bombarded with different flavors, kinds, and categories. Due to this, we tend to accumulate more and if we find something better, we strive to have it and these could lead to problems such as competition among others and discontent.
    Society keeps on instilling in us that these are good things and induces us to believe that if we buy this or if we have that, we are in one with the societal standards and trends. We unknowingly notice that this actually deceives our sense of decision-making. The variety of choices forces us to keep on choosing to the extent that our freedom of “not choosing” is being chained.
    Furthermore, this production of new products could be traced from people’s desire for exchangeable items and material wealth. It also depicts the inaccurateness of Smith’s perspective that when people keep on producing to supply their needs, upon the process they could generate usable and effective products which could not only be beneficial for them but also for the society. It’s then that only those private owners gain profit from these and most of these productions are in fact, of no specific use but are just there because they are profitable.
    Because of the increasing profits earned by these individuals, the distinction between the two classes of bourgeoisie and proletariat (as classified by Karl Marx) becomes more evident. These products and technologies required countless efforts from laborers to manipulate the production. The more production, the more profit the capitalists earn and the less the laborers receive.
    Though we couldn’t terminate the splaying of these progressions, we still have a way to liberate ourselves from society’s enslavement and that is-to leave society alone and ignore social systems. It’s justifiable to follow Nietzsche’s ideology that we should prioritize our own will, reject society’s dictations, and keep on evolving as to go beyond the struggle of choice that these advances introduce.

  6. Carl Gil Angelo H. Celebria said

    Choosing what we want can be good, but sometimes choosing can be a bit of troublesome, even with just having 2 choices like in an exam of True or False, that’s just 2 choices yet we are already pressure to which one is the ‘right’ one.
    We have the freedom of choice, we would always have that and as I quote Rousseau “Man is born free..” although we have the choice, some forces (society,group, friends, teachers, parents etc…) sometimes pushes us to the direction of what is the “right” choice and to further add the quote of Rousseau “Man is born free but everywhere in chains”.
    The article shows us that truly, too much options of choice can be a problem, sometimes we can ran out of time to choose and although society can limit our choices to which product to buy, does it really matter? for Me, to make life is easier is that just choose what really matters.

  7. CHELSEA KAMILLE F. FANDINOLA BS Biology (Sec. 2) said

    The modern human social life is partly attributed to rich complexity of choices. True or false, A, B, C, or D, what flavor of jam to buy, what career to pursue; each day multiple decisions are made from multitude array of choices. The diversity of product selection has also expanded exponentially. The inflating number of choices also increases the decisions that people can and MUST take. Has the proliferation of choice made life easier and better? But as, study shows, abundant choice makes for misery.

    If some choices are good, more are better. This logical thinking puts people in a decision dilemma: The Tyranny of Choice. Although some choice are undoubtedly better than none, yet recent studies cited in the article suggests that “more is not always better than less”. But unknowingly, we are being enslaved by our freedom to choose. This is in line with Rousseau’s perspective. We are being bound to the chains of these choices. We are born free, but everywhere in chains. We are free to choose, but we have no choice but to choose. But at some point, our freedom to choose is being limited. People only consider certain choices depending also on the cost. Poor people have big boundaries of this limitation but they have no choice but also to choose. As mentioned in the article, in reality, people opt in choosing the one that is also being chosen by others. For Nietzsche, this is a form of weakness. Common people are weak. To be great, one must be different and evolve to change the society.

    Being able to choose is good but only up to a point. As the number of choices multiplies, the more decisions we must take.

  8. Samuel D. Abagatnan said

    Having choices is good. If you have choices, you have high probability for a good outcome. Having no choice at all is bad but having too many of it is also worse. We are free to choose, but having too many choices is stressful because we don’t’ what to choose and sometimes we think to never choose at all. For me it’s better to choose from lesser options because it will be easier for us to distinguish one from another so we’ll know what to choose. According to Rousseau we are born free but everywhere we are in chains. We are born free to choose yet we are chained not to choose because of the dilemma with these choices.

  9. Czarina Marie Nacionales said

    Change is a permanent thing in the world, along with it is choices. When I imagine a life without options, the first thing that comes to my mind is a Platonic society where the arrangement of classes (or basically their lives) is based according to the composition of one’s soul. Freedom what to do for a living is not given to the people in this kind of society. Choices created color to our existence. Without it, life would be plain boring. Indeed, as technology upgrades, the market has given us countless options. I agree with this article in saying that having too many choices burdens a consumer. My point is, in decision makings, we have the freedom to choose whatever we want but we are still chained by our own fear (that we might regret our decision) and by the standards of society. For me, that is the tyranny of choice. The definition of freedom based on our lives is freedom with limitations. Although having so many options can be stressful, that’s what makes life more exciting and challenging. Without choices, we will all be robots.

  10. Mary Racelyn T. Barcelona said

    Now that technological developments advance rapidly, we are given a lot of choices. The question, however is, are these choices really for everyone? Yes, all of us may have it, but not everyone can do so. This article shows us that the division between bourgeoisie and proletariat as what Karl Marx has identified still exists up to the present. Freedom, according to Marx, is something that only a certain class can enjoy. We may have the freedom to have what we want, yet may not have the capacity to do so.
    Also, Rousseau believes that as these advancements emerge, we are taken away from nature. We are then led away from simple things and desire more than just to survive. This creates problems which alter men to ignorance (example: marrying thinking that you could divorce anyway if you think you’ve made the wrong choice) and competition, desiring more than what others have and not just for what you need. Rousseau also said that “man is born free but everywhere he is in chains”. Although we are liberated to make our own choices, there are still certain factors (such as financial capacities, priorities and social standards) that may hinder is to attain what we have chosen.

  11. Glenn Patrick M. Uygen said

    According to Locke, man is born free, equal, good, and has reason. However, this freedom cannot be fully acquired because of inconveniences. The continual increase of the number of choices (an inconvenience) in the society today restricts the concept of perfect freedom for all of us. In addition, it is evident that Rousseau’s idea of the negative effects of the arts and sciences is exhibited. According to him, science changes the way you think and the way you conduct yourself, thus, the broad range of picks has undeniably affected the way people choose. Similarly, the concept of man is born free but everywhere in chains states that you can choose (being free) but you cannot choose not to indulge; therefore, the mere existence of these varieties does not give you any choice but to select. Since man wants to get the best for himself, confusion starts to build up on which is the better one to choose. Therefore, this chaotic “advancement” in the different fields does not contribute to man’s good. Since all of this is inevitable, all that matters now is how we deal with it and how we can make our lives worth living.

  12. Ashley Pineda said

    Based on the context of the Philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau, “Man is born free but everywhere in chain” which for me, best explains the article “Tyranny of Choice”. In my opinion, our capability to choose what we should eat, buy, drink, listen, and even watch is our own natural freedom. In line with this, we are chained by the conformity of the society by providing us a variety of choices. Having divers of choices is indeed very helpful for we can pick what the best is. But sometimes confuses us on what we really need because we have many choices to pick from.

  13. Jessa Mariae Redome BA Psychology 1 said

    Firstly, the point of a choice is for a person to look for the best that is possible for his or her needs. Though choice is good, abundance of choice can be as problematic as it is helpful. The point is that choice, only complicates the naturally, or very much prescribed, pre-set choice of a person. One does not go into the supermarket to look for something he or she might not need. Choice is very much a part of a human being as anything else in his or her body. It is the ultimate expression of freedom. For Nietzsche however, choice is but a part of the whole will of a person. To choose is to will. And will to power is the ultimate goal of a human being, more than that of survival. The question of Nietzsche however, is if the person has a strong or weak will. Will to power can be applied to the freedom of choice as well. To choose which one can give a better edge to achieving the goal of having more power. On Rousseau, simplicity is the best choice of living a life. To have fewer choices is to live a simple life. And to live a simple life means a less chance of being corrupted by the false creations of arts and sciences, which to him is not a development, but a degradation of morals. For Marx, having choices is having freedom. But freedom is subjected to which social class one is a member of. In this manner, the choice is moot. For it is not every member of the society but only for those who are capable of having it. This for Marx, is the tyranny of the classes and can only be resolved by removing the classes. Having a classless society in which all of the people are equal creates a freer society unhindered by their capabilities. Only then the people will have a true choice.

  14. Quennie Minalete B. Distura - BA Psychology I said

    One out of the many kinds of freedom we enjoy today is the freedom of choice. We encounter choices every day of our lives consciously or unconsciously. Making a choice is as usual as eating or walking. Just like choosing what shampoo or toothpaste you will use or what beverage you will drink. We always want something that would satisfy our pleasures. As John Locke would say, men are beset with sundry uneasiness and distracted with different desires. Thus, the choices we make are part and parcel of our own passions. Moreover, choosing involves making a decision and making decisions involve critical and logical thinking. But in this world that is full of countless choices, people, nowadays tend to rely on brands to simplify their choices. Take for example in choosing a brand of facial wash, one will choose the brand that everybody else is using or what his/her idol is endorsing on television. Indeed, having the freedom and the power to choose is quite amazing in such a way that you get to select whatever you like. Taking into account that free choice promotes competition and enhances economic growth, the main concern is that more choices are present along the way and it gets difficult for us in obtaining the best. And at the end of the day, we end up getting the worst.

  15. Christine Anne D. Espeja said

    According to Rousseau, choices exist and there is no other way for us to get away from choosing since we are forced to make choices and there is no option of not choosing. For example, to eat or not to eat, if you are hungry you will choose to eat but another choosing process will arise and that is what to eat, how you will prepare your food, how will you eat it and many more. As many choices arise, the more decisions you have to make. But in the end, these choices do not matter since there is no right or wrong in choosing. The real thing is you know what is best for you.

  16. Aljon Rey P. Catedrilla BS Economics said

    Life is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice. We are the one who choose what is good for ourselves but all of the choices were made by the society. The relationship between man and the society shows that man is free to choose whatever he wants, which he think is good for him, but he is in chain for he has no other choice but to choose what the society provides him, based on Rousseau’s “Man is born free but everywhere in chains”. The majority affects the will of a single person to choose, when a man discovers that this certain product is what the majority thinks what is good for them, he can be easily influenced by these people when it comes to his choices and this makes him in chain. With this reason, it shows that a man is a great prisoner of the society when it comes to choices. A man is free to choose but he is not allowed not to choose, it is necessary for man’s survival. Man needs the society to survive and the society needs man to improve but then man doesn’t have a choice but to follow what the society says what he has to do.

  17. Anna Gabriell Balan said

    This article shows that there is liberal democracy existing in the society wherein there is a freedom of choice and of trade. This ideology is rooted in the economic system which we call capitalism which tells us that there is a need to pursuit for profit and a need to accumulate capital. This is why businessmen and capitalists flood us with many choices so that they can compete in the market to earn. With the help of science and technology, economists are able to use these as state apparatus in order to disseminate the capitalist iddeology which is primarily “consumerism”. Putting in for example advertisements, such as through radio and television, businessmen are able to convince the consumer to prioritize their products since according to them, it can give consumers the best quality. Furthermore, the mass has also its participation in this dilemma. The mass influences a consumer to go with the flow making the consumer purchase for a certain commodity making him/her part of the crowd. In this state, the consumers are blinded by the choices that they make. They tend to be individualistic which later on gives them a shallow definition of what “freedom to choose” is really about. Through this tyranny of choice, the consumers are robbed of their economic freedom. In view with Marx and Engels, in oreder to change all these, one must go back to the economic base to change it. If the economic base is changed, the political and cultural structure will also change.

  18. Kirstie Angeli P. Ponte said

    The passage is Rousseau’s. Rousseau stated that man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. He is free, free to choose among choices. But he is being chained by too many choices offered by society. This range of choices confuses and troubles him that he ends up forced to choose or even chooses not to choose. Man simply supplies umpteenth choices to supply his umpteenth wants. He has umpteenth wants because he is dissatisfied. Though man frets at the complication of umpteenth choices brings, he is the one complicating it in the first place.

  19. Jonell Blancaver said

    I can’t blame the leaders of a society if they are having dilemma with this matter about individual and group rights. It is really a big question if a decision maker in a society would favor one side as there is no correct decision to this matter. We can’t just go telling other people that they should take one side. It is a problem. This matter is really debatable and a good conclusion would never arise. Why? A group having certain privileges because of a certain group right would of course stand to that side. Let us be realistic, of course a person would take a certain side if they get something good, and that’s the whole point why this is being debated by many people. Many societies are having trouble favoring one side because the poor leaders would get caught up between two opposing side, if the other doesn’t get what he wants, he’ll blame the leaders and go telling others how unfair the treatment is. Others get some privilege and others would get the downside, so that’s it; that is the problem. Everyone is only talking about “what is in it for me?” or “what will I get with it?” Only a few people would think about the good for the whole society – and wait, thinking about the good of the society is still thinking about oneself, because a person can only conclude that a society is “good” if he gets to have privileges and things that make his life better. Therefore, thinking about what is good for you is the main problem of this conflict. I mean, this is natural as we are just human beings.
    There really is unfairness in the society, and that is another thing about being human. Sometimes others would be racist or sexist. They would just judge you instantly. One example in the article that really caught my attention was that guy named Khaled Said (Saeed). He was judged by the police and was beat up without even telling him his side, and guess what, the police do not care as they already judged him. Let us face it, we are living in the unfair world, and we can’t just go murmuring about it. The death of Steve Jobs is a concrete example about unfairness. He died and 100 million cried, hundreds of millions died in Africa or in any other countries due to poverty and malnutrition, did anyone cry? Yes of course, their mothers. But did 100 million people care? No, I don’t think so. It is because Steve Jobs had something for many people that made that “many people” cared for him. He gave jobs, make people rich, and make teenagers enjoy their apple ipod, and so on. Many fret of his death because of that, and no one would care if an African child died that didn’t contribute something to us for the betterment. People who gain privileges in a group rights are the ones who care because they have something in it, and I think my point is proven.
    As John Locke said, “human nature is characterized by reason and tolerance. Human nature allows men to be selfish”. It is in the human nature to be selfish; that is why we tolerate and reason out because there is something in it that is good for us. This is the problem of the society. The conflict of human rights exists because of people thinking about their privileges.

    Choices make the world more entertaining and fun. Why did I say “entertaining and fun”? As we all know, entertainment and fun are things that gives pleasure in temporal terms. They are not permanent, but they give life happiness. I think choosing from a wide variety of choices is fun, because I get the thrill and enjoy it. However, when we choose something out of large variety of choices; we’ll have regrets in the end. It was like, you felt that you want to eat something salty and chose to eat Piattos cheese flavor (which, for my standard, is salty); but, you realized that you want to eat something more of different flavor but still salty, then you regret that you should chosen the pizza flavored piattos because it has different salty flavor and then – now I’m confused. You see? I get the heck of a problem between choices. i remember when I graduated in high school and started to choose between many schools for my college education, I was having fun researching about schools that I want. The thrill was overwhelming until I get to arrive to my choice. I just felt some regrets sometimes, for different reasons. But I won’t linger in that matter. All I’m saying is that, there is no perfect choice. Regrets will always be there; we can’t stop it.
    Now, I’m not going to state my comments according to Rosseou’s perspective because all he said is about being in chains, and I don’t think that it is free will if a person is in chains when he tries to choose. However, I’m going to state my opinion about this matter in accordance to the philosopher I hated most because of dirtying my mind and faith – his ugly name was Nietczhe. Ugh! Even typing his name here makes me want to vomit! He should be thankful that I wasn’t born in his era. I would have assassinated him. But, even though I hate him, he has accurate principles about free will. He criticized Christianity, and I closed my mind about his reasons; but when he used “free will” as a tool to criticize my beliefs, then he got my attention. You see, I was born Christian. I didn’t just choose it, my parents did. My parents made me Christian without my free will. I can’t just choose another religion, I have no choice. But I slowly grasp my faith since childhood and become happy with it. I then realized that I would be better off without choosing things for myself with all the varieties of choices. It was better, that if SOMEHOW my Religion is fake, I can’t blame myself but my parents. All my regrets will not be full blown towards me, and that is the best thing. Nietzche did not change my faith. He just made me realize that choosing without the interference of other people is very hard, and with that, I am glad.

  20. Jonell Blancaver said

    Choices make the world more entertaining and fun. Why did I say “entertaining and fun”? As we all know, entertainment and fun are things that gives pleasure in temporal terms. They are not permanent, but they give life happiness. I think choosing from a wide variety of choices is fun, because I get the thrill and enjoy it. However, when we choose something out of large variety of choices; we’ll have regrets in the end. It was like, you felt that you want to eat something salty and chose to eat Piattos cheese flavor (which, for my standard, is salty); but, you realized that you want to eat something more of different flavor but still salty, then you regret that you should chosen the pizza flavored piattos because it has different salty flavor and then – now I’m confused. You see? I get the heck of a problem between choices. i remember when I graduated in high school and started to choose between many schools for my college education, I was having fun researching about schools that I want. The thrill was overwhelming until I get to arrive to my choice. I just felt some regrets sometimes, for different reasons. But I won’t linger in that matter. All I’m saying is that, there is no perfect choice. Regrets will always be there; we can’t stop it.
    Now, I’m not going to state my comments according to Rosseou’s perspective because all he said is about being in chains, and I don’t think that it is free will if a person is in chains when he tries to choose. However, I’m going to state my opinion about this matter in accordance to the philosopher I hated most because of dirtying my mind and faith – his ugly name was Nietczhe. Ugh! Even typing his name here makes me want to vomit! He should be thankful that I wasn’t born in his era. I would have assassinated him. But, even though I hate him, he has accurate principles about free will. He criticized Christianity, and I closed my mind about his reasons; but when he used “free will” as a tool to criticize my beliefs, then he got my attention. You see, I was born Christian. I didn’t just choose it, my parents did. My parents made me Christian without my free will. I can’t just choose another religion, I have no choice. But I slowly grasp my faith since childhood and become happy with it. I then realized that I would be better off without choosing things for myself with all the varieties of choices. It was better, that if SOMEHOW my Religion is fake, I can’t blame myself but my parents. All my regrets will not be full blown towards me, and that is the best thing. Nietzche did not change my faith. He just made me realize that choosing without the interference of other people is very hard, and with that, I am glad.

  21. Ike Lourenze Grinn Sala BS-Biology I said

    Men must free to choose what ever he wants as long as he could afford. There must be no classification, middle class or whatever. Men must be treated equally. There must be fairness in everything . we could choose whatever we wants because we know it’s the best thing for us. but we have so many choices and because of this choices we don’t know what really fits us. this applies the idea of Rousseau that “Man is born free but everywhere in chains”. We can choose on our own but we are chained by so many choices and we don’t know what is really good for us

    • Ike Lourenze Grinn Sala BS-Biology I said

      These brands or specifically these Producers are the one that Lock us in chains because they are competing each other, they make us choose with their different products that could overpower their rival in the world of business. We have the freedom to choose but we are locked up by this different choices.

  22. Maria Theresa P. Gane said

    We have a lot of options in life. We also have this freedom on what to choose among those options. A mix of modern medicine, technology and social change offers us a lot of great options. But, I agree that too much option in life confuses us. Although they are all great, we can’t choose from them because we can’t decide which one is the best option. We tend to ask other people on what to choose among those options but actually, they’re not helping us either. It would also come to a point where in we want to have all those options but we just can’t. And yes, because of too many options in life, we go for the choice of most people. Like Rousseau’s idea of man being born free but everywhere in chain. We’re born free to choose among those options. But we are in chain because it’s like we’re being forced to agree with everyone else’s choice. We go for those options trusted by the majority. At the end of the day, we’re not making our own choice.

  23. Elecca Placer - BA Psychology I said

    As time goes by, our world progresses. Such developments bring us changes and this changes explicate a lot of choices for us to choose from. Our daily lives require us to choose either on what clothes to wear, what food to eat and many others. Thus, decision making is very critical. In the above text, I can associate it to Rousseau’s context, “Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains”. When we are born, we have our rights to others. We live in a society, in this society it has different laws implemented. This was the time that we are bounded by chains. But, regarding on the article, it is the choices that keeps us from fully exercising our freedom. The presence of choices is not bad for it offers us something to choose from but the existing of vast variety of bewildering selection is far from being accommodating. In the increasing number of choices to choose from, people often opt to something that is widely used, either by its brand or most of the mob uses it. As what Rousseau had said, “What is good is not really your assessment of your good but because the society told you so”. That is why people decide to go with the crowd rather than to pick a choice over a massive pile to select from.

  24. Joanna Patricia Angeli Lu said

    Choices make life confusing. Companies produce more and more choices that are not even important for the society. with these choices getting broader, people tend to lose interest. Thus, they end up not buying any product at all. What I think would be the most practical thing to is to establish communism. Companies need to produce based on means and people should consume based on needs. With communism, people will have lesser choice and companies will also gain more profit. The world will be less confusing with the decrease in choices. People will not stress on what to buy or if what they bought is better or worse compared to the other product. People can now concentrate on the more important things in life, like their jobs or taking care of their family rather than consuming a lot of their time in figuring out what are the things to buy.

  25. Raiza Artemis D. Nayve said

    Having a numerous number of choices is not actually a problem. In fact, it gives consumers options wherein they could choose what the best is for them. Yes, it may confuse costumers but our capacity to choose from all of these is part of the freedom being described by Rousseau. I would like to agree with the previous comments that the freedom is when the people have the ability to choose and the enchainment is having a lot of choices, the possibility of ending up choosing what is not actually most needed and being influenced by other factors (advertisements and etc.). But, I don’t believe this enchainment is tyrannical because at the end of the day making the decision is in the hands of the individual. If the choice he/she made did not actually benefit to him/her as what him/her expected to or actually making the wrong decision, at least he/she may avoid choosing the same product the next time since to begin with he/she has a lot of variety to choose from.

  26. Kevin G. Tamayo Section 2 said

    Man exists in a society which subjects and forces him to situations wherein he needs to choose from various options. As we encounter numerous varieties of the same things, we tend to complicate our decisions because we would consider certain features of products which make them unique from the others. If there are many choices, as mentioned in the article, it would result to being demotivating for a person wherein they would no longer have the desire to buy the products that they wanted to buy in the first place. So, numerous choices make it difficult for us to come up with a decision within a sufficient period of time. Nevertheless, we should eventually decide on something because if we don’t, our chances for survival would become very slim to a point when we would no longer exist. Even though the society forces you to choose among various options, it is still you who has the knowledge of what is fit for your satisfaction.

    This is very much related to Rousseau’s concept “born free but everywhere in chains” which states that man is born free but is forcibly subjected by the society to choose. In a simple statement, we have no choice but to choose in order to survive because if we don’t, we are left with nothing.

  27. Mary Antonette Baello said

    As what Rousseau has said, the more you take man from his very nature, the more his knowledge becomes corrupted. Man started living plain and simple but with the advancement in technology, companies are able to produce products in different varieties for the purpose of giving numerous choices for customers thus, making customers confused. Rousseau never really specified that only laws keep man to be in chains. In this situation, choices too become a factor which deprives man from his own freedom. In this generation where science is able to create new options and mutant clones out of ordinary necessities, we are bound to make choices. Although we are free, at one point or another, we need to choose- like whether to live a life full of choices or to live a life without it. Therefore, the act of choosing makes us “chained individuals”.

  28. Grace Salve G. Ta-aca said

    According to Rousseau, man is born free but everywhere he’s in chains, which means that man is free to choose but not free not to choose.
    In this modern world where we live today, and with the use of technology, life has become much easier and almost everything that we need is literally in our hands. With the use of internet, we can easily communicate with people in any part of the world. Students have an easy access in their studies, and people can even go shopping while staying at home being presented with so many choices for the commodities he/she wants to buy. Now, the problem is, does having too many choices of goods or commodities available in the market beneficial or not to the consumers?
    Let us discuss about the products mentioned in the text such as jams, cheeses, chocolates and potato crisps and many others. In my opinion, in contrast to other countries, these food items are not really given priority among the marginalized poor of our community because these are not their basic needs. When it comes to choices of these goods in the market, only smaller percentages who can afford, plus the rich who enjoy these luxuries, enjoy picking or choosing their favorite brand from their favorite grocery stores or markets. Yet, the choices are not that wider in range compared to first-world countries, though these goods are readily available in few highly expensive stores.
    Based on the posted text, I agree that having so much options and choices is quite confusing to decide. For me, what is important is to consider some factors before buying things. First, one must consider his financial capacity, second, the importance of the product and lastly, the effect of the product to the user’s health. I believe that these three factors I mentioned can be very well applied to the different products that we use. Another important thing is, generally speaking, our lifestyle in this country is far different compared to the lifestyle of people in highly industrialized countries but that doesn’t mean that theirs is far better than ours nor we could compare our situation to theirs. In terms of our culture and tradition, there are a lot of practices that affect our choices in life but the fact is that we have to choose in order to survive. – Grace Salve G. Ta-aca

  29. Kea Florentino said

    Having choices is mostly thought of as a good thing, in some situations, it is. Since in having a variety of choices to choose from, you are able to decide on what you think best suits or satisfy a specific need. Like in choosing the right medicine, by having an array of medicines to choose from we can be able to select a particular medicine that would best cure for a specific illness. But then again problem arises when there are too much choices and our ability to choose is limited because of confusion and uncertainty. The more choices you have, the more confusing it gets and thus making decision making troublesome. Imagine choosing one out of 25 varieties of drinks, wouldn’t it be mind-blowing? A lot now must be considered in choosing “the right one” which complicates things even more. And having too much choices brings about apprehension about what might have been, thus causing more misery to people.
    This is similar to that of Rousseau’s concept of “man is born free but everywhere in chains”. People have the ability to choose what they want that best satisfies his needs and wants. But when presented with excessive choices limit his freedom to do so. Thus they are in chained, chained in a sense that their freedom in choosing is limited because having too many choices leaves people paralyzed from indecision.
    In choosing, the less choice we have, the less possibilities or points will be considered and there would be less pressure, thus making decision making easier unlike having to choose from a lot of choices.

  30. Joshua L. Superio BS Biology (Sec. 2) said

    We face many different choices in every day of our lives. Choices that bamboozle us, but I think it is inevitable due to technology. The advancement of technology adds to the confusion that we face because of its new products that leave us with endless choices.

    According to Rousseau “man is born free but everywhere in chains”. I think this idea best explains the text “Tyranny of Choice”. This means that we are obliged to choose. We can’t choose not to do so, it is like a punishment. So, the more varieties exist the more we are forced to choose from those products. We are free to choose from many products but we are chained to vast choices. We can’t choose not to buy because we need them. For example when we want to buy candy in grocery stores, candy is just one product but we are confused on what to buy – what’s the brand of the candy and what its flavor.

    Since these changes are unavoidable, the solution lies on how we can make things in favor for us and how we live our lives.

  31. Dianne Frances Penuela said

    Making choices is in every turn of our life. How we live our life is a choice. How we wish society to accept us is our choice and we act on it.
    Years ago, it wasn’t that hard to make choices. At those times, choices only come in two or threes. Will I marry or not? Have a child or not? Yes or no? Now, there’s “maybe” and “I don’t know”. You can choose to have a child in any way you want. You can choose to marry and annul it when you feel like you can’t continue anymore.
    More choices are supposed to make an easier and convenient life. But it’s not very helpful now. More choices seemed to cause confusion and just the fear of choosing one thinking that it may be the wrong one is also increasing. What people now do in order to eradicate the heavy task of choosing among the hundreds is following the majority. This may not be so bad. At first it’s not. But then again, what the majority chooses doesn’t necessarily and always suit you as well, unless you adapt well to it.
    More choices bring forth more sorts of expectations to what each choice may turn out to.
    Rousseau wants nothing more but being natural. We are born good, only that as we grow, society’s evils destroy it by forcing us to choose. If we do aim for a simpler life, facing different kinds of choices is unavoidable. In my own opinion, we don’t need to follow choice-making tips in order to make the right choice. There’s really no exact thing to do when it comes to choosing the right choice because the consequences may turn out differently. We are always bombarded with choices. I agree with Rousseau that man is free but always in chains, that we are not completely free because we are under society’s rules, that we are forced to choose. Even the refusal to choose is a choice.
    – Dianne Frances Penuela BS Biology I

  32. Andrea Faye A. Ingeniero said

    Today, having many choices is a good thing. You don’t have to worry about the products you are going to buy because you have many things to choose from. Capitalists produce more and more products for the consumers to choose from. Choices not only come with the food we eat but also to our life’s personal decision as well.
    Having choice is a good thing but for others it’s not, and I agree that we should lessen the choices we have. Too much choice is demotivating. It only gives confusions to the people on what is the right thing to choose. It also corrupts the mind of the people. As what Mr. Schwartz puts it, “the fact that some choice is good doesn’t necessarily mean that more choice is better.” Choice only makes us expect too high which make things go bad.
    Confusion, indecision, anxiety, panic, and regret. This is what you’ll get if you have too much to choose from.

  33. Charlotte Antoinnette P. Salvaleon MTH 10:00-11:30 Sec. 8 said

    “Tyranny of Choice” is the best example of Rousseau’s concepts. We all are born free in this world but everywhere we are in chain. All of these choices the society gives us are corrupting our freedom. If we choose something wrong we become noble savages. The only people who take advantage of these choices are the ones who make them. The companies who give us a lot of flavor of chips, the companies who provides us arrays of cars to choose from and the universities that offers us diverse courses. All of these people benefit from the choices they set in the society and the only right thing to do is to be wise when it comes to management. Management of our choices, think of what will do good to ourselves.

  34. Mark John G. Girasol said

    When a rubber band exceeds its flexibility limit, it will break. Same thing is true with everything on earth, that too much of something is bad. Let’s take choice as an example.
    Not only that choosing from vast varieties could bring consumers stress of weighing things and decision making, but also the more choices and options there are, the more the probability of choosing the best among the choices lessens. Preferably, it is good to have a lot of choices. But everything, as I have said, has its limit. If there would be infinitely many choices, it could probably bring headache to people or even loss of sanity, to an extent. In contrast, if something has only one choice, then, it could no longer be considered a choice in the first place.
    Rousseau said that we are born free. No one has taken our freedom away from us. But the moment we are faced by certain dilemmas like, choosing for a course to take in college, we know that there a lot of courses to choose from, we weigh the consequences and ended up being stressed about it, but we have no choice, we have to choose to work for our brighter future, our freedom to choose not to choose is no longer manifesting for that matter. Therefore, we are not actually free the moment right after we were born.

  35. Marifel Dagangan said

    Choices make the world interesting and less boring. People get tired easily of having the same things so they would always want to have other options. According to Smith, greed is good. So it’s normal to be greedy and can even be very beneficial to the society.
    Personally, I’d prefer that I have a variety of options. Having the idea that you have a lot to choose from is quite comforting in my opinion. The problem is, there is just too much. The market has gone over the top when it comes to creating these options that they think the people would want. As a result, people get confused and end up not choosing at all because of the fear of choosing the wrong kind or getting a low-quality product. That’s why more and more people tend to buy branded goods. For example, most teenagers would prefer a designer shirt than to just pick from a whole rack of shirts in the department store because he knows that the designer shirt can be trusted when it comes to quality even though it is way more expensive compared to the shirts in the rack. Having branded items helps the buyer by minimizing his effort of choosing for what he wants.
    So in a world filled with choices, a person must have the liberty to choose and not to just abstain from choosing. Having a choice is both a right and a responsibility of every person that one must and should utilize.

  36. Jenny Rose Serfino said

    In the article, I can similarly see Rousseau’s “Man is born free but everywhere in chains” like most of the previous comments. Man is born with physical freedom and this includes the freedom to choose. Although this is the case, he is still shackled by the too many choices he faces in the society. These “chains” Rousseau mentioned may be the choices to choose from. These choices force him to weigh the pros and cons of each option and thus, complicate things further leading him to be troubled and perplexed (and sometimes with no choice at all). Plus, another problem here is also how man chooses and what his standards of choosing are. However, it is always up to man, and not to society, how he faces the consequences of his own decisions.

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