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Clubul filosofic "Hypatia"
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 Sunday, June 16 2019 @ 05:04 PM MSK

Individualism vs. Democracy

   

Articles in EnglishWe are making a big mistake when we try to find the sources of all evil somewhere, but not in the human society or in a ourselves. The Good is a compromise, a submission of love before the social instinct that is trying to distinguish itself by tolerance, interest and compassion for the individuals that belong to the same biological species. That is why there are a lot of phenomena resembling human ethics among animals with a social organization. The more they are “socialized”, the better and more “moral” their behavior is from the point of view of humans. For instance, the bee has a very well developed social instinct that is superior to the instinct of self-perseverance that is why the bee easily sacrifices itself for the sake of its fellows.

The human soul is a kind of batter field for the continuous struggle between narcissism (the instinct of self-perseverance) and love for people (social instinct). The more victories the latter has, the more we like the individual, because we consider him kind and intelligent. It’s true! The psychological portrait of a human being depends a lot on his physiological appearance, genotype, as well as on his ultimate evolution, thus beings well balanced under the influence of interior and exterior factors. The interior factors come from the interior microcosm of the given body, not necessary harmonious, that has opposite bias; the external factors come from the outside – society, social background the individual has been placed in since childhood. A numerous, good-willing family can contribute to the harmonic development of both instincts – the instinct of self-perseverance and the social instinct, generating a proper behavior in a given situation, according to which the human cannot exist outside society.The child learns two things at a time – to protect his interests and to consider the interests of others. That is why it happens that children coming from numerous families are more generous, they are better prepared for the social environment, and they are more versatile. Unfortunately, big families are placed on the lower level of the social background because of such conditions as poverty or bad manners. As a rule, these factors had a greater influence upon the formation of a growing personality. Thus, as we say, “what is good” flows away, “what is bad” is collecting, is flourishing and gives poisonous fruits. As it was stated above, the instinct of self-perseverance in humans is manifested by narcissism – egoism or individualism. Individualism is a basic feature of the human nature that derives from the acknowledgment of individual’s Ego, as well as from the necessity to protect this Ego. It is a positive feature, as long as it has some limits, because, no doubt, it is useful for the human personality and, as a consequence, to the society that is made up of individuals, as long as the interest of the individual doesn’t contradict the interest of the society. This fact determines the limits for the individual. The necessary balance for a better functioning of the society is assured by the continuous struggle of opposite principles – the instinct of individual self-perseverance and the instinct of social perseverance. Thus, any violent and artificial suppression of the individualism, the thing that the communist regime was blamed for, had determined his failure. As a consequence, now we face the problem of social impotence of some individuals, unable to adjust to new conditions when they are offered the freedom of action (legally, of course), as well as a higher self- responsibility, responsibility for their families and for the society they live in. Unfortunately, we are the products of a totalitarian governance, in which every decisions came from the top of the pyramid, and the initiative and the spirit of independence were suppressed from the beginning, the human material being violently used to form obedient and pious marionettes. Active personalities were offered a choice: whether they accept the communist ideology and start serving the system, otherwise they are removed from the public life – imprisoned, deported or liquidated. Under such a pressure, the terrified individual prefers what he is offered, trying to conform, working where he was imposed and being satisfied with little he was given. Being totally dependent on the power, the simple man had perfectly adjusted himself to the life in shackles, only sometimes having some vague dreams of freedom. Thus, we have been grafted a mentality that was contrary to out nature – the mentality of the consumer is the disease we are suffering altogether, and we continue to believe that the society should be responsible for all our troubles, regardless of the personal contribution to the social welfare. This is also an exteriorization of the individualism, but an indifferent and sleepy one, that is unable so solve the problems personally. All the animals that grew in cages are behaving similarly, and, being offered freedom, most frequently they cannot survive. We are rationale beings, so we have more chances to survive. The first step we should take is to become aware of the phenomenon and to surpass the old mentality, which is an obstacle in our way towards a human and prosperous society. The second step is to understand that democracy is the best way of governance – through the rights it offers to the human in order to develop himself freely, through tolerance for any manifestation of the human spirit, through its respect for the human personality. And finally, we should really want a democratic state, a state governed by the rule of law, that will be built for ourselves and for our children, for this reason we should be to make sacrifices. Freedom is not given, it is taken, it is gained in struggles and it’s constantly defending. We desired it, so we should learn to manage it, to apply every advantage it offers, and not forget that that learning is always difficult. If we step backwards, we shell get into the marsh again, let alone drowning in it. Out successors will never forget our weakness and cowardice, as they will pick up the fruits of our imprudence. Nowadays, the present generation is at a turning point. We still make no progress, we are undecided, as we have not enough knowledge, and ability and necessary mechanisms to build a state based on the rule of law, a true democracy. Our children are different, they adjust the new reality, and they are rushing into the struggle for a better future, even for themselves. Their sound egoism is leading them to this struggle, and our role is to remind them about the rules of this struggle – the rules of the state. What we lack most is the respect for law. Even if these laws are not perfect, we should take them as granted, on condition that we want not a “wild capitalism” but a civilized one. The law teaches us only good things: “don’t steal”, “don’t kill”, “don’t bribe” (a hidden robbery), everything can be explained by an old moral that stands an the basis of human civilization. Family and society should draft together the best mechanism to regulate the development and evolution of the human personality, grafting this moral without violently influencing it. A state of democracy, based on the rule of law has to apply a consequent education of the individual and adopt an adequate legislation, which would encourage the interest of the public, without harming the rights of the individual. Anyway, for a the good functioning of the society, the human personality should be able to combine in the most efficient way egoism and altruism, that, out of their constant struggle, could generate a compromising behavior, uniting individual interests with the interests of the whole society. Adela Vasiloi.




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