Order or self-will?
In the modern United States sense of justice, two values - freedom and order - are fighting. Strictly speaking, they are incompatible, and to the same extent as freedom and equality. If a person chooses freedom, this means that his abilities, talents or lack thereof are revealed. There is no place for equality here. If the individual chooses equality, he involuntarily opposes freedom. Many today think: "God with drink, with freedom, let there be order". Others, on the contrary, believe that a strict order is always a curb on freedom. The liberal ideology was unable to formulate its position on the problem of equality and freedom. It's about equality of opportunity, not about equality of abilities and, accordingly, of benefits.
So, man and freedom are significant values, but in some cultures they are rejected. They are not recognized and certain segments of the society of a particular culture.
We are aware today that every social institution, whether it be a law, a tradition or a social institution, must be verified by the interests of the individual. Ideal human behavior can be created, apparently, on the utmost account of the particularity of each individual, his mind, will and feelings, all human subjectivity. Neglect to the tear of a child or even to a voice that is "thinner than a squeak", turns into a drama or even a tragedy for others.
Society is the resultant of individual aspirations. The imposition of the will paralyzing the "all other" ideology, indifferent to the person and fanatically rejecting "alien" values, invariably paired in the panorama of the continuing history with retribution. European culture is based on a personalistic tradition, i.e. on respect for the uniqueness and incompatibility of man. This tradition was born in Christianity and then became the skeleton of European culture.
However, in modern conditions, the personality as a value of society poses many new problems. The personalistic idea is brought to the point of absurdity, it is freed from moral reflections about the nature of man and his destiny. A number of modern publications talk about the person without the slightest attempt to enter the sphere of sociological analysis. There is an unattractive image of a man fallen out of the bosom of mankind. The threat of the dictatorship of the individual, ready to defend his own self-will in the crowd, masks the threat.
Personalistic sociology, which justifies the sovereignty of the individual, can not be distracted from the question of what are the limits of a person, in what he draws the foundations of morality, what nourishes his strong-willed impulses. If we want to return to our sociological thinking the value dimension, we must start, apparently, not with the cult of the individual, not with the unconditional recognition of his self-right, but with the comprehension of the polar values that have developed today in the West and in the East.
Returning to a person his dignity, his right to build the world by his own standards, one can not, in our view, not see the danger of an early conclusion: "The individual is above all!". The scale of value preferences is applicable to the person himself. He is not the only one, but the authorized representative of the human race.
Christianity in general and Orthodoxy in particular exclude boundless worship of man. Personally oriented sociology is least anxious to establish the dictates of the individual. The fact is that, reflecting on the destiny of man, this sociology puts before him certain moral imperatives, measures actions with universal goals. Human freedom is tragic. She puts it before a choice, because it is based on the moral law. Personality does not at all seek dictatorial self-affirmation and does not try to impose selfish interests on a public organization.
Meanwhile, social critics anxiously write about the fact that in the modern world the principle of personalism already demonstrates its costs. Politicians complain that many do not want to serve in the army and defend the country. Many individual styles of behavior are born, many of which are directed against society and its institutions. Sociologists note that the latest speeches of the French youth are dictated by infantile, selfish motives. Can the personalistic tradition continue to develop only positive potential?
Another type of behavior is dictated by the eastern culture, in which the individual is considered a part of the whole (group, collective, community, state) and tries to find a niche in society, not exaggerating requirements.
How long we dreamed of freedom ... It seemed, when the "fetters of grievous fetters" and the dungeons will collapse, all sides of our being will find a state of harmony and bliss. Then we drank, her coveted, with great sips. However, with each new gulp, she was in awe. The collapse of the Soviet Union. Unlimited political confrontation. Freedom of entrepreneurship with its mafia nightmares. Aggressive informals. Unrestrained national feelings ... Merciless forms of terrorism. What is it? Freedom or the permissiveness leading to anarchy under the guise of freedom?
The experience of totalitarianism makes us suspicious of any ideological structure within which certain limits are determined for the individual. We wanted to liberate a person (let him realize his own identity), remove all fetters and allow him to embody all his thoughts. It would seem, how wonderful it is. But suddenly it was discovered that everyone's own freedom has certain limits. Condemning the practice of totalitarianism, we failed to get rid of the "self-willed disease".
No political device can be ideal if it is perceived as the final one. The viability of democracy is that it can be compared with other types of power, and the comparison will sometimes not be in its favor. The French sociologist Alexis de Tocqueville believed that the aristocratic regime is based on a code of honor that is lost under the rule of the people.
Democracy has only one advantage: it is capable, by its very spirit, to correlate itself with other regimes, to absorb another's property, to absorb something from other political spaces. However, it is this property that our political regime does not have.
Is our system becoming democratic in accordance with the declarations of the ruling ideologists? Does team totalitarianism preserve its positions? Or is our society drifting towards pernicious authoritarianism?
Democracy is effective only when a certain level of civilization is achieved. If it is not, democracy is reborn into ochlocracy, into the dictatorship of the lumpenized masses, the aggressive majority. However, in this form it is not at all better, but much worse than other types of political structure, for it carries tyranny, criminalism, contempt for any written or unwritten law, frank collusion.
The society today has completely lost all the levers allowing to control the power, to influence its behavior. A man who discovered arbitrariness, no one to complain. Collective cohesion, dictatorship of "ochlosa" deprives the society of the opportunity to influence events. Obligators of order, auditors of all kinds are not concerned at all with the triumph of the law. The grains of power are used for other purposes. A strong impression is produced by an article that the "Arguments and Facts" weekly published in its time. The speech in this article is about how to avoid trouble if to you without any reason "attached" a policeman (now a policeman); there are various kinds of recommendations that leave only one feeling: from such misfortune there is no salvation. The guardian of order is worse than any terrorist.
The self-willed individual of our time refuses to recognize the right, if it does not express his lusts. He rejects everything that does not correspond to his own attitudes, but the reality is much more complicated than it seems to any of us. In a social organization such an individual dreams only of violence against him, although social institutions often support him. In a foreign nation, he branded strange customs and foreign blood. In general human morality, he sees abstract wisdom, which is completely unsuitable for everyday life.
Do we threaten the "heavy chains"? Certainly. However, the danger is not at all in strengthening order, statehood, responsibility, but in the sad experience of self-will. In the XX century. made a very significant social discovery: the basis of a totalitarian society is the idea of permissiveness. In other words, any despotism grows as a logical continuation of boundless freedom. Self-will corrupts everything around, burns the ground, bears total annihilation.
So, is freedom dangerous? This is not about this. Freedom begins exactly where a person deliberately restricts himself. By refusing gluttony, we defeat the instinct. Experiencing compassion for the other and helping him, we release ourselves from greed, selfishness. Recognizing the right of another to their own life position, we eliminate our own limitations. Sacrificing our own lives, if it is necessary for a high goal, we exercise our freedom ...
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