Utopian ideals were always present among social imaginary. It’s human nature to try to reach those “higher” levels, but this ideas – even with strong values and a genuine worry about the society as a whole – allow their leaders generate atrocities against the people they want to help, becoming in big fallacies. Leaders of this ideas seem to embody the quote of Maquiavelo: “the ends justify the means”.
The ideas are battling each other, as a box ring, where depending on recent events and mass opinion, it will determine what ideas are winning, but even if that is happening, it’s more harmful that are fixed ideas rather than dynamically changing ideas. For example, analyzing cultural behavior in the beginnings of 1900, it was accepted to women couldn’t vote because the were different from men, they were considered as inferior. Richard D Atlkins, a literature professor states in his book Victorians People and Ideas
“a woman was inferior to a man in all ways except the unique one that counted most [to a man]: her femininity. Her place was in the home, on a veritable pedestal if one could be afforded, and emphatically not in the world of affairs” (Altick 54). Patriarchal society did not allow women to have the same privileges as men. Consequently, women were ascribed the more feminine duties of caring for the home and pursuing the outlets of feminine creativity.
What would have happened if this ideal maintained over time?. It’s obvious that society as we know will be much worst in so many levels. At business level we are already seeing benefits of the integrations of women in directors boards, after the implementation of a 40% quota for Norwegian board into a formal law, the outcome after a few years is the creation of 50% more top management positions for women according norwegian government¹.
My argument is that ideas change over time, because societies seen as a system, change their own perspective. Alvin Toffler in his book, The future of Shock, says that society is resilient to adopt big changes, but marginal changes overtime are embraced and incorporated to society, in long periods of time, so maybe the same big changes rejected by the society, could be deconstructed in to small and incremental bits accepted for not being to radical, but after a long period of time, the big changes will be deployed.
After creating context about politics and ideas, I have two ideas I want to deconstruct. First: Can individual freedom coexist with social well-being?, I’m not saying that they don’t exist but increase them in the same proportions, without damaging one or the other when one increases.
One of the constant outcome of living together for more than 2,000 years is freedom, some could argue that it’s not perfect, but because they are seeing the missing (or negative) part rather than comparative part, meaning they are comparing his actual freedoms, with what they expected to have, rather to analyze old societes structures, where the freedoms were more restrictive or completely nonexistent. And in other extent we have the social well being that is benefited for our selfish actions. It works because a constant input of each individual in different topics allow the system to do well, but sometimes the effort of particular individuals are too selfish for thinking in the society and that is where the system found his flaws, reaching unethical action but inside the law with a lot of overwhelming examples being the worst recent example the crisis of 2008.
How this two ideas would live together?, I have a belief and maybe and being very naive to actually believe it but all the problems that actually have the world economy isn’t a money problem, with enough coordinated community action a lot of problems “expensive” problems will be deleted., right away, it’s more a will factor. It is the cultural environment that mold us, sometimes this beliefs are full from hate and misunderstanding that we can’t grow up as comprehensive societies. What would happen if the core of “informal” values on societies were humanitarian values?, I see that bright future (please don’t use utopia) in a capitalist environment, because it will allow to have our own right to do whatever we want, but we can add a layer of cooperation, where the people will love to help others and interact, will love to build better societies, not a matter of pretension, but genuinely will do this actions becuase are in the core, it will have no sense to steal or similar behaviors. The values will float under human cooperation and social interactions, it’s true people will act for his own benefit, but that it’s because how the environment are placed where there are less incentives to help and more incentives to earn money and being cool, obviously you can drift from that, but the mass will go to that route, being less attractive to go for that route, it’s a traction issue in some level.
Let’s say values described below are placed, what will happen with individual freedom?, I think the social outcomes sometime could damage individual freedoms, sometimes are tiny subjects but sometime will put a real danger in how we behave, two remarkable examples are the decrease of marriage in China, where 20-30 years ago it was a social obligation to marry in order to meet social standards, in some extents this is very good because allow populations to keep growing, but in other extense over force the young population to marry, putting an “mortgage” in his career future or dreams they want to accomplish, even if is an informal custom rather than a law, now the trend of marriage is decreasing, having a society more individualist than before. Also another good example is being polite in England, even if you don’t feel being polite could be a big lie, but since you are a toddler you are teached to be polite with other and mostly with strangers. This could raise a question in where the tradeoff is worth the effort, I have mixed opinions between this two examples, but I think is how societies react, because I truly believe in individual freedom but in a cooperative rather than an individual world, that why families are the most successful “project” of humankind.