Friday, February 23, 2007

On Social Consciousness

On Social Consciousness: And hence, I say, the social consciousness of a community marks the way in which a community will develop! It is a perpetual process that requires much time! People must be fundamentally committed to the societal structures of their respective communities in order for the social consciousness to spawn! The social consciousness is not something predetermined. In fact, it is a product of human actions, which stem from human choices. Every individual choice made by a particular person in any given communal setting constitutes a little piece of the social consciousness in that community. And since the world is constantly becoming smaller through technological advances in communication and transportation, the inherent worth of every action and choice made by a person is becoming increasingly important. Most people would like to think that societies are improving all the time. Yet the fact remains, improvement must come at the expense of something else. For example, if man were to build a road through a forest, he would be improving communication and transportation lines at the expense of the environment. Now it appears that the economy and the environment are diametrically opposed to each other. One day, an adequate balance will be struck between these two entities.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

On the Prospects of Progress

On the Prospects of Progress: And hence, I ponder, what are the prospects of progress? Is mankind perpetually improving or disimproving over time? And what does science offer humanity that art does not? I say art is the manner through which man separates himself from the things that hinder him. Science teaches man by dissecting things while art teaches man by assembling things. Both science and art are necessary tools in the realm of human progress. However, it is science which holds the capacity to be truly destructive and for that reason, art proves superior. Assuming that man has a limited but innate will of infinite merit, I conclude that mankind is generally improving over time. This improvement will necessarily entail an enhanced moral disposition. All rational beings will therefore arrive at the same conclusion concerning morality insofar as their ability to reason will lead to the creation of more wholly egalitarian societies. The type of government required to foster this improvement of mankind most certainly has to be a republic, because as Locke saw it, republics were the only proven protectors of natural rights like life, liberty, and property.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

On the "Realpolitik"

On the "Realpolitik": And hence, I say, the Realpolitik is the manner in which all countries pursue their respective national interests! Basing public policies on power rather than ideals is the only practical response to the issues of the postmodern world. The Realpolitik gives man a clear sense of reality, which in turn, provides workable solutions to problems facing societies at large. The political ideology of realism (Realpolitik) has been around since the beginning of human civilization. In particular, the Romans represented a prime example of how realism worked in ancient times. Whenever they wished to achieve a collective goal, the Romans simply used brute force. Octavian and his Pax Romana reigned over the Roman Empire with realist policies. And yet, probably the best modern example of the Realpolitik was Bismarck's Germany in the late nineteenth century. Bismarck skillfully employed realism to pursue the German national interest while simultaneously providing a bulwark against chaos in the general European theater. His diplomatic endeavors, such as the Congress of Berlin in 1878, were central to the prospects of peace in Europe. Today, Germans remain heavily indebted to Bismarck for the privileges they enjoy on the world stage, as the country started its path toward acquiring the greatest concentration of wealth in the world.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

On Mutual Liberty

On Mutual Liberty: And hence, I ponder, what is meant by the term mutual liberty? It would appear on the surface that mutual liberty goes hand-in-hand with republican ideals. Mutual liberty is when every individual in a community has the opportunity to take part in its civic activities. Another way to look at the concept of mutual liberty is by accounting for the collective free-wills of every rational being in a community. But can mutual liberty occur in reality? Well, the most proper occasion for mutual liberty is in a community governed by the consent of the governed, i.e., a republic. And it is only in a republic where members of all political factions can participate. It has been said that a republic is the form of government which divides people least. This statement pertains greatly to mutual liberty. Unlike positive and negative liberty, mutual liberty encompasses all citizens. It makes no distinction between political preference and social status. Mutual liberty pervades all sectors of society, from the homeless man on the street to the premier of the state. It is the process through which a general sense of morality gets exerted on the widest range of people in any given communal setting.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

On Kierkegaard's Stages of Life

On Kierkegaard's Stages of Life: And hence, Kierkegaard states that life is a series of stages! From birth to adolescence, man is mostly in a state of relative unconsciousness. He is ignorant of the consequences associated with his actions. He is inexperienced. He is juvenile. However, as man enters adolescence and continues to grow, he slowly becomes aware of his existence as a Self. A Self is a free spirit with the ability to create. This ability to create constitutes art and it is art which separates man from his otherwise self-imposed triviality. Man then becomes aware of his appearance and how and why it will change over the course of his life. This period of realization can otherwise be called the aesthetic stage, and as such, it's the most inauthentic form of self-awareness. Many people never make it beyond the aesthetic stage because appearance is the most central element of their existence in this world. As for the people who conquer their aesthetic preoccupations, they will proceed on to the ethical stage. This stage is marked by holy matrimony or the conscious giving away of oneself to another in the form of an all-encompassing love. The final stage of life is one of Faith. Few people enter the true Faith stage because it entails holding oneself up to the scrutiny of God just prior to death.