Theory on its Importance & Friedrich Nietzsche sample essay
For individuals such as Friedrich Nietzsche (1995), society does not play so much a critical role on life as does the individual himself or herself. Nietzsche (1995) believed that the masses, which I take in this case to indicate society, are nothing but rabble. The goal of man is not to be incorporated into society but rather to realize his own true happiness in order to achieve ideal eternal recurrence which would benefit himself. The goal of man is to go above and beyond that which is set as his limits; to become Ubermensch or the overman – a man who has overcome the boundaries of a mere man.
Thus society is downplayed for Nietzsche and the individual is glorified. I, however, beg to disagree. Although Nietzsche may have had a point in attributing man’s life to himself or herself, it is undeniable that society plays a crucial part in the development of a person’s life. Society serves to provide a person with his or her varied needs. These may include biological, psychological, social, and spiritual needs. Society is an individual’s means to achieve whatever goals he or she has set for himself.
In fact, society is the source of the individual’s ideation of what is worthy of striving for as well as of an individual’s criteria for judging whether he or she has achieved success. Habermas (1998) states, however, that the main problem in society is the fact that the individual’s needs cannot be met. That is to say that there is an insufficient provision of the members’ needs exists. I agree wholeheartedly that this is the case in today’s society.
Although society’s importance is in the very fact that it is able to provide its members with their necessities, it is the ineffective structuring of society that eventually leads to its inability to provide these necessities equally and appropriately. Because there are individuals with more control and more power, there is an unequal distribution of the society’s resources. (Marx & Engels, 1978) The Government The last concept to be defined is the government. In many instances, this has also been referred to as the state. However, I wish to point out that the state is in fact a larger entity than the government.
The state consists of both the government and its other constituents. The two terms, then, are not interchangeable. However, they are closely linked. Also, the government is seen to have greater bearing on the state’s functions and behaviors as opposed to its constituents; which is probably why the two terms are often inexplicably joined together in discussions. For my purposes, the state and the government will be separate entities. I do not wish to speak here of the state but rather only of the government: what it is, why it is important, and what its bearings are with family and society.
With regards to the works of the German philosophers, however, I have taken their reference to the state as reference to the government as context allowed; for instances wherein both the state and the government were discussed together in their philosophies, these terms were understood to directly refer to the different meanings of the two concepts. Definition A government is a group of individuals who regulate, oversee, and exercise authority over a given society. A government is greater in number than the family but smaller in number than society.
However, it is the power and leadership position vested in these individuals that gives them the right to represent society as a whole. According to Kant (1983) a formless and baseless government is one that is not representative. Therefore, despite the various kinds of governments that exist in this world, the primary characteristic that should be inherent in any of these forms of government is their ability to be representative of the greater population comprising the society they govern. Different levels of government may be present in a given location.
There may be strata in a government system – national, regional, local – depending on what is deemed to be most efficient in a given state. Because there are different types of governments, the definition I give here is general. An in-depth look into the actual forms of government will provide much clearer structural forms as well as of membership criteria. There are, for example, governments which require an electoral system in order for individuals to be acknowledged and placed into the offices of the said government.
There are also governments that simply take heritage and blood line to be the basis of membership in the government body. It is the functions of governments across the world, regardless of form and type, that truly unifies them and identifies them with each other. Theory on its Importance A government monitors the members of a given society. It regulates specific interactions that transpire between individuals. This may include the economic, legal, and political activities that the constituents engage in. As such, it plays a large role in an individual’s life.
It is able to set limits to these interactions and is also able to create guidelines as to how these interactions should play out. For me, a government works in much the same way that Habermas (1998) viewed morality to work. Social interaction is regulated through the binding of the proponents of the interaction via rules and laws. Individuals are conditioned to act according to the given set of statutes. Also, morals as well as government are placed in the positions of judgment when conflicts occur between individuals.
In much the same way that morality does, governments are thus geared towards the establishment of how its constituents should behave as well as towards giving appropriate methods through which conflicts can be resolved. This resolution must be consensual and just for all parties concerned. Another function of a government is to provide the peace and order that all individuals need to have maintained in their lives and in their interaction with one another. Kant (1983) believed that the natural order of things is a state of war and that individuals and their governments need to strive to maintain peace.
Thus a government’s role in maintaining peace would be deemed of the highest priority. War is inherent and therefore there must be an institution that actively sets out to prevent it. However, I disagree with the fact that war is indeed inherent. I believe that the natural order of things is a state of peace. An observation of nature provides one with the clear view that all things exist in harmony. Although there are conflicting sides, such as the predator and the prey, equilibrium is still reached and stability can be maintained.
War, a state of violent conflict, is a state of disequilibrium not inherent to the natural state of things. It involves conscious efforts of violation of the morals and ethical considerations pre-established in an individual’s consciousness. There is no inherent need for individuals to wage war on one another and therefore it is not a primal action. My reasons for why the government is still needed to maintain peace and order will be discussed further in the section dealing with the government’s interaction with society.
Interaction of the three together All three concepts discussed above rely on each other. When we observe the world around us, it is clear that all three are salient in an individual’s life. It is important, then, to understand the way family, society, and government interact. Only with a clear understanding of how one bears on the other can we be able to better comprehend how these systems can be best altered and utilized to best serve the individual. Family on Society and vice versa The family serves, for the individual, as the mirror of society.
It is the individual’s first encounter with society and it also establishes for him or her the initial perception and understanding of morality, politics, economics, relationships, and other such concepts. Also, in essence, society is formed by numerous family units. Therefore the family and society are dependent on each other and are greatly in need of The family can affect society economically. This is through the different activities engaged in by the family as a unit and by the members of the family as individuals. Society can also affect the family through its ideology.
An ideology, according to Marx and Engels (1978), is created by those who are in the ruling class – those with power as reflected by wealth, influence, or possessions. An ideology is imposed on the non-ruling class and can only be changed with a change in power. This means that a non-ruling class must first resort to overpowering and taking the place of the ruling class in order to change the ideologies accepted by members of the society. Even as I observe and analyze the functions of society today, it is clear that Marx and Engels concepts of ideology and its mechanisms are valid. Their arguments ring true even to this day.
I believe that families, especially those included in the ruling class, are the ones who affect society and its ideologies the most. It is widely known that the ruling class is the minority in a given society. However, because of the power they have they are also the ones who have control. Therefore, it is those families in the ruling class, the bourgeois families that can manipulate society and its practices. (Marx & Engels, 1978) The families not within the ruling class are also important in society because these families, these parts of society are where the bourgeois families focus their domination.
(Marx & Engels, 1978) With this in mind, then, we can generalize and say that one type of class can not exist without the other. Society needs both types of families to be able to exist. The mechanations of society are based on the interaction of the families in the ruling class and the families in the non-ruling class. Society, on the other hand, also dictates the way families work. The way the members of the family interact are based mainly on the morals and ethical systems established in society.
Ethics are an organized body of norms and customs that belong to society – referring here to the sphere of social interaction to which all individuals are placed and not just the basic family unit. (Hegel, 2001) The creation of the family also affects society in many ways. Marriage, for example, indicates a joining of properties between two individuals. In many cases this could include properties such as land. (Hegel, 2001) Either way, there is a financial impact on society as a family is created either through marriage or otherwise.
The joining of individuals in a group and in a specific location changes their interaction with economy and thus also affects the economic market which is a part of society’s various tools. When a family is created, a new set of demands is made on society. There are utilities that need to be addressed. There are children that will need educational systems. There are activities that need society’s interaction. As a result there must be adjustments made to society. There might be those who will say, at this point, that the family unit is relatively small and therefore the effects it will have will be unnoticeable.
However, I beg to point out that the dissolution of one family and the creation of another is an exponential increase. Therefore the effects are indeed global and felt to a great degree by society. It is not enough to think of one family unit because society is made up numerous family units. Thus when we speak of the creation of new family units, we must also take into consideration the number of family units that will most likely be created simultaneously or approximately near one another in duration in a given society.
In a society of small size, one newly created family unit will make a great difference. In a relatively large society, there will most definitely be a greater number of family units being created together as a result of the greater number of family units originally comprising the said society. It very well might be that the dissolution and creation of new family units are proportional to the original number of family units present in a given society.
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