What type of society would you like to live in? Collectivist or Individualistic? This is a question we were asked in Pillars of Leadership program at school this week. This is a very hard questions to be asked and takes a lot of thought as to not give people the wrong idea. If you say you want to live in a collectivist society people in the states think China or the former USSR. If you say Individualistic people think of America and the corporate plutocracy that runs it. I would chose a combination of both a more socially individualistic and economically collectivistic society.
In America we have been traditionally a socially collectivist and economically individualistic society. This means socially if you were different from the group you were labeled the outcast, different, freak, ect… If you are are not white, Christian, hetrosexual you were the other and have historically been segregated against in one form or another. Yet, if you raised have money, and power you were held in high regard even worshipped to some extent. This paradigm has been hard for me to live in because I do not think the way I was taught to think. I do not view wealth or power as a success factor. I also see people as individuals and judge them on there actions not race, gender, sexual orientation, ect… I view happiness and empathy as how successful a society is in the grand scheme of things.
I do not think that it is up to the government or corporation should decide what you do as a career or job. I feel we help people to reach their potential in the field they enjoy and are good at. Yes, this is would not be a nice and ordered society but it plays to people’s strengths and move society in a more positive direction. This allows people to find out who they are and what they are passionate about. This also breeds a much happier society and less conflict. I feel that when a society reaches a certain level of development that the government can not only help it’s people militarily but making sure that the basic necessities are taken care of like food, clothing, housing, ect… They would not get to chose these thing for them, but, helps people to afford these items making sure no one is left behind or falls through the cracks. This way the economic schizm does not grow so great that a few people control the rest of the society against their will.
People will ask, “But, if we don’t have money to use as an incentive how can we motivate people to do the work?” To them I answer ” There are many ways to motivate people like their passions. some people like helping others, some like to create things like art, science, or music.. Think of all the artists that have died in poverty, like Van Gogh, yet, after their deaths the pieces would have made them wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. Think of people in the scientific realm like Nicola Tesla who died in poverty not to be respected till well after his death.” How many minds have we wasted because of the greed of our society? How many more will not have the opportunity because others think that because they are wealthy they are the best? How many ideas will be stolen because of greed and pride? These are questions I asked myself when people ask me “What type of society I want to live in?”
I feel we need a combination of both in our societies and no pure system will ever work in a world full of differences.
Peace and Love To all who read this and even those who don’t.