On The Politics of The Individual

It has been the case, more often than not, throughout history that individuals have sought the validation of others. In fact the central facet of an individual’s life may be based on the idea that he or she necessitates the approval, the ever present nod of others in order to persevere in one’s life. The emotional, or rather the sentimental remains the very poison which inhibits the individual from his ever present ability to prosper. It is not simply an unreal form, nor a concrete one, but rather one’s ability to ground himself/herself in the control of his/her emotions, that he/she is able to achieve in a revering way. Although scholars, thinkers, intellectuals, and historians have made it at times their mission in life to find the odd origins of human endeavour, and our ever-present need for the collectivity, or collectivism, the question is whether it is necessary?

Albeit the biological truth, as set out by Darwinian fact, that all human beings are social creatures, and that we have thrived as we have due to our ability to socialize with others. This, of course, is an incontrovertible fact, yet the question that must be invariably posed: is it not the case that as we turn away from the all-time consuming old age of sociability, are we not turning towards the age of ‘the individual?’ An age in which the mental faculties of men and women solely belong to the their own unit, and fully in their own control?

If one looks through Rousseau’s famous, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, one can see the presence of the belief that private property is the originator of inequality, however I am inclined to believe that it is in fact a symptom of such inequality. The inequality which is the axiom of human existence, the mannerism in which we employ ourselves in the world, but also the way that were are simply through the fact of existence. Is it not the case that one man or woman is in no way similar to the other? Certainly we who all belong to the same human race, share a great deal of many similarities, but the underlying differences which are present can never be changed – only by the will of the individual.

In this case what I mean of course is not political equality, but the inequality of human endeavours. It should be said however, that although historians, thinkers, and intellectuals have long pondered on the ever-present ideals of power dynamics, they of course lie at the centre of natural evolution, outside the control of individuals. It is in fact the totalitarian nature of humans to wish to control if which of course has led to some of the most horrid events in human history.

It should not be the case, no more now, than even 200 years ago that the individual does not remain in full control of his or her ability to understand, or at least try to understand his or her position in the march of social constructs, and society. It is more often the case therefore, that individual vanity – not seen as an inherent vice, but rather as a virtue. It is only in human endeavour that humans manage to facilitate their power, not only of their will, but their very existence. It is thus only through the egotistical view of “man,” that he is seen either as one or the other, and never anything but.

If you wish to read the rest of this essay buy On The Politics of The Individual  on Amazon.


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