Is total freedom really the best way for a society to be constituted?
If we had true freedom we would not require things as laws to govern the
behaviour of others, and so, it is clear that we are willing to trade some
freedom for some protection. This makes sense because safety is our highest
need, and if our safety is better guaranteed, we are willing to subject
ourselves to some degree of authority.
Some problems require teamwork to accomplish – fighting the Nazi’s & other
Axis powers in WW2, and without a sincere degree of teamwork, that is,
agreement on a goal (defeat the Nazis & save the world), we could not solve
some of life’s problems. It’s clear that teamwork is important.
Though teamwork is important, individual responsibility is also important. If
we are not individually responsible for our own actions, our society would
collapse under the collective refusal of the call for personal responsibility.
This is bad.
Though personal responsibility is important, too much personal responsibility
and identification with the individual (ourselves), we can’t band together as a
group and tackle challenging societal problems.
Covid-19 is a collective societal problem – we are all affected in some manner.
Thus, we require teamwork to overcome this challenge. In a society where
teamwork is commonplace, addressing this problem shouldn’t be a major issue –
mass vaccination and adherence to social distancing, for example.
When our ability to operate as a team effectively begins to breakdown, we begin
to stumble and falter in the face of collective problems as we have elevated
the individual over the group. This attitude makes perfect sense within the
context of capitalism – an economic system that elevates the individual over
Now, in a situation that demands teamwork, it is easy to say efforts to
collectively organise to address a problem – I must remind you that this
collectivism has been the stable for human survival since the dawn of time –
are communist, and that’s because they are.
A refusal or unwillingness to cooperate and operate as a group when the situation
demands it is maladaptive to the environmental demands, that is to say, humans
that cannot work together will die and go extinct, it’s just a matter of time.
So, the question is something like this: to what degree are we willing to
subordinate our individuality (personal freedoms) to the collective benefit of
the group to facilitate our collective survival?
How we answer this question, now and in the future, will determine whether
species level threats (climate change, for example) will annihilate and destroy