Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 11th, 2018

What liberty, what human dignity?

(Written in January 27, 2008 and slightly re-edited)

The concepts of dignity and liberty come in one package deal. The relative implant of these concepts in the organizational culture guides the trend in any one culture.

Human dignity and liberty of choices are the main ingredients in an individual belief system.

The mainly unconscious belief system is mostly hard wired in the nervous network that tips the balance on the thousands of daily decisions, and only our actions reveal our real values.

If you tend to accept the above paragraph as making a lot of sense then most probably you have been strongly influenced by the Western colonial culture and tend Not to dwell on any definition or discrimination of how dignity and liberty are assimilated and interpreted by other cultures.

In fact, colonialism is fundamentally the imposition of a specific supra-mythical culture on other communities.  Outside the natural sciences, the colonial powers have no interest or need to fine tune the general abstract concepts related to human sciences and much less of dignity and liberty.

The former colonial powers are still exercising their influence on other communities and have generally substituted military force by technocracy in banking, monetary reforms, and mondialization of trade and finance, and technology standardization.

The pragmatic western culture is resuming its well known strategy that says “the best route to transform other cultures is to install the basic material standards and then, gradually and inevitably, the other cultures will adopt the philosophies of legal capitalism, democracy, modernism, progress and open borders for one world material culture”

Liberty is Not just the freedom of selecting a religion for a community to adopt, which is necessary but never sufficient.  A community that values liberty should be ready to genuinely accepts the contributions and values of other religions, traditions and customs.

Liberty has for pre-requisite constant dialogue and inter-communication among the various communities and religions. Thus, any belief system is fundamentally wrong because it means to exclude the other beliefs; any reshuffling or modification to a belief system remains wrong no matter what.

And liberty means recognising variations on sets of values.

A human is a whole microcosm in such a way that the destiny of humanity unfold through one individual and this concept is the foundation for human dignity. Otherwise, we are to accept that we are merely a tiny part in the chain of the other billions of individuals and we are ready to follow monolithic and totalitarian systems that want a unique universal conceptual system of values.

If what differentiate biologically an individual from his neighbor are a very few distribution of genes, then we might conjecture that what differentiate the value system and moral behavior of an individual from his neighbor are a tiny number of qualitative attributes.

It is not the numerous common elements that we share, but the values we attach on rare qualitative values that set us apart.  

There are special individuals like Gandhi and Martin Luther King who are the ultimate political men striving for sainthood through fair non-violent and active struggles for the dignity of the disinherited, the humble, and the common folks.

What dignity is there watching swarms of skeletal humans roaming arid and desert lands among calcified carcasses, not a patch of green or a tiny tree on the horizon to taking shelter under, heading toward a camping ground, hundreds of miles away for international relief succor?

What dignity is there to experiencing haggard humans fleeing civil war-torn villages to cramp up tent compounds?

What dignity when these occurrences are frequent and happening all over the under-developed States?

Respecting human dignity means that we are ready to offer the individual with the tools and opportunities to resume fighting against imminent death, against famine, sickness, oppression because life is a struggle against the chaos in death.

Respecting human dignity means alleviating the material struggle and thus shortening the necessary resting pauses when people feel the need to believe that destiny is traced at inception: they do at times feel exhausted surmounting artificial obstacles that are not in the nature of things

They do lose confidence in the organizations that constantly defy the processes of living organisms.

Respecting human dignity is providing the resources to overcome the unnecessary frequent pauses when people are forced to believe in pre-destiny because they are not allowed to experience the little daily pleasures of loneliness, privacy, quality leisure time and self paced working habits.

There is dignity in erecting a school for children so that they might grow with dreams of better opportunities than their present lot.

There is dignity in building a dispensary so that children and the sick grow hope of having their pains alleviated.

There is dignity sharing in the digging of a well and the construction of an irrigation canal, a few necessary infrastructures so that a sense of control over destiny is palpable.

It does not take much investment to increase the level of dignity for changing the mind set to an alternative course for the future.

As long as the disparity between the rich and the poor in a society is very high then the culture of the society tends to obliterate the notion of dignity to all.

Consequently, sending the strong message that the notion of liberty for seeking a happy and satisfying life is essentially selective among classes.

Note: Let’s us Not be that confused: In every country, there is an “elite class” that managed to take roots with all the privileges that have Nothing to do with “money” as we know it. For fundamental reasons, Not related to any rational basis, No revolution ever managed to eliminated the elite classes: They are kind of recycled when the effervescence cool down.

Every other “citizen” regardless of color, genders, race, financial social status… are necessarily second class. Sure, there are third and fourth classes… All you can do is learn and do your best to advance to the second class.




November 2018

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