olsMan needs a polity, and in the same way a polity needs man. This is the focus
of the first chapter in the formation of an individual. The formation of an
individual is a very complicated process, yet it is a process that is very
necessary. Through the formation of some types of government man tries to form
himself from his acquired beliefs. The most basic form of government is a
couple, but it branches out to entire societies. In these societies there are
certain issues that the individual must deal with, the first is oppression.
Oppression is probably the hardest of all of the problems that one faces on his
road to humanization. Oppression is a single force, held by few, that prevents
others from reaching their status. This form of inequality can be seen in
almost all forms of government, save anarchism because there are no superiors
that can oppress. We saw this oppression in the movie AA Dry White emailprotected
This movie summarized the problems with injustice, inequality, and oppression.
In order for us to become more fully human, and move along on our road to our
own formation we must break free from our oppressors. By breaking free, you are
not starting a war, or even a conflict, but you are actively participating in
your own realization.
Before we can break free of the oppression that I just described we must first
be able to realize when we are being oppressed. Through a complicated process
of influence we gain our own thoughts, words, and actions. It first starts with
our own set of beliefs.Most likely the ones that our parents set for us. But
after we gain that first sense of who we are, and who we should be, then and
only then can we realize if we are oppressed. We must understand the actions of
ourselves before we can understand those of others.
On the journey to create our own individuality we need to be influenced because
after we are influenced we can then Aweed emailprotected the ideas that most likely
conform to our own opinions. This onion is the most effective tool or method in
the formation of an individual.
Paulo Friere addressed the issue of oppression and why it must be stopped in his
essay APedagogy of the emailprotected In this essay he dictates that through
education we can and must stop oppression. Yet this Abreaking emailprotected cannot be
an individual effort, but a combine summation of forces. Near the beginning of
his essay he says that man must break free of the chains that bind him to his
master because this is not how it was supposed to be. By using it I mean his
existence. We were all meant to be free. ABut while both humanization and
dehumanization are real alternatives only the first is man=s emailprotected(28).
More over humanization = freedom. Freedoms is not an ideal located outside of
man; nor is it an ideal which becomes a myth. It is rather an indispensable
condition for the quest of human completion. Throughout Paulo=s entire article
he stresses the importance that this needed freedom has, and without freedom we
are nothing more than just shadows, we can never better ourselves but only stay
the same unless our master, the shadow caster changes.
We must liberate ourselves from this situation, but without mutual cooperation a
goal of liberation is quite impossible. Friere says Aliberation is thus a
childbirth, and a painful one. The man who emerges is a new man, viable only as
the oppressor – oppressed contradiction is superseded by the humanization of all
emailprotected(33). It is necessary for men to liberate himself from his master, and
likewise it is necessary for all men to liberate themselves. Throughout Friere=
s=s entire article we can deduce the theme that humanization is the pinnacle of
existence, and like any human being we all seek the pinnacle. But the hardest
goal in achieving this humanization is the first step in overcoming oppression.
Once oppression is conquered, humanization is a more possible goal.
The initial steps in the formation of an individual must the conscious
realization of who we are, then we must decipher all of the restraints that hold
us back form who we want to be. Next we join hands and begin our quest of
humanization. Once we have been humanized through the combined effort of all
that seek the same as we do we can then and only then become a free individual.
After we realize who we are and begin our path of humanization we must try to
understand why we are oppressed, and once we understand this, we can more fully
understand ourselves. Through our own guiding principles, choice, and
limitations that we face in our lives we consciously form who we are.
The onion once again comes into play here. In fact it might be at this time
where it is the most influential. Through our developmental stages as a child
to our maturization as an adult we are constantly perceiving the world
differently. This is a necessary thing because this means that we are always
changing, from now until we die. We saw that this was extremely apparent in
both the emailprotected movies and in AElephant emailprotected In the beginning of
AElephant emailprotected the elephant man was an outcast— a societal freak. But as time
slowly drug its feet he gained respect from the doctor and eventually gained
love from the doctor.
In the childhood movies we viewed the perpetual change in the behavior of kids.
In fact we saw the slow and painful development of who they were as a person.
This ever changing opinion of the world around us can be seen through the onion
once more. Influences constantly change our feelings for other people and other
We are forever changing our views of the world and through this Aperpetual emailprotected
we slowly Atest emailprotected different view points. The perpetual flux is the most
apparent way that we can investigate the way we form ourselves. Through their
changing we are already on the road to a more fully human life, and through
liberation from our oppressors human completion is only one more step away. And
after all human completion is the goal of all mankind.
The founder of this idea of Aperpetual emailprotected is David Hume. He says, very much
like the onion theory, that we are nothing more than our perceptions. Like the
onion, Hume says that everything we see / hear, or even more, anything and
everything we experience through our senses changes us just a little bit. Hume
claims that since we are nothing more than our perceptions when we no longer
perceive we no longer exist. From David Hume=s essay AOf Personal emailprotected
comes this quote: AWhen my perceptions are removed for any time, as by sound
sleep, as long as I am insensible of myself, and may truly be said not to exist.
And were all my perceptions removed by death, and could I neither think, nor
feel, nor see, nor love, nor hate, after the dissolution of my body, I should be
entirely annihilated, nor do I conceive what is further requisite to make me a
perfect emailprotected(187). From this I will derive the statement that a
perpetual flux or perpetual movement is as necessary as life is to an individual.
Anyone who is not in a perpetual flux does not exist.
Through a perpetual flux we unconsciously decide what the best method of
achieving humanization is. Somewhat like Peck=s theory of development, we
constantly test different situations in our subconscious, and before we even
comprehend the situations most of the perceptions are already removed. Our sub-
conscious is a certain type of filter, even better, our subconscious is a
special type of filter that Aweeds emailprotected many raw ideas before they even reach
So through our perpetual flux we are determining what the best type of
individual is for us. Through an unconscious reality we slowly weed out and
pick different situations that all have different outcomes. This is all
happening during the formation of an individual, and with this formation process
we are that much closer to what we perceive liberation and the humanization of
our own selves. Yet we must keep in mind that a changing opinion is good, in
fact it is nearly required. Actually, a perpetual flux is required.
With economic, religious, and political influences all laying far away from the
beginning / origin of the onion once can only venture to say that they are the
least important. If one is not careful these can be the prime candidates of
oppression. Everywhere economic, religious, and political oppression exists.
In the movie emailprotected we saw all of the oppression that was in different parts
of the world. And through Satyagraha we all saw the joint liberation and the
humanization of all men, at least the ones that participated in the non-violence.
From other sources we learned that we do have a say in our own religions and
political communities, we must know how to use our powers to our advantage. In
the same way that we benefit from our own economic situations, religious
standpoint, and political view, we are also restrained by them as well. If we
do not have the proper resources budget project we are oppressed by money, and
all that is attached by money. If we belong to a religious community, or even
if we don=t, we can still be the victims of oppression. Whether we are
oppressed because we belong or we don=t belong, religious oppression is
everywhere. Finally come political oppressions. This is probably the worst one,
because it happens in large numbers, and it also happens all of the time. We
are often oppressed by the government that we function in.
This is where Gandhi professed his beliefs. Satyagraha was a fight for our
rights as a struggling individual in an oppressive relationship. In the same
way Emerson said that self government is a emailprotected alternative to Political
oppression. His basic argument was since we all have our own views, and own our
own property, then we all should have an equal voice. If we are not given this
needed voice, we must find an alternative.
In Emerson=s AThe Idea of emailprotected Emerson stresses the importance of a
functional government, he does not say Anarchy is the only way to achieve this,
but it is a way. He says that man needs a good government, and if one cannot be
provided he must maintain his own. From Emerson=s essay AThe Idea of Self-
emailprotected come this quote about the perfect government. AThe idea after which
each community is aiming to make and mend its law, is the will of the wise man.
The wise man it cannot find nature, and it makes awkward but earnest efforts to
secure his government by contrivance;@(150) This means that the perfect
government is at peace with itself and its members, or the Awill of the wise
emailprotected In a perfect government personal rights are also very important, the
mutual respect of all is needed in the creation of a government. As the respect
for these rights increases, oppression decreases, and peace is closer.
APersonal rights, universally the same, demand a government framed on the ration
of the census; property demands a government framed on the ratio of owners and
of emailprotected(134). This is a fundamental truth that we all must accept.
Everything is relative in our world / society, and in government there are no
exceptions. Mutual respect and the active awareness of all is required or
government can no longer exist.
Not only in political freedom is this prevalent, but in Religious freedom this
is obvious too. In most cases Religious freedom is just as important as
political freedom, and sometimes religious freedom is even more important.
Religious freedom is placed below political freedom many times because their is
much more political oppression than there is religious oppression. But this
does not mean that religious freedom does not exist. Voltaire writes in his
philosophical dictionary that religious freedom is very important. AIf you can
have 2 religions among you they will massacre each other, but if you have 30
they will live in emailprotected This is a fundamental truth that we all must
understand. If we force people into religion they will undoubtedly start to
fight, but if we let them believe what they want to believe, then they will not
be oppressed, or thought of as oppressed and therefore will live in religious
harmony. And once this harmony is reached humanization is inevitable.
It is impossible to deny the existence of oppression and the forceful influence
by others in our world. But this oppression must be confronted, whether it be
through peaceful resistance, such as Satyagraha, or through bloodied warfare.
The outcome is the same either way, you are fighting for a just cause and
combining forces not because you are forced to, but because people share the
same feelings as you. This is not wrong, yet good to have people join in mutual
consent. Like Emerson says, people, as long as they have an equal part in the
government, can live in harmony. This harmony is necessary for peaceful
cooperation, and the humanization of all men. With religion next, Voltaire
boldly stated that religious freedom is needed for a homeostasis to be reached
from different viewpoints. Through mutual respect the humanization of all men
is not but one more hill on the path towards freedom.
By nature society oppresses. By nature religion oppresses. By nature
everything that does not coincide with our beliefs oppresses. There is no other
way to rid the world of oppression, but there is a way around it.
Before we can understand oppression we must first understand ourselves. Through
the Aonion emailprotected we gain an awareness of our world around us. As we perceive
this world we are constantly changing, always in a perpetual flux. A perpetual
flux is most likely the most significant of all of the ways we form our self.
The formation of an individual is a long and tiring process, yet it must be done.
There is no other alternative. Once we understand who we are through the onion,
and all of our perceptions we are now ready to understand the machine called
Oppression exists everywhere, and the only way to break free is to gain control
of our own individuality and join hands in a crusade towards humanization.
Whether it be Satyagraha or any peaceful resistance, as long as the force is of
mutual consent, then the only plausible outcome is victory. And furthermore
victory for the individual as well as a victory for the entire brigade. When
the victory is won we have broken the engine of oppression, but the machine
still exists. As long as thee is mutual peace, as opposed to forced peace, the
engine will stay broken and liberation will be inevitable. But if oppression
rises up again ABut almost always, during the initial stage of the struggle, the
oppressed, instead of striving for liberation, tend themselves to become
oppressors, or >sub-oppressors=. The very structure of their thought has been
conditioned by the contradictions of the concrete, existential situation by
which they were shaped. Their idea is to be men; but for them, to be men is to
be emailprotected Such as the switching of roles in the oppressor – oppressed
relationship, the engine will be fixed / replaced. After the engine is replaced
by this newly found false generosity the gears will turn and the machine of
oppression will stalk again. Welcome to the hatemachine?
We must dodge this effect and stand tall for what we believe in. Yet mutual
respect must exist. Through peaceful cooperation, liberation into freedom has