Most humans desire to be in societies, which can shield one from harm as well as bring benefits. As societies get bigger and stronger, they require much stronger loyalty from their members. This writer believes that the problem of evil has always been rooted in this. This theory about society and its members was established in the 20th century, which was full of war and violence between countries. Most people thought that in the 21st century this theory would be rejected as the Soviet empire fell and democracy would spread all over the world.
However, that has not been the case and the theory is also relevant today. We live in a world where every individual can freely have their own standard, but that standard has been socialized by the communities individuals live in. No one member can compel a single social standard that can be contrast to the majority of groups, although that standard is generally accepted around the world. So, clashes within a society as well as between societies are unavoidable. This writer is aware of the fact that the incident in Paris last year was not because of ignorance. France is a country full of tolerance, and I pray for France.
However, the bottom line is that many societies provoke malicious actions for their own benefit. This writer thinks that these unforgivable actions have all stemmed from the word “loyalty.” The members of malicious societies such as ISIL and the KKK have strong faith that what they are doing is right, despite the fact that the faith they have is threatening the world. This “faith” can be translated into “loyalty.” (This writer has no criticisms of Muslims in general, I just want to elaborate about fanatics.) Some, especially hawkish politicians or rulers of developing countries, may argue that all societies need loyalty from their members in order to smoothly make important decisions in a short time, because unanimity is impossible in a democratic society where all the debates and clashes of opinions take place while time runs out.
I frankly agree with these arguments in part, that unanimity is efficient in decision-making and days or even years could be wasted on useless and repetitive debate. Particularly as a person who is about to start his compulsory military service in a few days, this student believes that loyalty to societies can be conditio sine qua non in some societies. I am most concerned about the magnitude of this. If societies cannot shield their people from threats but rather give their people difficulties, there will be less loyalty among people, just like what can be seen in Korea’s Sewol ferry disaster and the government’s reactions. People will feel that the representatives of their society have violated the basic principles of freedom and democracy.
Democracy, as conceived by writers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, means that the representatives of society have a legal responsibility to protect and foster the safety and human rights of their citizens. In a response to this, citizens should trust the representatives who are trying to disaffiliate from societies, and this cannot be positive for the left ones. In contrast, if societies compel people to have faith in them too aggressively, there will be enormous clashes with others and the members of the society will be manipulated by their “Leviathan”, as pointed out by Thomas Hobbes.
Despite the fact that no one cannot compulsorily let all the people to follow a single power is generally accepted, social standards and loyalty to their society are keep clashing. There should be measures to deal with this fundamental root of evil: the desire of people to assemble in and be loyal to groups.