Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Having your voice heard

I have been contemplating many of the situations and ideas we have studied in this class thus far and I have had a lot of trouble with how some of the ideas relate to the importance of the voice of the individual in modern society. Modern civilization, especially America, has a new found love for the individual, putting all sorts of emphasis on diversity and opportunity and ensuring everyone has a fair shot, however it seems as though it is most difficult to get the individual's voice heard. I think about earlier in the semester when we had the speakers come to class and point out that we only exercise democracy once every four years when voting in the presidential race. I think about this and realize that even in this instance, it is almost impossible for a candidate to represent each and every one of a person's interests so there are always some areas where the voter must settle for different than they desire. Going beyond the issue of when one exercises their right to vote, politicians in modern society are usually characterized as untrustworthy, selfish and biased. It is difficult to find someone who is willing to dedicate their life to politics who isn't trying to push their own agenda's but the people's, and even in that right, if the politician does try to represent the people, there are always voices and opinions left out. Too often we are governed by liars and hypocrites who perpetuate a fake image of themselves to their own personal gains. So what can we do? We can organize, as there are more than a few organizations dedicated to nearly every cause out there, but still, there are too many voices to be fair. It has been perpetuated that democracy only works in the small scale, and lately it has appeared as though it is the shear number of different people and viewpoints that has overcome the system so that no matter how it is broken down, there are always voices that will be squelched. It can be argued that this new era of individualism has lead to a sense of loneliness for the individual, as he realizes his individuality makes him just like everyone else in the sense that everyone is just as unique as he is. From this point, individualism links him to everyone else in the sense that everyone is just as different from him, but alienates him in the sense that he may not find what makes him unique and how he can ever set himself apart from the pack. The pack is no longer made up of identical beings, but rather identically different beings which become even harder to distinguish as the individual gets lost in the crowd. The individual is conintually threatened by the tyranny of the majority as democracy must necessitate the enactment of only the greater part of the people's will. The majority runs the show and the individual's wants and needs are pushed aside as our system can only deal with the most popular of interests. What can be done to protect the individual's voice and give equal attention to all modes of life?

1 comment:

matt jacobs said...

I agree with most of what you are talking about, especially the stuff about politicians not being able to represent everyone's ideas, even among their own supporters. People are always left out. I think that this will be true as long as people are disagreeing, simply because they always are allowed, if not encouraged, to voice their opinions. Even if they will not be heard.

You talk about organization as a way to be heard, and then go on to say that there are still too many different voices to be heard. Again, it think this is due to the fact that people are encouraged to voice their opinions. It just depends on how you look at it. When one person has an opinion or idea about something, they gain support, and begin an organization with his/her supporters, someone with an opposite or opposing idea will do the same thing. So, in a way, they are both heard in that the first one has his voice heard by the second, and the second opposes it.