Essay on Society
Posted by admin as Example papers
Example Essay on Society and its development
What do we know about this process, about the flow of evolution where we are the experimental material? A very popular opinion states that technology, material values and life level are the main acquisitions of any country, nation and time. There’s also an opinion, though less heard in our days, that culture, art, moral values and traditions are what we get from an epoch. Raymond Williams in his “Long Revolution” teaches us that it’s unwise to divide these two opinions. Human lives are connected with the social progress, and there’s no progress without people. Williams states that culture and democracy go together, and that creative products of a society are inseparable from its values. Williams is a type of social thinker that doesn’t set an individual and a society apart from each other. This is, in my opinion, a wise approach to any social analysis.
The aim of this essay on society is to compare societies and their creative products of different periods: first of all Renaissance and Modern Times. The Renaissance is attractive with its abundant creativity “packed” in short time. Contemporarity is a burning time for analysis, not just because we live in it, but also because the humanity, in my opinion, is on the way to considerable changes.
Nowadays even children under school age know that life is a process of evolution, that the best and the strongest (not only in primitive context) form the development of the generation. When creatures used to fight for food and place under the sun, being the best meant being the most muscular. But that didn’t last long: the cleverest monkey can beat the strongest with a stick or a brick. It’s enough once to find this out to make one little evolutionary step; and this occasional guess is no less than creative productivity by Raymond Williams. Step by step the humanity has reached the current level, and the story of each step, each landmark on the way to future is mostly long and complicated. In our days life is no less defined by creativity, and that is, in my opinion, an inner conformity to natural laws of development, even of “evolution” (according to Darwin). It looks like evolution is not only the process of physical transformation of creatures, but of moral, cultural, spiritual etc. transformation of entities (I don’t dare to say humans
because no one can prove the absence of another animated
Let’s define the points for comparison of different societies and times. The most valuable concepts usually are:
- Politics, political regime
- Economical situation and economical solutions
- Culture and moral values
- Art and its acquisitions
- Science, the development of scientific thought
And in my opinion it is necessary to outline philosophy separately. Philosophy is a way of thinking, not just particular thoughts, but the whole system. Although outstanding philosophers have seldom been popular and known among the masses, they all in some way reflected the way of thinking of their time and generation.
Let’s regard Renaissance, with its golden pride and claims to change everything, This period greatly differed from the previous one (meaning the Middle Ages). One of the most important achievements of the time is democratic approach to ruling the state, to treating people – and generally the new-gained “freedom of mind”. This can be seen in science: the development of exact sciences that were accused of various sins earlier, the development of art and culture: new forms and new thoughts. The epoch of education and enlightenment, started by volterians, and continued by nowadays, made a great contribution into progress. The creative product of this time is enormous by its value and meaning. The cessation of slavery over the whole world also finalised at that time.
This period gave us the basis of democracy and human rights, it outlined the definition of the state as the one caring about people, not about its grandeur. The idea of humanism was rather new to the society that earlier came through inquisition and religious boundaries. Prominent philosophers of this period knew no boundaries at all. Ordinary people also felt the wind of freedom and step by step cultural level of the mankind was rising.
Renaissance and the following periods gave us the idea of economics; though some first economical concepts have been expressed much earlier, but the growth of economy and economics was abundant exactly at the regarded time. What do we see today? Democratic ideas have reached a lot, and have spread over the whole world. If at Renaissance times these concepts were only the property of the most developed and progressive countries, now these ideas are common and are somehow regarded as a certain “standard” for ruling a country – not exactly ruling, but more showing the direction of the movement.
Today there’s a new tendency: tendency for globalisation. Countries tend to combine in unions. The ideas of all people being equal are almost acknowledged all over. It is, in my opinion, a valuable cultural product of our society and our time.
Another chain of great steps is made by the science: medicine first of all, and also computer science. Human’s life being above all – it’s also the contribution of our society, and it’s a thing to be proud of.
Everything is leading towards uniting all countries and people in one nation that can be truly called “mankind”. This is a considerable change in everyone’s consciousness. Earlier people used to invent different prejudices based on race, nationality, language, origin, skin colour and so on. Nowadays these peculiarities have less and less influence toward someone’s attitude. Instead people group according to their views, tastes, beliefs – their inner side. It’s today when culture, art and civilization gain more and more meaning. Our society, despite many of its problems, is rising on a higher level.
At the same time art is becoming “popular” in a specific way: it’s becoming more people-oriented, not self-oriented. Thanks to various means of communications art can be wide-spread, and therefore it answers better the tastes of the masses. Someone says that this is a bad tendency – but does art really have to be only for “a selected company”? One more meaningful improvement of our time is that art and culture have become common and are accessible for all people.
Philosophic thoughts nowadays are various, and support various concepts, but one of the main ideas is again globalization. The humanity is awaiting some radical changes: perhaps a society where men are working and thinking in alliance with computers is another step awaiting for us in future. Anyway, participating in the evolutionary process is likely to be the sense of our existence. Mankind can in some way be compared with an ant-hill: each ant in itself is almost of no use and no meaning to the whole ant-hill: but directed to one aim they form a real force. This is just a similar situation: all people together, united to move forward, are the main driving force of the progress. What we call “culture”, or what Raymond Williams calls “creative product”, or what Darwin called “evolution” – that is what characterises the society and its meaning in the history of the mankind. All the creative products form the reality around us, and therefore our “collective unintentional”. The consequences of someone’s creativity are everywhere around us: in our upbringing, in the air, in our thoughts. This or that way, we belong to the mankind and contribute to its development.
The changes and conflicts of the whole process of living are deeply connected with social system. More or less the situations and actions around us are defined by the system as well – but the most surprising is that not only the system influences us, but we, each of us, each person, even the lees important one, as it may seem, influence the motion of historical progress… and we are those who perform the long revolution!
Compared to “Culture and Society”, Raymond Williams’s “The Long Revolution” looks forward, looks in the future over the horizons of current revolutional process. Politics and economics, culture and democracy, creativity and communication, individual and society – all these concepts, inseparable from certain lives and events, transform the environment. What Williams reached in his life and creative work, is the link between art and society. He never submits to the current trend to criticise the contemporary world; on the contrary, he is open enough to see the perspective. Any society is valued, according to Williams, by its creative achievements, and enhancing its development is the most important intellectual, cultural etc. value.
Today many voices are heard telling that the mankind is going to a deadlock; haven’t one heard the phrase “Where is the world rolling to?”; maybe these people don’t see under the cover of mistakes and hardships the way to future? Sometimes it really seems that the whole world has become insane – but aren’t these phenomena just the shortcomings of the long revolution? Though sometimes entering wrong paths, sometimes painful and conflicted, the revolution is happening step by step, and each of us is the main driving force of the process, and the main creator of the above-mentioned creative products.
1. Aronowitz, S. “On Catherine Gallagher’s critique of
Raymond Williams.” New American Library, 1992.
2. Gallagher, C. “Raymond Williams and cultural
studies.” Chicago: Printlan, 1992.
3. Handler, R. “Raymond Williams, George Stocking and
fin-de-siecle U.S. anthropology.” New York: John&S, 1998.
4. Higgins, M.D. “The migrant’s return – a personal
reflection on the importance of Raymond Williams.” New York: Penguin, 1997.
5. Moriarty, M. “The longes cultural journey: Raymond
Williams and French theory.” New York: Garland Publishing, 1992.
6. West, C. “The legacy of Raymod Williams.” New American Library, 1992.