Is the Society the individual? or the other way around? by Justin Carpenter

When is comes to modern societies, there is a main divide between what becomes more important; the individual, or the society? Different economic structures such as capitalism or socialism value both of these elements much differently. Countries built on capitalism focus more on the idea of the individual, where one person can "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" and create their own prosperity on their own and keep it for themselves. Socialism focuses more on the idea that the society is the utmost importance. You are not working for yourself, you are working for the well being of a community. Well, which is better? The truth: neither. From researching and analyzing, both central ideas around the importance and aspects of the individuals and the societies are equally important. Without the individual, their is no society. Yet, without a cohesive society, an individual does not have an environment to thrive. With my exhibit, I analyze and look at what makes on an individual and a society and how they interact with each-other.

In Tom Roberts "Shearing the Rams", A process is shown in which everyone has a part as an individual to make up a society. Gilgamesh was at the top and took advantage of his society (The Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet 1). Power becomes corruption.
In Alfred Stieglitz "The Steerage", you can see a the physical barrier placed between classes in a society. In Marjanes Journey in "Persepolis", she sees how unnecessary barriers are placed between class's in a society and how they affect the individuals in them (Persepolis: The Letter).
Sigmund Freud tells us that when forming a society, communication is the most important tool when forming a society (Freud, Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis: Lectures 1,6,7). In Albert Fenn's "Calculus Essay, Richard Marinais Class", we see a teacher giving a lesson on calculus. The communication of one mans knowledge can instantly be spread to these students through speech and interactions. The teacher communicates information to a body of students in an effort to make them successful participating members of society.
As Freud states in his lectures (Freud, Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis: Lectures 18, 20 and 21), libidinal forces are the driving force in every individual to make decisions on. This is portrayed in Hendrik Goltzius's "The Fall of Man". In the book of Genesis, the reason Adam commits the first sin of eating the apple is because Eve influences her. Libidinal forces can affect a society from decisions made by individuals effected by these forces.
In "A Practice of Behavior 2009 - Gestures in football" by Sunkwan Kwon, the idea of questioning known information for the greater good relate to Platos stories. Socrates defied his state because he tried to break the idea that wise men were just wise for no other reason that just being wise (The Apology by Plato). Logic prevailed rather that believing. This same concept applies to strategies in football. There are very specific strategies for the sport that are already know, yet more are being discovered and used more because they did not accept the status quo of what was good and what was not.
In Nina Leen's "Courage-Test For Children", it shows a young boy climbing up an incline in an effort to show courage. God puts his people in similar situations in the Bible. In the book of Genesis, God puts various people through various tests to either seal a covenant or prove faith. One particular example is when Isaac is asked to sacrifice his only son to seal a covenant with God. God does not make him go through with this (Genesis chapter 24, verses 1-19). In a society, leaders but individuals in a similar position of making people jump through hoops in an effort to please them.
One of the main themes of the Tao te Ching is the idea of simplicity (poem 48). Simplicity is represented as this idea that nothing is corrupted. There is a natural beauty to things that are simple that feels more real than complex things. As shown by this sculpture titled "Head and neck of a Cycladic figurine", there is a simple beauty to it that you cannot figure out, yet you cannot look away. This sculpture represents how things can be so simple, yet so beautiful and awe inspiring.
One of the biggest lessons in the book of Luke is the idea of humility (Luke 14: Verses 7-14). The ultimate sign of humility is shown in Hendrick ter Brugghen's "Christ Crowned with Thorns". Jesus Christ put everyone's salvation in front of his life in order to save everyone from all of their sins. Humility is key in a cohesive society. When individuals in a society or humble, they are selfless and look out for others. When individuals look out for others, a sense of trust is instilled where everyone can function without friction.
In this photo by Lisa Larsen, workers are preparing soup in a soup kitchen. They are providing a service to people in need. In the Quran, a repeating theme is the idea that actions speak louder than words (Quran 2:25). Many people in modern society talk about how they can help people and what they can do. But very few actually act upon it. The people working in the soup kitchen are keeping their promises to help the needy by giving up their own personal time and taking a stand.
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