A Society Essay

We mistake, however, the characteristic of simple ages: mankind then appear to feel the fewest defects, and are then least desirous to enter on reformations.The reality, in the mean time, of certain establishments at Rome and at Sparta, cannot be disputed: but it is probable, that the government of both these states took its rise from the situation and genius of the people, not from the projects of single men; that the celebrated warrior and statesman, who are considered as the founders of those nations, only acted a superior part among numbers who were disposed to the same institutions; and that they left to posterity a renown, pointing them out as the inventors of many practices which had been already in use, and which helped to form their own manners and genius, as well as those of their countrymen.

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For example, living in the United States indicates that you respect the life, liberty and property of each individual, and you decide to accept the punishment if you violate any of these natural rights.

Although one may not always agree with these standards, they choose to make sacrifices for the well-being of others.

This selection has been excerpted from the fifth edition (1782) of Adam Ferguson’s Mankind, in following the present sense of their minds, in striving to remove inconveniencies, or to gain apparent and contiguous advantages, arrive at ends which even their imagination could not anticipate; and pass on, like other animals, in the tract of their nature, without perceiving its end.

He who first said, “I will appropriate this field; I will leave it to my heirs;” did not perceive, that he was laying the foundation of civil laws and political establishments.

It seems society has accidentally tied these three together, and since these definitions are not universal, different societies may assign different meanings to each concept.

Unlike societies explain why there are so many contrasting beliefs and viewpoints throughout the world today.Every step and every movement of the multitude, even in what are termed enlightened ages, are made with equal blindness to the future; and nations stumble upon establishments, which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design*.If Cromwell said, That a man never mounts higher, than when he knows not whither he is going; it may with more reason be affirmed of communities, that they admit of the greatest revolutions where no change is intended, and that the most refined politicians do not always know whither they are leading the state by their projects.He who first ranged himself under a leader, did not perceive, that he was setting the example of a permanent subordination, under the pretence of which, the rapacious were to seize his possessions, and the arrogant to lay claim to his service.Men, in general, are sufficiently disposed to occupy themselves in forming projects and schemes: But he who would scheme and project for others, will find an opponent in every person who is disposed to scheme for himself.The members of a small state contend for equality; the members of a greater, find themselves classed in a certain manner that lays a foundation for monarchy.They proceed from one form of government to another, by easy transitions, and frequently under old names adopt a new constitution.The so called “laws” of the world attempt to define a set of uncertain rules which are to govern society in its most raw form, dictate moral rights and wrongs, and create boundaries.Every single action can be separated into any of these three categories, depending upon the action.Society is responsible for creating an image of the ideal person, family, environment, and way of life.Our modern day society has dictated its own definition of beauty, happiness, and success.


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