Photograph: Ketut-Subiyanto/ Pexels
For centuries the Western world has demonised collectivism and found varying degrees of expressions for its movements while the rest of the world idealised the Western democracies and their individualistic traits
Asian countries such as China, South Korea and Japan have weathered the worst of the storm as well, adhering to laws that constrain their individual rights under the moral obligation for the other and a sense of unity revered in their collectivist societies. Even collectivism in its lowest degree practised by Scandinavian nations, which operate under a social democracy, has seen them also registering considerably low numbers of Covid-19 infections and an astoundingly low number of deaths.
As with every experiment of course there are many other factors at play when it comes to the pandemic and its spread and hold on nations but the fact remains that when faced with the disease and with the knowledge of how it spreads almost all nations that value the rights of an individual over the collective vehemently refused to wear masks, exercising their freedom of choice, choosing not to inconvenience themselves over the safety of others. To this day and after watching the rising number of bodies that have succumbed to this disease people are protesting for their right not to wear masks and not to be locked down. This is not to say that individuality is the enemy and freedom of choice should be threatened but it is worth some contemplation when the ‘I’ comes at the cost of the ‘we’, what is left of you when the ‘us’ is gone?
For centuries the Western world has demonised collectivism and found varying degrees of expressions for its movements while the rest of the world idealised the Western democracies and their individualistic traits. Many young nations around the world are actively forgoing their cultural collectivist norms in the hopes of successfully mimicking these ‘First-World countries’ yet when we look closely and delve deeper into the nature of a nation which has nurtured people through severing human bonds and tightening social circles, we see that when faced with collective suffering, we cannot expect to face it by individual healing. Humanity is a tribe that must work together in order to overcome. Covid-19 has tested us and the results have spoken.
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