ISSUE-060

Some people believe that in order to thrive, a society must put its own overall success before the well-being of its individual citizens. Others believe that the well-being of a society can only be measured by the general welfare of all its people.


Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.


What is the measure of the success of a society? Does the overall success of society take precedence over the well-being of individual citizens, or the well-being of all citizens? As a matter of common sense, the level of development of society as a whole should certainly be measured by the degree of success of the society as a whole, rather than by focusing on specific individuals. However, for the long-term health of society, the interests of the people are the most accurate measure of the level of development of a society.


First, it is undeniable that society puts its overall development above the interests of the individual, and for good reason. First, objectively speaking, the success of a society as a whole guarantees the success of the individuals within it. In the Chinese language, the word "country" is a combination of two separate words, "country" and "family", and the word "country" is a combination of two separate words, "country" and "family". The word "home" comes before the word "family", hence the Chinese expression "first there is a country, then there is a family". This is very easy to understand. From the origin of the social system of the state, it is easy to see that both the state and society were originally established to protect the interests of individuals through collective development. This is one of the reasons why we modern people have to pay taxes to the state. For the state escorts the welfare of the people, and for this safeguard, the people pay taxes to help the state better protect the welfare of the people. Secondly, by necessity, there are situations where the government needs to sacrifice individual interests for the greater good of society. For example, when war occurs, the government will expropriate private land. No matter how important this private land is to its owner, it needs to be handed over to the state without compensation.


However, we need to be wary that overemphasis on the importance of the overall success of society can undermine the well-being and human rights of individual members. Take the current Democratic Republic of Korea, for example. This country is vigorously pursuing the development of nuclear weapons in spite of international obstruction. The development of nuclear weapons appears on the surface to be aimed at preserving the overall success of society and defending it from foreign invaders. However, in order to preserve the overall success of society, the DPRK's approach has become a serious threat to the well-being of everyone in its society and, in turn, has become the most important factor hindering the country's socio-economic development. The development of nuclear weapons requires a large amount of money, which, for the DPRK, which is already short of natural resources and has a very weak economic base, is tantamount to adding insult to injury and further impoverishing its already impoverished people. At the same time, the DPRK has been subjected to severe international sanctions and economic blockade despite the intervention of the international community, which has further affected the economic development of the DPRK, so eventually the people have to pay for the government's wrongdoings.


Therefore, a more effective measure of social development is the well-being of the people. After all, the reason a country seeks progress is to promote the well-being of its people, and a country that fails to ensure the well-being of its people is doomed to failure. As President Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address, "of the people, by the people, for the people", government is founded on the people, and the well-being of the people should naturally be the ultimate goal that a society seeks to achieve.



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