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From Liberty to Harmony: a deep revision of value priorities

Leo Semashko


From Liberty to Harmony: a deep revision of value priorities


1. Liberty and Harmony. Any new historical civilization requires essentially new education, its new philosophy and its new value priority. We showed above, that the information society creates both need (necessity) and preconditions for new, harmonious education. This society creates social science about itself as harmonious information civilization. This science is tetrasociology, which simultaneously becomes philosophy of harmonious education. The core of this philosophy makes a substantiation of a new value priority for harmonious education in comparison with former value priority of industrial education and its society.


Liberty value for the first time was proclaimed in 1215 in the English Magna Carta and it marked historical turn from slavery. In 1789 the Great French Bourgeois Revolution proclaimed liberty by the highest value priority of an industrial society. Two other values of this revolution: equality and brotherhood were lost in a shadow of liberty and in the subsequent history of its strengthening and expansion.


Liberty played colossal positive role in a history of humankind, allowed it to liberate all creative abilities of nations, groups and separate person almost from all kinds of slavery and dependence. The positive tasks of liberty now are solved basically. In the infinite positive demonstrations it is supplied with the so infinite national, corporate and international legislation. Liberty is standard and passed value priority of an industrial society. As it the highest value liberty exhausted the historical mission and goes in the basis of the recognized values of humankind to give place to new value priority of a new civilization: harmony. Liberty leaves from a top of value hierarchy together with the society, which created this hierarchy.


Liberty can not keep a priority in a new society for two reasons: 1. to a new society needs new, adequate, value priority, 2. liberty are limited, unilateral and contradictory value. Liberty is distributed in an equal measure to good and evil; o­n last even more widely and willingly. Therefore, along with positive liberty of good there is liberty of evil, chaos and death; liberty of an arbitrariness and tyranny. It is the negative liberty, which destroys an ethical basis of the person and society. Negative liberty constantly accompanied positive liberty, strengthened and threatened positive. Negative liberty was investigated by Immanuel Kant, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nicolai Hartmann, Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger and many others outstanding thinkers.


Negative liberty established a priority of money and bean counter (gain, love of gain) in the world, superseded a priority of spirituality and humanism. Negative freedom was poured out in an infinite turn of more and more monstrous wars, crimes, violence and in constant growth of social pathologies: poverty, superriches, alcoholism, drugs, race of arms, pollution of an environment, corruption, terrorism etc. Epoch of liberty is an epoch of wars and wave of "wars of all against all" (Hobbes). The last century presented to humankind the most abominable displays of negative liberty: world wars, Holocaust, fascist and Soviet camps of death, Hiroshima, genocide etc. Negative liberty is the bloodiest value from all. The ominous potential of this liberty is far from being exhausted, opposite, it expands as a cancer tumour and threatens to humankind with self-destruction.


The information civilization going o­n change industrial o­ne carries with itself a new value priority, which is adequate for it: harmony. The harmony in all cultures always was value of humankind, but o­nly the new society makes its by priority and puts its o­n top of value hierarchy. The objective necessity of harmonious value hierarchy is clear: a colossal cultural diversity of humankind in conditions of globalization and world unity can survive o­nly in harmony, o­nly at the deep internal consent based o­n natural harmony of the spheres and sphere classes of humankind.


Harmony, as against liberty, is integrated value. Liberty answers o­ne, let very important, aspect of life of the person and society: independence of action and choice. But it does not answer them as a whole, in unity their deep and many qualitative diversity. Harmony, opposite, is adequate to unity of diversity both person and society. Therefore harmony as value includes all other human values and does not exist without them. Harmony can not be without liberty, justice, equality, brotherhood, love, peace and others. In the past they existed in consciousness and ethics, as a rule, is isolated. In an information society the universal information provides their integrity in harmony. Opposite, liberty, in any society, can exist without harmony. For example, all industrial society is liberty beyond harmony.


The principle of negative liberty is "all is allowed" or "liberty without borders". The principle of positive freedom is "restriction and self-restriction for liberty" or "liberty of o­ne is limited by liberty of others ". Liberty without borders is liberty for wars, crimes and conflicts, it is their infinite source. Peace requires restriction and self-restriction of liberty in and through harmony. Harmony as unity and consent of diversity allows to coordinate liberty of the different people, groups, nations, cultures etc. However, harmony requires knowledge and skills to limit liberty not suppressing it and keeping it in optimum for all borders. This knowledge and skills of harmonious restriction and self-restrictions of liberty can be given o­nly by general harmonious education.


Liberty can live irrespective from other values: justice, equality, brotherhood, love, peace and others. Liberty excludes them from itself. It very much frequently tramples them and deprives their right o­n life (examples to that: continually) and harmony includes them in itself, promotes them, acts by a source of their full life and prosperity. At the same time liberty includes violence, enmity, aggression and wars and harmony excludes them. Liberty does not require unity and consent of diversity; it always sacrifices by unity, consent and all for the sake of itself (please, recollect the slogan: "Liberty or Death! "); and harmony requires unity, consent and etc. Harmony includes liberty, orders it, subordinates it to the higher values, harmonizes it and limits negative liberty, aspiring to its conscious neutralization. Liberty is private value; it is necessary but insufficient; and harmony is integral value, it is necessary and sufficient, i.e. it is universal. Liberty presently is personification faster traditional industrial, than innovative information society. Harmony is the best of all possible innovations, as it serves to interests of the common good, whole, humankind and also to all its parts and each individual. Opposite, liberty is o­ne-sided; it serves to private instead of universal interests. However, we should emphasize, that harmony priority is at first educational. It will become by state then, when it will be shared by the majority of the population. The change of priorities can occur o­nly through general harmonious education of the population, since children. This change can not occur by an administrative way.


So, the evolutionary change of civilizations defines evolutionary change of value priorities. Now main task of the free people and nations is to learn to live in harmony, consent and peace, which require harmonious education. Value basis of this education can be o­nly harmony as the highest value of an information society adequate to it and including other values. It is an ideological base of harmonious education from the point of view of tetrasociology. The mission of WHA and general harmonious education is formulated o­n this base.


2. Harmony: identities and distinctions with other values. (Identity is expressed by an equal sign " = " and can be replaced by words: "is, coincides with, is equivalent to," and so o­n.)


Harmony = love; love = a necessary aspect of harmony, but not any love = harmony. (All the subsequent values are also necessary aspects of harmony.)


Harmony = true eternal peace (that is, harmonious peace), which exists o­nly inside harmony and is exclusive of war and enmity; any peace without harmony = temporary and not true peace, = a pseudo-peace, = o­nly a break between wars and preparation for more wars according to the principle: "want peace therefore prepare for war ".


Harmony = positive freedom, which limits itself for the sake of harmony and freedom of others; freedom without harmony = arbitrariness, permissiveness and negative freedom.


Harmony = justice, expressed in all aspects that are acceptable and clear to all people a MEASURE of distinction, necessary and sufficient for conscious harmony; justice without harmony = o­nly Utopian dream.


Harmony = just equality of people and groups, based o­n different abilities, needs, employment, knowledge, culture, faith, riches, communications, and so o­n, which are always consciously regulated by a harmonious society and state; equality without harmony = narrow and limited social space.


Harmony = law and right subordinated to harmony, thus ensuring justice, equality and order; a law and right without harmony = source of injustice, inequality and disorder.


Harmony = brotherhood of people and nations o­n an equal and friendly foundation found o­nly inside harmony; brotherhood without harmony = o­nly Utopian dream.


Harmony = human rights, which serve to foster and promote social and individual harmony; human rights without harmony = formal right, a practical fiction and a humiliation of natural human dignity.


Harmony = children’s priority, instead of another other social group such as the rich, noble, imperious, wise, sacred, and so o­n, because o­nly the quality of children (that is, the quality of their education and upbringing) determines the quality of society as a whole and all of its values; children living in disharmony = source of all challenges and threats to humankind.


Harmony = the common good existing o­nly in harmony; the common good without harmony = o­nly Utopian dream.


Harmony = unity in diversity, including opposites if they are consciously coordinated; uncoordinated diversity = conflict, which makes harmony necessary (diversity cannot always be coordinated, but conflict always finds nonviolent resolution inside harmony).


Harmony = existence o­nly through diversity and through coordinated unity; harmony without diversity, through solitary effort = nonsense.


Harmony = true democracy (tetra-democracy), created by four sphere classes that have equal political rights and responsibilities; democracy without harmony = formal and limited democracy, a pseudo democracy.


Harmony = true economy of four production spheres coordinated for the material well-being of all nations and social groups; economy without harmony = way for enrichment of individual nations and groups at the expense of others trapped in poverty and pauperization; this = the source of social pathology, human degradation and humankind’s self-destruction.


Harmony = true money as a means of achieving harmony; money without harmony = the destruction of all other humanistic priorities for a financial gain, = source of social pathology and human degradation.


Harmony = true, sphere, state, in which the authority is divided equally and equitably between the sphere classes of the population and which (state) serves to social harmony; the state without harmony = tool of violence and restriction of o­ne groups concerning other groups, = source of violence, injustice, poverty and wars.


Harmony = true sustainable development; sustainable development without harmony = o­nly Utopian dream.


Harmony = prosperity, which for humankind is possible o­nly in a state of harmony; prosperity without harmony = prosperity of a minority of the world’s countries and populations at the expense of the majority.


Harmony = true culture, which serves harmony; culture without harmony = destruction, enmity and war.


Harmony = true religion, which serves harmony: God of any religion = the creator of harmony from chaos; religion without harmony = religion without God.


Harmony = true family, which serves harmony; family without harmony = source of enmity, murders (abortions) and suicides, violence, inequality, injustice and social pathology.


Harmony = true (harmonious) education, which serves harmony; education without harmony = harm to man and society, and that harm is not expiated by its private benefits.


Harmony = the true, full-dimensional man; man without harmony = a o­ne-dimensional man = half-man = not a full-valuable man.


Harmony = true health of the man and society; without harmony the man and society = illness and pathology.


Harmony = happiness, full value, meaning and completeness of human life, which are found o­nly in harmony; happiness without harmony = fiction and an unreal dream.


Harmony = true, adequate to all positive opportunities, prospering humankind, its genuine Golden Age.


Harmony = multi-polar coordinated in all spheres and between all nations the world order to obtain the common good and global prosperity.


Any absolutization = a lie, o­nly absolutization of harmony = true, because harmony = the most fundamental natural law and universal deep structure of the world, society and man.


These definitions are a subject of future scientific research and discussions among children, youth, parents, teachers, experts and the public. These definitions are the eternal philosophical problems and challenges for a science of harmony (tetrasociology), for the World Harmony/Peace Academy, and for general harmonious education. These definitions are a source for inexhaustible pluralism of opinions and approaches, riches with information and knowledge. 02/05/08.


PS. I thank the co-authors of the World Harmony/Peace Academy project for additions and corrections of this text.


© Website author: Leo Semashko, 2005; © designed by Roman Snitko, 2005