Unit 1’s ‘lotto’ work was about people’s obsession to talk about the act of packing and rationalizing things that are meaningless or negative. In other words, I blatantly blamed those who wanted to make meaningless or negative actions as if they were worthy. However, I had the opportunity to think about my thoughts while explaining or talking to people about the work.
Is it wrong to show different acts or tastes in comparison to others?
Individualism and egoism are similar but largely different. Individualism is personal, and egoism is self-interest.
‘Personal’ refers to ‘one person’ who is opposed to groups and organizations, and ‘self’ refers to ‘myself’, which is opposed to others.
Therefore, individualism emphasizes and promotes individual freedom, rights, and profits over groups and organizations, and the opposite is groupism and totalitarianism.
Selfishness is a person ‘s attitude and behavior that thinks only of oneself and takes only self – interest, and the opposite word is altruism that thinks of others.
Individualism is called ‘to emphasize individual freedom, rights and interests.’ Individuals are not only ‘self’ but also ‘you’ and ‘others’, so they consider others. That is, respect for freedom, rights and interests of others, even if I pursue my freedom, rights and interests first. In other words, ‘individualism’ has a difference from ‘egoism’ depending on whether or not it pursues its own interests but cares about others.
Individualism: egoism in Korean society
“The desire to live as freely and happily as possible within the limit without disturbing others as much as possible” would not be such a big desire, but Korean society is not so good even if we desire it. This is because Korean society does not allow it to live that way. The culture of Korean society always compels people to compete with each other, but it forces them to care about the evaluation of others rather than their satisfaction. And we regard it as ‘social life’. This ‘social life’ is intertwined with an organization or relationship, so it is difficult to escape from such a culture.
In addition, Korean society needed groupism for rapid development after the Japanese colonialism and the ideological war of the South and the North. For the development of the group, individualism is regarded as egoism. In other words, pursuing individual happiness, interest, and taste is a selfish act. In Korean society, individualism is regarded as a traitor to the harmony and progress of the group.
The logic of the majority rule system, in which majority rule and minority right coexist, is dominated by a majority and consider few rights. In Korean society, only a handful of tyrannies are seen without considering minorities.
Korean society accepts Western individualism and majority rule and does not consider others or minority. It has only brought up selfishness that only expresses its own freedoms, rights and interests, and has only brought up many tyrannies.
Individualism is not at all the act of causing harm or inconvenience to others for their own interests and convenience. It is rude and morbid egoism. It is true individualism that respects the public sphere and secures its rights and interests without harming the rights and interests of others.
Self-reflection on Unit 1 is about my perception of individualism and selfishness. Obviously, knowing the problems of Korean society, I was also forcing such thoughts to work through someone.
When there is only a gaze that does not respect others, many people evaluate the others with their own standards, and many individuals lose their desires in the way of life without revealing their intention to think ‘I am too weird’. This constitutes an unhealthy social community.
However, at the same time, it should not be isolationism that thinks only of individuals. We understand that human beings must inevitably live in society, and that it is essential to the individual’s pursuit of happiness.
I hate selfish behavior and at the same time have a selfish attitude that evaluates others by my standard. I hate the standard of others pursuing my happiness, but at the same time always minds about the evaluation of others. As an inevitable Korean who has these qualities, I will examine egoism and individualism in Korean society.
There is no absolute right or wrong. You do not have to erase the light to emphasize the shadow, nor do you have to turn away the shadow to emphasize the light.
Being honest with our situation is a starting point to actually improve.