Free Research Paper on Discipline:
Traditionally, discipline played an important role in human society. In actuality, it affected practically all spheres of human life and often discipline was associated with progress because it created conditions for the rapid development of society due to the effective organization and thorough control of the social development and all vitally important socio-economic and political processes.
It is worthy of noting that nowadays, discipline is viewed as a characteristic of conservative part of human society because, at the present days, the key notion is democracy. In larger sense, this term implies a substantial degree of personal liberty that naturally denies a strict discipline typical for the past epochs and conservative, if not to say rigid societies. At the same time, discipline is often viewed as a kind of restriction that is not always acceptable. For instance, artists cannot admit any sort of restrictions since they need freedom for the development of their thoughts, ideas, etc but discipline may limit their creative work dramatically.
Moreover, nowadays, the personal development is considered to be based on the principles of liberal and independent progress of a particular individual. This is why it is a widely spread point of view on the discipline as a kind of atavism that is totally unacceptable in the modern society. Nevertheless, in order to definitely state whether discipline is necessary and whether it still persists it is necessary to analyze the current situation and view discipline in different contexts from artistic and moral to socio-political.
The essence of discipline and disciplines
Speaking about discipline in the modern world, it is primarily necessary to dwell upon its essence and relationship to disciplines since often these two notions being etymologically close to one another are viewed as totally different and cannot be viewed as synonyms. Probably, the explanation of such a view on the relationship of discipline and disciplines, including arts, is explained by the different implications of these notions since discipline is rather synonymous to order while disciplines imply certain creativity and even disorder.
First of all, it is necessary to point out that traditionally discipline is viewed as a system where all the relationships are strictly regulated. In fact, discipline implies the total domination of order when there are certain regulations that control practically all aspects of life. In such a way, an individual is supposed to obey to the existing rules and established order to perform discipline.
In stark contrast, disciplines, especially arts, imply that each individual is unique and different from others. Consequently, it is impossible to establish certain system or set of rule that would be equally applicable to absolutely all individuals within society or particular community. Instead, personal freedom is supposed to be an essential condition of harmonious and progressive development of an individual. Naturally, discipline restricts dramatically individual’s freedom and deprives him/her of an opportunity to harmoniously develop his/her personality.
Obviously, arts and disciplines at large are based on the idea that it is only in a non-restrictive environment an individual can really progress and achieve great results, while discipline simply ruins individual’s personality.
At any rate, it is necessary to agree that discipline limits substantially individual’s creativity. In this respect, it should be said that discipline implies restrictions. This is why an individual cannot overcome these restrictions. Consequently, if he/she views the world in a different way, or have a different philosophy, which does not match the established rules and regulations, than this individual cannot realize his creative ideas, thoughts, and intentions being limited by the boundaries of discipline.
Nevertheless, it is worthy of mention that, in a ay, discipline and disciplines, especially arts, are two different, if not to say opposite, extremes. To put it more precisely, discipline implies strict order and established rules and regulations while disciplines basically imply freedom of creative and personal development of an individual and unrestricted realization of his/her own ideas, views and thoughts. In such a situation, it is necessary to underline that both these extremes may be quite dangerous.
In fact, it should be said that disciplines as well as discipline should have its own limits. What is meant here is the fact that discipline, for instance, cannot be without boundaries or limits. It seems to obvious that if there is a strict discipline that regulates and controls every action, move, or deed of an individual, the life gets to be practically unbearable because an individual is totally deprived of any sort of freedom. Instead, he/she is just supposed to live in accordance with the existing norms and regulations the obedience to which constitutes the basis of discipline. In such a situation, it will be possible to speak about an individual deprived of a personality which is substituted by the existing set of rules and norms.
Quite a different effect may produce unlimited freedom in disciplines. To put it more precisely, when an individual is not limited in his actions, deeds and thoughts, the consequences of such freedom may be really unpredictable. Practically, it means that freedom of an individual promoted by disciplines, including arts, especially freedom of self-expression may be quite dangerous because, if an individual is not limited by certain rules or norms, i.e. if he does not have any sense of discipline or self-discipline, than the consequences of such freedom may be quite dangerous as the actions of the individual become uncontrollable and it is practically impossible to regulate his behavior. The situation may grow particularly dangerous if such disobedience to common rules and norms acquires the mass character. In other words, if masses of people are not limited by discipline and attempt to develop themselves in terms of disciplines, there exist a potential threat of total disobedience to any rules and, consequently, it threatens to the existing social order which may be simply ruined if there remains no room for discipline.
In such a way, it is obvious that it is necessary to avoid both extremes because total discipline transforms an individual into a kind of machine controlled by the established set of rules and norms while the dominance of disciplines, based on the concept of individual’s freedom in the process of development, threaten to undermine the basic principles of social life ruining the correlation between individuals because of the totally dominating personal interests over the existing rules and norms.
The relationship of discipline and political power
Obviously, the harmonic correlation between discipline and disciplines, i.e. between established set of rules and creative freedom of individual, is particularly significant in such a field as politics. In fact, the domination of one of the extremes is extremely dangerous because through political power the total domination of discipline, for instance, can have a disastrous effect on the entire society.
In this respect, it should be said that traditionally the followers of the development of a strictly disciplined policy are defined as conservative powers that stood on the ground of the necessity of the dominance of traditional values, norms, and tend to regulate practically all spheres of life by means of rules and regulations. Traditionally, citizens are viewed as children and the relation of the political power that supports the idea of the dominance of discipline to its citizens are characterized as paternalistic. In other words, ‘citizens-children’ are supposed to be totally obedient to the ‘father-state’. At first glance, such a relationship has a number of advantages. For instance, the government takes care of its citizens, it is supposed that it is the government’s obligation to provide citizens with all essential services that would make their life easier and better. It is worthy of mention that such policy effects all spheres of life of a country. To put it more precisely, the government promoting discipline, is supposed to protect a country and its interests in a dangerous world, it should promote unimpeded competitive economic activity so that both disciplined and non-disciplined people could be able to receive what they all observe, based on their own choices, also it should maintain order and discipline.
Obviously, despite certain benefits of such a policy, on a profound reflection it is getting to be clear that such a discipline dominated policy is not so effective in actuality. In fact the protection of the country and its national interests is often realized through the militarization of the country that exposes its citizens to the risk of getting involved in a military conflict. Furthermore, the total discipline and paternalistic relationships of the government and citizens put the latter in the situation when they have to wait while the state provides them with essential services, and reward them for their obedience and their discipline. Finally, the maintenance of order and discipline may be accompanied by non-democratic means that implies that human rights of citizens may be violated for the sake of maintenance of the existing order which is not obligatory really just and meeting citizens’ interest. In such a way, the domination of discipline in the policy of a state can potentially lead to the development of a totalitarian regime where all spheres of life are regulated and controlled by the government and its controlling institutions. As a result, the personal freedom of individuals as well as their human rights may be substantially limited by the government targeting at the maintenance of order and discipline.
However, the ignorance of discipline and the development of the policy based on ideas of total freedom are not less dangerous than the one that has been just discussed above. To put it more precisely, as disciplines, including arts, imply the necessity of freedom of each individual, his liberal development and formation, practically it may result in the development of total anarchy. In this respect, it should be said that, unlike conservative, focused on discipline governments, the government that highly appreciates freedom and creativity, as one of the key notions of arts and disciplines, than it would be quite logical to presuppose that the such government would provide its citizens with ample opportunities to perform their creative work and they would be free in their actions and deeds.
Furthermore, the economic sphere of the country would not be regulated by the government, instead all participants of economic life would develop their own rules of game but it does not necessarily mean that, being free, independent and uncontrollable by state, they would obey to these rules. In such a way, the nihilism of discipline on politics may lead to practically disastrous consequences, undermining social stability and provoking anarchy in the country.
The relationship of discipline and morality
At first glance, it may seem to be a bit paradoxical but discipline and morality are, to a significant extent, synonymous concepts. What is meant here is the fact that human morality is based on the certain set of values, moral codes, rules and norms which are accepted by the entire society. In such a way, the obedience to the moral norms and traditions will make individuals moral while the ignorance of traditional moral values, in contrast, would marginalize an individual and make him absolutely immoral.
In such a situation, the direct relationship between discipline and morality is obvious. Practically, it means that discipline actually implies the obedience to the existing social and moral rules and norms. Consequently, only a disciplined individual can be treated as really moral because any violation of rules and norms leads to the violation of morality. However, it is worthy of mention that discipline and morality are not identical notions. To put it more precisely, the violation of some social norms means disobedience and undisciplined behavior but it does not necessarily mean the violation of moral norms. For instance, hypothetically, an individual that has neither money nor opportunities to acquire some drugs to save the life of his child could go to a drug store and ask for the drug. Naturally, if he gets the drug there is nothing wrong with moral or social laws but, if he fails to receive drugs he will face a dilemma whether to steal the drug and save his daughter or just go away and let his daughter die. If he decides to steal it will be an unarguable violation of social and legal norms and, thus, it will be the violation of discipline but it can hardly be viewed as a violation of moral norms because he commits the crime for the sake of his daughter’s life. Consequently, discipline and morality are quite close but not identical notions.
At the same time, immorality and undisciplined behavior are inevitably interlinked because any violation of moral norms naturally leads to the violation of the discipline, or the established order. This is why it is possible to estimate that the immoral individuals are always undisciplined.
At the same time, it should be said that disciplines and arts are not always viewed as moral. The reasons is quite simple since disciplines and arts imply creative and original work and the work is the more original and creative the more different it is from the existing norms and values, including moral ones. For instance, during the Middle Ages, artists could hardly create works which were not related to religion, or else they could not represent some saints in a way different from the canons. This is why an artist could create a genius work but if he/she represents some saint as a sinful and ordinary being that he would violate the moral norms of that epoch.
Discipline and human experience of the world
Judging from the effects of discipline and disciplines on human life, at large, and politics and morality, in particular, it is possible to estimate that they produced a profound effect on the individual’s perception of the world and, what is more, they actually shape human experience of the world. In this respect, it should be said that willingly or not individuals have to obey to the existing rules and norms which constitute the discipline. Otherwise, they risk to get marginalized and become a sort of outcasts. At the same time, their strong desire to develop their own views on the surrounding world and reality by means of arts, for instance, can lead to the violation of the existing norms. As a result, both disciplined and undisciplined behavior inevitably affects human experience of the world.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that discipline and disciplines are essential part of human life but their extreme realization should avoided because the strict discipline as well as total negligence of the discipline may lead to disastrous consequences undermining social order and stability. This is why it is possible to estimate that discipline and disciplines are essential for human life and they should be harmoniously combined in such a way that each individual could develop freely and independently without violation of rights and freedom of other people.
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