The Right of the Community to Pursue its Self-Expression

There are three terms in human life which each must find their own fulfillment and at the same time, their harmony with one another and within their own term.  These are the individual human being, the community (of whatever size or form), and humanity as a whole.  Fixating on one of these, at the expense of the other two terms will lead to imbalances; similarly, aggrandising one individual, or one nation at the expense of the others is also destined to bring about disharmony and imbalances in the development and growth of humanity and its constituent elements.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “The nation or community is an aggregate life that expresses the Self according to the general law of human nature and aids and partially fulfils the development and the destiny of mankind by its own development and the pursuit of its own destiny according to the law of its being and the nature of its corporate individuality.  It has like the individual the right to be itself, and its just claim, as against any attempt at domination by other nations or of attack upon its separate development by any excessive tendency of human uniformity and regimentation, is to defend its existence, to insist on being itself, to persist in developing according to the secret Idea within it or, as we say, according to the law of its own nature.  This right it must assert not only or even principally for its own sake, but in the interests of humanity.  For the only things that we can really call our rights are those conditions which are necessary to our free and sound development, and that again is our right because it is necessary to the development of the world and the fulfilment of the destiny of mankind.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle: The Psychology of Social Development, Chapter 7, The Ideal Law of Social Development, pg. 70

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