Humans, first of all, are animals, with a desire to survive. This desire comes in large part from the Creator that governs us, but at the same time it also comes from each person's personal wishes. Each individual is given the senses and awareness to make use of the time we have from birth to death. The total desire to satisfy our own wishes forms what is called the INDIVIDUAL PERSON.

But we do not live alone. To survive, humans need food, clothing and many mechanisms to protect themselves from external influences such as weather, natural disasters, wild animals, and even fellow human beings. And because it was a necessary need, people gradually gathered together and formed cities and states to manage. And from here appears the CITIZEN in each of us. We must comply with a number of procedures such as having a birth certificate, citizen identification card, and declaration of residence if we want to access important services to be able to become a person who looks like us. safer, happier, happier in life.

Aristotle, the famous philosopher of ancient Greece, commented that there are only two types of people who do not need the state: (1) those who are equal to the gods, whose understanding goes beyond rules and laws. and have the ability to protect themselves and (2) wild animals, that is, those who have no idea or awareness of the laws or institutions necessary to live with others in a just and peaceful way. Wild beasts have always existed, from ancient times to modern times; cold-blooded murderers, or those who only know how to satisfy their own greed without regard to the harm of others. There are many people who stand outside the law and a typical example is none other than Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) with his work Living alone in the forest (Walden), and Civil Disobedience (Civil Disobedience), two works expressing his view of existence outside the law, where INDIVIDUAL people occupy the entire 100% with no room for CITIZEN people. However, most of us belong to the middle group, not like gods nor wild beasts but ordinary people, and therefore the existence of both INDIVIDUAL PERSONS and HUMAN BEINGS is necessary. CITIZEN inside each person.

The necessity of the state in Aristotle's view

Discussing the so-called necessary, in book Metaphysics (p.174), Aristotle discussed as follows: 

“Necessary” means: (a) That without which, as a concomitant condition, life is impossible; for example, respiration and food are necessary for animals, because animals cannot survive without them. (b) Conditions without which good cannot or will not exist, or without which evil cannot be avoided or escaped — for example, taking medicine is necessary to escape from illness, and sailing to Aegina was necessary to recover someone's money. (c) Compulsion and compulsion; that is, that which hinders and hinders, as opposed to impulse and purpose. As compulsion is called necessity, therefore necessity is unpleasant; as King Evenus said: “Everything that is necessary is by nature painful.” (d) also, what cannot be otherwise, we say is necessary. It is from this sense of “necessary” that all else in some way stems; for the term “compulsory” is used to mean something that one needs to do or endure only when one cannot act on impulse, but because of compulsion: it suggests necessity because it cannot be otherwise; and the same is true of the concomitant conditions of life and of good things. For in the one case, and in the other case life or existence, good is impossible without certain conditions, and then these conditions are necessary.

We can see that there are many levels of necessity, and for different situations it varies from person to person, from state to state. But there is one thing in common: necessity is often painful, because it goes against personal motivation with desires that appear without being processed by the rational brain. The state is such a necessity, a product of accumulated rational activity from day to year, age to age. The constant conflict between what we want to do and what we (need) to do is clearly shown through the conflict between the spirit of INDIVIDUALITY and the spirit of CITIZEN since the idea of the state was born and developed. Civic responsibility is a direct consequence of the spirit of CITIZENSHIP. Although we personally want to encroach on the sidewalks to maximize profits for ourselves, the CITIZEN spirit of respecting public property and the experience of pedestrians stops us.

We all know that for a country to be strong, each citizen will have to carry out a series of responsibilities, depending on the circumstances of each state. Soldiers must even comply with regulations that disregard their own lives and put state interests first. But we also know that when each individual can develop their full potential and become an outstanding person, not only will they not become a burden to the state, but they will also contribute a lot to the stability of the state. of that state. Between the individual and the citizen do not always match perfectly, sometimes they even conflict to the point of contradiction, one loses or the other. The ideals of free people always have a strong attraction, and the proof is that the Enlightenment period in the West has become an unprecedented stage for thinkers supporting Liberalism with many different levels such as: John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Montesquieu and many other thinkers. Why is the idea of freedom associated with INDIVIDUAL people? Is it necessary to have freedom to be a 100% individual? Freedom, individuality, or necessity are all concepts that have many levels, that is, ambiguous concepts that can be understood very differently between the speaker and the listener. To thoroughly understand this issue, we first need to clearly understand the difference between things as they are and things created by our thoughts. 

Things are as they are through John Holt's teaching method

The apple in the garden, the dog lying in the yard, the sun shining, our body...these are examples of things that exist. But when our brain records, the apple is round, red, sweet...all are our recognition and conventions. When we describe with our observations and another person reads those descriptions, what they imagine is hardly the same, and most likely even much different, from the thing we describe. The degree of roundness will be different, the degree of redness will be different, the degree of sweetness will be different... (Only when we think things are not important, we don't care too much) When we see the mind For example, a circle touches a line at a point, this is purely a product of ideas, because in reality there are no circles, no straight lines or points. These perfected ideas do not actually exist. Of course they have their role in helping us calculate and predict to serve certain purposes. But keep in mind that they do not exist in reality. If we insist on believing what is in our minds to be the truth then it is pure willism, while to achieve higher understanding it is necessary to maintain skepticism and be open to conflicting information. . However, when put into a competitive situation, we often skip the stage of doubt and go to the extreme of following an option that seems easy and convenient right in front of us. Numbers are what simplify things and it's easy to get bogged down in simplifications.

In the book Learn all the time, from page 75, John Holt wrote the following: 

At some point during first grade, most children will be taught and asked to write down and remember that 2 + 3 = 5. This may be called a “calculus operation,” or an “addition operation.” ”. The child will almost certainly be given a list of such calculations to memorize and repeat as required. Your books and teachers will explain and illustrate this calculation in a variety of ways, such as showing you a picture of a group of 2 chicks, then a group of 3 chicks, then combining the 2 group them into 5 chicks, or some other “cute” thing the kids will like. Another “calculus” that children will be taught is 3 + 2 = 5. Children will almost always hear that calculation as a separate calculation, unrelated to the calculation 2 + 3 = 5. Some children You will wonder why these two calculations give the same result. Occasionally, one of the children will ask why that is. Some teachers might reply: “They are like that, that's all.” Less conservative teachers might answer: “Because addition is commutative.” This answer just creates a big mystery, replacing a small one. Even a child who understands the word “commutative” can say, “I can see that it's commutative but what I want to know is why is that so?” But children usually don't say that, they just sit down and think: "Another incomprehensible thing." Not long after, children will be taught 2 new “calculations”, or 2 “subtraction operations”. One subtraction operation is 5 – 2 = 3, and the other is 5 – 3 = 2. Again, you will hear these as separate operations, unrelated to each other and to the addition operations you have encountered in class. One. Again, teachers and textbooks will give many explanations about the “meaning” of subtraction. At a “good school” where I taught, there was almost a civil war over this. One group of teachers wanted to say that 5 – 3 = 2 means, or could mean: “How much must we add to 3 to get 5?” This is how people count returns in stores – they take the money you give them, subtract it from the amount of money shown on the receipt to get the money needed to pay. It's a completely reasonable method. But a group of other teachers, including the head of the lower grade math department, viewed this as “additive subtraction” (the addition of negative numbers), and said elementary teachers should not use it or allow it. Children use this method to think about subtraction. The head teacher of this subject said that children only understand that subtraction is "taking away". Meanwhile, there are children who are suffering from increasing anxiety (their own and that of their teachers) trying to memorize all the meaningless and unrelated calculations, like Maybe you're learning a song whose lyrics are written in a language you don't know. After about a year, some children are good at learning calculations by rote, but most of them do not know and will never know what those calculations mean – they have joined the group of people who “can't do math”. None of these calculations are necessary. 2 + 3 = 5, 3 + 2 = 5, 5 – 2 = 3, and 5 – 3 = 2 are not 4 operations, but 4 different views of the same operation. Furthermore, it is not an arithmetic operation, perceived and remembered as meaningless numbers. It is a fact of nature that children can discover for themselves, and rediscover or verify for themselves as many times as they need or want. The calculation is: (A) ***** <- -> (B) *** ** If in front of you is a certain group of objects – coins or stones, for example – that looks like a group of objects ( A) on the left, then you can separate this group of objects into two groups like group of objects (B) on the right. Or – and this is what the two-way arrow means – if you have two groups like group (B) on the right, you can combine them into one group like group (A) on the left. This is not an arithmetic calculation but a natural calculation. It's not just true that humans invented arithmetic. It has nothing to do with humans. It is true everywhere in this universe. One does not need to have knowledge of arithmetic to discover or verify the calculation. An infant playing with blocks or a dog scratching at sticks can make the arrangement, although neither the infant nor the dog seem to be aware that they are making the arrangement. such; To them, the difference between ***** and *** ** is a difference that actually has no difference at all. Arithmetic began (and always began) when humans began to pay attention and think about it and about other arithmetic operations in nature. Early in human history, people began inventing special names to describe the properties of a group of things – how many individuals there were. So a group of five kittens, a group of five shoes, and a group of five apples have in common only that there are the same number in each group, so for each kitten there will be either a shoe or a apple, there is nothing left over. And one property of the number 5 is that it can be broken down into two smaller numbers, 2 and 3. Another property of 5 is that it can be split into 4 and 1. And another property of 5 is that it is just There are 2 ways to split it into 2 smaller numbers. If we start with the number 7, we can get 6 and 1, or 5 and 2, or 4 and 3; with 10 we can have 9 and 1, 8 and 2, 7 and 3, 6 and 4, or 5 and 5. Each number can be broken into 2 smaller numbers in only certain ways – the larger the number the more ways there are. (There is a simple, common-sense rule for this phenomenon that children – and adults – might enjoy learning about for themselves.) When we clearly understand in our mind that ***** = *** ** is a natural calculation, we can realize 3 + 2 = 5, 2 + 3 = 5, 5 – 2 = 3, and 5 – 3 = 2, regardless of whether we represent these operations with any symbols or words (such as “added,” “added,” or “taken away”). They are simply four different ways of looking at and talking about the same initial calculation.

Introducing concepts is useful in some cases, but in many other cases it only clouds our understanding. To roughly understand something, we need to have careful approaches and avoid falling into a state of imposing willpower. In the book Underachieving schools, page 23, John Holt used the following example to criticize Jean Piaget's experiment: 

Present a 5-year-old child facing two equal beakers, each filled to the same level with water. It will say that they are equal. Now pour the contents of one cup into another taller and thinner cup and ask whether there is the same amount in both cups. The child will deny it, pointing out that one of them has more “because the water is higher.” The child is deceived by what he sees, and because he has nothing to go on but what he sees. But as they get older, children are no longer fooled: they say the mass is the same and explain what they see with statements such as “It looks different, but it's not,” or “It looks different.” seems taller, but that's because it's thinner,” etc. We're taught that older kids can say things like that, because they've learned, sort of, how to solve this problem in a verbal form, that they are not deceived by what they see. “Language provides the means to free man from momentary observation as the sole basis of judgment.” That's right. Or at least it could. But it can provide the means to say, as humans have done for centuries, along with many logically inferred absurdities, that since it is the weight that causes the object to fall, the heavy object will falls faster than light objects. When we try to predict reality by controlling the verbal symbols of reality, we can receive the truth; we are more able to identify irrational things. Current learning theories are closely related to Piaget's theory. To see the flaw in their argument, we must look at a simple experiment by Piaget. In front of the child, he placed two sticks of equal length, their ends aligned with each other, and asked the child which was longer or whether they were the same length. The child will say that they are equal. Piaget then moved another stick so that their ends were no longer equal, and asked again. This time the child will always answer that this or that is longer. From this Piaget concluded that the child thinks a stick must be longer, and therefore, children under a certain age cannot understand the idea of conservation of length. But what Piaget did not understand or imagine was that the child's understanding of the question and his own were not the same. What does a young child understand by the word “longer”? It means something sticking out. Only after experiencing it does one realize “which one is longer?” What does it really mean, “if you line them up at one end, which one sticks out at the other end?”. Meaning of the question “Which is longer?” Like the meaning of many questions, lies in the procedure you must follow to answer it; If you don't know the procedure, you won't know the meaning of the question. Many experiments on conservation, and other concepts as well, are flawed in a similar way. A child is shown a lump of clay, then the experimenter breaks the clay into small lumps, or stretches it into a long cylinder, or deforms it in some other way, and then asks the child Children see if there is more or less than before. (When the video of this experiment was released to most psychologists and educators, no one thought it worth mentioning that most of the time the child was looking not at the clay but at the questioner's face. , like reading the desired answer — but that's another story.) The child always answers “more.” Theorists say, “Aha! The child says it more because it looks more.” But for young children, the question “Is it more?” means “Does it look like more?” What else could it mean? The baby has not yet had the kind of experience that could tell him that “more” can refer to anything but a momentary representation. I often think: If young children really believed in the conservation that Piaget claimed they did, how would their understanding lead them to act! To make anything nice – a set of toys, a piece of candy or cake, a glass of juice – seem like more, the child will divide it up, hand it out. But they won't break the candy into small pieces and pour the juice into many cups; if not, they tend to do the opposite, gathering them into one large mass. I also wonder, what kind of experiences can make a child aware of the conservation of fluids? How do you know that, when given some liquid to drink, no matter what you put in it, you will only get an equal amount of liquid to drink? Oh, you can learn that if the liquid is small, each swallow must be calculated and sparing. So I wasn't surprised to hear that, when someone tried to bring up the issue of fluid conservation in one of Africa's desert countries, the children there were probably aware of it. from a much younger age. This is no surprise to them.

At this point, we can understand that each individual can have enough reason to perceive things as they are if they do not fall into the matrix of words. However, when it comes to receiving ideas, which are products created entirely by the human mind, all communication tools such as language seem powerless. A state, originally established for the purpose of ensuring the safety of all citizens in the community, has now, for many different purposes, entered into an endless competition, causing all citizens gradually move away from the correct perception of things as they are. Always remember that there is a thing as it is and that so-called ideas are products of our own minds. 

Le Duy Nam, still next

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