Ralph Waldo Emerson defines self-reliance in Self-Reliance as a person’s perception or interpretation of truth. Emerson declares, “Whatever is in my best interest, and not what others think, I will do.” He stresses the importance of individual dignity and believes that everyone is capable of finding truth by themselves, using their intuition. He is of the opinion that man is his own master. Emerson encourages his readers not to listen to what the government or society tells them, but rather, find their own truth.
In this way, I am in agreement with Emerson. And I will express my opinions on the matter. Emerson claims that religion and social foundations are useless for forming behavior. Individuals should “trust themselves”. My view is that each individual is unique and should have the freedom to be themselves. It is also their right to decide what truths they want to share with the society. People don’t have to be viewed in the same way. Although those who disagree with this view are seen as abnormal or incorrect, they still pay a high price for their non-conformity. “Let the man who knows his worth keep everything under his feet. He should not steal, peep in, or go around with the air that he is a charity boy, bastard, interloper or even a charity boy. Although we have become better at accepting difference, in some social situations conformity is the only option.
Emerson’s understanding, however, would be a grave danger to the society. In today’s Post-Truth society, debates are often framed by emotion. The government will ignore reports that have been based on evidence, and will instead choose to create a policy or truth that matches their own viewpoints. This happens because people are more likely to accept information confirming their biases. It is reasonable to assume that the political culture of today is shaped by a political discourse that appeals to emotional beliefs rather than a discussion about policy. The truth does not matter in today’s political climate.
The social media platform has been a revolution in the dissemination of information globally. Social media platforms allow anyone to express their opinions, which has led to new actors emerging in the political, public and global arenas. While the concept of spreading false information and propaganda dates back centuries, social media and Internet have made it easier for fake stories to be spread. New Information Environments can have a negative impact on citizens’ voting habits, which could threaten individual security by destabilizing liberal democracies.