Dimitris Rapidis

I am not sure if we ever knew what was the real and profound meaning of success. It is more a soci0-economic norm that got established even before the formation of science. It is something that was mere and pure in the beginning of humanity but got unexpectedly complex and superficial since economics and money entered our life.For sure success is built and achieved by personal skills. You have to strive for and struggle to succeed in your life. Everyone has the potential and the skills to succeed, but success is something that does not have a certain meaning. For some, success it to have money and live affluently, for others is to create a family and achieve a professional goal in their life. The wider definition of success entails multiple elements with most-cited the following ones: money, power, security, challenge, influence, family. But if you look more closely and try to reach the motivating factor of success for the majority you will find one word: money.

The micro-sphere of human reality intermingles with state reality in the macro-sphere and there is the meeting point where people get puzzled. People who are involved in politics are also people that get involved in daily life bringing elements and behaviors to both spheres. Scientific research has repeatedly shown that regardless of your origin people tend to measure and define success in relation with what majority decides to define as success. If one society decides to define succes as the achievement in job or the creation of a family, so the rest is tempted to do. If one society sees money as the ultimate success and the means to bring success, so the rest will do. Taking this into consideration, and as societies are influencing one another, we have to look upon what element is the one that receives global attention and all eyes are stuck on and vie for reaching.

In the United States of the 1950s and 1960s, as sociologist Merton was pointing out in his studies, the formation of a hyper-consuming society was considered as the basis upon which liberal market could sufficiently run, produce and succeed. As people were consuming, market was functioning well, the private sector was booming, income was increasing, and people were feeling happy. Happiness is a sub-feeling of success or even the result of success, and so people were believing in and trusting this economic and social norm. Therefore as people are feeling successful when consuming, market is equally feeling successful when producing and selling.

In the Soviet Union of the 1970s, consumerism and wealth were considering as the founding elements of capitalism and therefore were stunted in the eyes of people. State mechanisms were benefiting controlled consumption but mass production in order to bring self-sufficient production and build an intovert and indepedent system of commerce. People where feeling happy and successful with less materialism whereas state economic doctrine was also achieving to convince people that excessive consumerism is leading nowhere. So the state mechanisms were successful as the message was clearly being passed.

In the Nordic States of the 1980s, the so-called Scandinavian model was formed by some concrete elements of public-sharing welfareness; that is a high-valued-and-paid public insurance system, a strong fiscal system, and a modern and inclusive health system. People were learnt to behave having in mind that we need to share our money and gains for the sake of the public system that short-and-long-term would be in place to pay us back in a similar manner. Scandinavians still behave in the same manner taking into account that social welfareness is the system that runs efficiently and brings successful results to their micro-sphere.

What we observe in all models is that money is not finally synonym to success but the fundamental tool for successs. Still, in this period of history with the financial crunch overlooming social cohesion globally and with poverty striking more and more globally, money and wealth need to be partly re-distributed for the sake of humanity’s success. Because as we intentionally forgot to mention, we firmly believe social cohesion isthe fundamental tool for success in both the micro- and macro-sphere.

Without social cohesion you have unrest, you have riots, you have wars, you have instability, you have all these critical elements that impede peace, and therefore production, market, commerce, jobs, wealth, prosperity, and finally you do not have money and success.

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