by Panos Eliopoulos1
1 University of Ioannina (Ioannina, Greece)
Received: April 12, 2019 / Accepted: April 24, 2019 / Published: April 29, 2019
In postcolonialist studies it is often neglected how the correlations between oppressor and oppressed are often more dubious than originally thought of. In our analysis it is attempted to discern limitations in moral and political action as well as the subsequent derogations for individual identity. These limitations for both sides, the oppressor and the oppressed, claim a degree of a problematic allusion of freedom and responsibility over one’s own actions. For example, for Nietzsche, freedom and protection of personal interest come only as consequences of a management of resistance, as different people handle their affairs differently according to their perceptions on their identity. This notion of separation and distinct responsibilities that are assumed according to freedom interferes with our discussion on colonialism and oppression. For the German philosopher, the concept of a human subject presupposes its evolution through a historical and psychological process. Morality or moralities are revelations of the inner insights of cultures, signs and symptoms that disclose certain truths about people’s or communities’ ideals. But even taken in this manner, morality may be considered as a parameter of pressure for action and for assumption over a certain identity. In our paper we are mainly going to approach how this latent moral pressure on identity may be a more critical factor than initially considered as regards human action. Moral deterioration into oppression does not merely depend on parameters such as power but also on conceptualizations of power and on the surrender of sovereignty, even for lesser reasons than incapability for action. While for Nietzsche moral liberty is a matter of consciousness and is directly related with personal interest and identity, for Mill morality has to do with norms, rules, and has a canonical influence that produces utility through an altruistic approach. Contrary to Nietzsche, Mill does not comprehend how rules are dependent on other people’s experiences and not on the personality of the individual even though he speaks of rational autonomy. For Mill even intention does not make a profound difference to action. In our discussion, references to Benjamin Constant and Thomas Hobbes also aim at disclosing further insights about this issue.
Keywords: Colonialism, Oppression, Identity, Personal Interest, Moral, Mill, Hobbes, Nietzsche, Constant
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Eliopoulos, Panos (2019) From the Moral Limits of Personal Interest to the Derogation of Individual Identity: Colonialism and Oppression. Ukrainian Policymaker, Volume 4, 4-12. https://doi.org/10.29202/up/4/1