On Five Levels of Security

Ass. Prof. Nikolay Slatinski, PhD

  "Paraphrasing Karl Marx’s famous words, we could say that a spectre is hunting the modern consciousness: the spectre of insecurity."
Robert Nisbet [1]
  “Security is like oxygen: you tend not to notice it until you begin to lose it, but once that occurs there is nothing else that you will think about.”
Joseph S. Nye Jr. [2]

  This paper is aimed to try to extend the analysis of the Levels of Security Scheme, proposed in earlier publications such as the article Security And International Relations and the book Security Dimensions [3, 4]. This Scheme includes only the most substantial connections and interrelations and should be considered as a good auxiliary tool in understanding the extent of national security and international security. Therefore, we will examine five levels of security.

  The first level of security is Security of the Individual (security of the particular man, security of the person) and it is called in different manners: Individual Security, Personal Security, Human Security, etc.
  Such security comes to the fore more and more (especially in the West), because it is directly linked not only to the right to live, but to the right of better quality of living as well. In the EU and NATO Member States, personal security has a main emphasis in the “portfolio” of goals and values of the separate individuals. This means that a key element of the assessment of the activity of every government is how it guaranties an acceptable level of individual (personal) security to as many citizens as possible.
  It is important to point out that it refers not only to the generalized turn “for all citizens”, but to “as many citizens as possible”. The democracy is based on the simple rule that those who are more numerous are right and they decide who and under what rules governs, they decide what is expedient and good for the country, even though the Majority has never been a subject (but just an object) of the progress. The Truth has never arisen within the brains of the Majority; the Majority has never headed first towards the barricades and has never paid with its life so that the Truth can prevail. This has always been the deed of some Minority, most often of a few people, who had dared to look Ahead, and to seek the Change, and to show the others the Path to the better or the right decision.
  Thus, Bulgaria has joined the elite club of states and societies, where it is assumed that if most people live in security and prosperity, the country lives in security and prosperity as well; and the ambition of the government is to achieve the optimal number of people, which to constitute such “most”. The determinative part of the mentioned optimal number is usually considered to be the Middle class. How numerous should such middle class be, and how much security and prosperity for it are deemed necessary and enough so that society could be considered secure and prosperous, depends to a great extent on the character, culture and the customs of a particular community.
  In Europe, an excessive stratification in the society is not tolerated, and the redistribution of a considerable amount of the national resources in favour of people, who have sunk or are sinking to the social bottom, is considered reasonable. Thus, the middle class “grants” some part of its income and wealth to the “bottom” layers, so that it could shorten the “distance” between them, and to prevent them from radical actions. In other words, “on its own” it pays an extra for to its security and stability of society.
  In the United States, a much greater social stratification is tolerated and therefore a much lesser redistribution of the national resources in favour of the poor or the getting poorer people is observed. The American middle class “grants” some part of its income and wealth to the “bottom layers” with great reluctance since due to deep reasons, ingrained in the American’s genes through the religion (Protestantism) and the ideology (Liberalism), the American is convinced that everybody is responsible for his life, that life passes in the incessant competition and struggle for success. Or, to be even more precise, in the United States victory is not just something, it is everything, and the one who is number two, is actually first among the losers [5]. So, the middle class in the United States refuses to pay extra “out of its own pocket” to the ones falling to the social bottom and it is its conviction that this will only de-motivate them to struggle for their survival and will turn them into “vermin” groups. What the middle class in the United States reckons that could be done for these marginalizing strata is the state should create conditions so that they could, through work, risk and entrepreneurship, get a chance for a better life.

  The second level of security is Security of the Group of People (security of the community of people) or Group Security.
  In the context of the theory of security, not every group of people is a Group, in view of the fact that to be considered as such the group of people should be intrinsic cohesion, consolidation and integrity among its members caused for instance by common interests goals, notions, fears, which all allow it to differentiate and identify itself as a community. The Group carries in itself basic material and spiritual values, identity, memory, language, traditions and customs. Preserving them is a key aspect of its security. The Group is particularly sensitive to these identifying markers and very often considers a priori that they are infringed upon from the outside or by the the Majority or other groups. In that sense, there is some talk about any complex of vulnerability of the Group. On the other hand, the Majority often burdens itself with the blame for this vulnerability and thus allows the Group to exploit this complex and gain dividends from it.
  The Group could be organized according to different characteristics: ethnic, religious, territorial, social, professional, corporative, sexual orientation. If it is differentiated by using ethnic or religious traits, the Group usually is called a “minority”. In Bulgaria, such minority groups are the Gypsies and the Muslims. Here are some examples of other groups whose security can be analyzed: the Bulgarians of the Western Outlying Districts of Bulgaria (according to a territorial criterion); the extremely-reach Bulgarians (according to a social criterion); the pilots from the civil aviation (according to a professional criterion); the companies (according to a corporative criterion); the gay-communities (according to a sexual orientation criterion), etc.
  As the biggest group of people in the state, Society itself pertains to the groups of people as well and this allows the separation of security of society in one state from security of the State itself. Security of the State is related to objective, absolute, much more conservative and steady categories and priorities (like sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and others). But security of Society is based on much more subjective, relative, inconstant, more supple notions (like safety, living standard, prosperity and others.).
  The concepts of security of the State and security of Society could differ. Society as a community of people is much more susceptible to manipulations and fears; it is misled by ideologies, promises and charismas and could understand its security in a way, which erodes security of its own State. And vice versa, the State, with the immutability of its necessity of security, could skew the views of Society and encumber it with expenses for security, which don’t produce security.
  A number of authors define the Western societies as individualistic, and the Eastern ones as collectivistic. Thus, the “East-West” relation gains interesting dimensions concerned with security. Our Civilization is traditionally considered to have arisen, on one hand, in the Nile River Valley in Ancient Egypt, or in the so called “Land Along One River”; and on the other hand, in the area between the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates, i.e. Mesopotamia, or the Land Between Two Rivers.
  In the Land Along One River, the Big River Nile was an utter sovereign of the fate of the people along its stream and it made them cooperate so that they could cope with its whims and elements. The Life and Time flew from the High Mountains towards the flat Delta, from the Upper Nile towards the Lower Nile, like from the Past towards the Future. Nile symbolized the Arrow of Time: one-way and inexorable, overwhelming and piercing the body and the soul. Everything is transient. The only thing which is eternal is the River, and this is the other name of Time. That is why, the Western culture, which roots are in the Land Along One River, is so dynamic, pragmatic and energetic. It is an individualistic culture.
  The Western man knows that he is only Here and only Now. His life is just a trice of the Arrow of Time’s flight and there won’t be a second trice, if he misses it means the end. The Western, the Individualistic person is in a constant stress because of this. Due to this reason, he is extremely sensitive to his health and is awfully in fear of Death. He hates Death, because it could deprive him of his only chance to realize himself, to leave a trace after himself. He prefers, much more, to Have, rather than to Be, because the thing owned by him is a sign and proof that he had existed and had achieved something, and the “aspiration for amassing wealth, fame and power, has turned in the sense of life”[6]. In the West the Man is the Measure of everything and there no man can ever step in the same river twice, for it is not the same river, he's not the same man and nothing stays the same, so the river and everything will be different.
  Whilst, in the Land Between Two Rivers things are quite different. There, tribes conquered the blessed Land between the Two Rivers, ruining it over and over again after every conquest, and then cultivating and renewing it again, irrigating it, and creating Heaven on Earth. And when the time came for them to harvest the fruits of their work, from the Mountains towards the plain, descended other tribes, which broke the ground and ruined what was created by them and conquered them – so that everything could start from the beginning, until they also transform the blessed plain between the Two Rivers in Heaven on Earth and share the same fate, because from the Mountains descended the next tribes.
  If an outside observer stares from far away at the Land Between Two Rivers, he won’t discern the details, he won’t ask himself which tribes rushed down and which tribes had a sad fate because of this, but he will behold only one and the same cycle: a picture repeated incessantly, magically, irreversibly, eternally. For this observer, logically, immutably Time will flow in a Circle, cyclically and repeatedly; and he will tell himself that he is just a part of some, unknown to anybody of the mortal people, deep and inscrutable design. That is why, the Eastern culture, which roots stem from the Land Between Two Rivers, is so passive, contemplating and irrational. It is a collectivistic culture.
  The Eastern man is calm and meditating. He is aware that if chance is not on his side in this life, then in the next turn of the Circle of Time, he might get a better lot. Therefore, it could be looked on things more philosophically, there is no reason to hurry towards some place or some goal; patience is required. If one sits down for a while at the coast of a river, and he is able to wait long enough and in cold blood, he will live to the day to see his enemy’s body floating close to him down the stream of the river. The Eastern man, the Collectivistic person, has accepted this slow, sanguine view on the things from life. He is not in a hurry, but thinks and seeks the meaning. For him, the sole seeking of the meaning is much more important than finding it actually. He prefers, before everything to Be, rather than to Have [7], because the fact that he has been, that he is forward looking to the spiritual, is a sign and a proof that he has fulfilled his tiny duty in the fulfilment of the deep and inscrutable for himself paramount scheme.
  As result of aforesaid, it becomes clear that in our world there is a global division: of cultures with a high level of individualism (individualistic cultures), namely Western societies and cultures with a high level of collectivism (collectivistic cultures), namely Eastern societies. That is why and how the “East-West” relation assumes new depths and makes people turn over cultural, anthropologic and civilization strata; and for the aims of our analysis it is natural to limit the West and the East to their exclusive attitude towards Security:
● In the West, a community of individuals is in a state of security when all the individuals (or at least most of them) are in a state of security. Here, the main value is Security of the Individual, whereas Security of the Community is a consequence of individual security of all its members (or at least of most of them). This means that individualistic society puts the Individual at its pivot;
● In the East, an individual is in a state of security, when the community, to which he belongs, is in a state of security. The main value here is Security of the Community, whereas Security of the particular individuals (or at least of most of them) is a consequence from Security of the Community. The essence of Collectivistic society is exactly that it puts the Community at its pivot.
  The individualistic cultures are oriented towards solving problems. In them, people communicate mainly to achieve something together and their relationships could be exhausted with this. The key word for these cultures is a “Contract” [8], i.e. we are together because we are bonded by common interests and goals, we are bonded by a common cause, and afterwards everybody could go on the path of his own personal interests. The collectivistic cultures consider the solution of the problem in the context of building relations between the parties, in the context of creating an environment in which overcoming a conflict between them would be a natural result of that environment, of that climate of mutual communication. For them, the key words is a “Contact” [9], i.e. the foremost and main aim is to achieve some level of tying of the interest and cooperation, and afterwards the problem could be solved by preserving the relationships as well.
  The individualistic cultures are cultures of the low context [10], i.e. in them, the deeds and the words should be viewed exactly as they are, unconventionally: Yes means Yes, No means No, Want means Want, Can means Can, and Know means Know. The collectivistic cultures are the cultures of the high context [11], i.e. in them, the deeds and the words should be view in the current context, conventionally, according to the circumstances; nothing is what it looks like and it should be deciphered so that its true meaning could be fathomed, the body language is important and the status, rank, the esteem and “preserving the face” are prized.
  Since the Modern Times, the West became the herald of progress and democracy. It gave a wild impetus to the development and it is an undisputable leader of the mankind. The problem of the individualistic West however is that it is based on the market and the competition, on the private property and the egoistic interest, on the contest and the incessant aspiration to win, to achieve today more than yesterday, and tomorrow more than today. In such circumstances, with such striving and aspirations, the interpersonal relations, values, morals and ethics are affected by great damages; the ends begin to justify the means, and the means are not winnowed when pursuing the ends. Inevitably, a rupturing of the social bonds occurs; the social capital and the feeling of community are scattered; the mutual aid, the solidarity and the humanness are ignored; the sensitivity to the problems of the others is lost; the partner becomes an opponent, and the opponent becomes an enemy.
  The individualistic culture has what to learn from the collectivistic ones, in which the material success is not the only criterion for the merits of the individual. There is a background of relations, such as family, friendship, community relations, which absorbs part of the negative emotions,

1 “Western Outlying Districts” are called the territories situated in Eastern Serbia, which before World War I belonged to Bulgaria.
2 “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man”, Heraclitus of Ephesis.

Высказываний по проблеме мигрантов множество. Но совершенно очевидно одно — никто толком не знает, что с ними делать. Принимать их в нынешних количествах и обустроить Европа вскоре не сможет. Но и остановить их все увеличивающийся поток — тоже невозможно. Поневоле вспоминается последнее обращение полковника Каддафи, сделанное им за несколько часов до мучительной гибели: «А теперь слушайте вы, люди из НАТО! 

Вы бомбите стену, не пропускавшую поток африканской миграции в Европу, стену, останавливавшую террористов «Аль-Каиды». Этой стеной была Ливия. Вы разрушаете ее. Вы — идиоты. За тысячи мигрантов из Африки, за поддержку «Аль-Каиды» гореть вам в аду. И так оно будет. Я никогда не лгу. Не лгу и сейчас». Каддафи не лгал — «люди из НАТО», они же идиоты, действительно разбомбили страну, бывшую стеной на пути миграции в Европу. Теперь Ливия — не стена, из нее самой разбегается еще недавно надменно-благополучное население. Впрочем, американским «людям из НАТО» от этого ни жарко, ни холодно. Бегут-то не к ним, а к европейским «людям из НАТО». Вот этих действительно иначе как идиотами в нынешней ситуации никак не назовешь. Причем идиотизм этот носит совершенно самоубийственный характер… Сегодня.ру
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