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The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 15, 1998

Persons and Personal Identity

Jurate Morkuniene
Pages 33-39

The Preconditions of Social Identity of a Small State in Transition to Democracy

The definition of social identity consists of two parts. First, it means protection against threats to the nation’s existence and well-being. Second, it means the search for measures and possibilities to achieve the goals of social development and improvement. Social identity implies the creation and preservation of conditions in which each citizen can develop as educated, creative and responsible persons. Today, especially for nations throughout the former Soviet Union, the chief danger to social identity lies in the adverse conditions of continued underdevelopment. It follows that for these nations, identity means first of all development. The essential condition for a small nation’s identity and survival is based on the people’s resolution to rely on themselves and to envision the potential for their own country. The modern strategy for ensuring social identity would essentially rely on the principle that every citizen is part of the national identity, i.e., its active agent. For this reason, of central importance is the creation of equal starting possibilities (equality of opportunities) for everyone.

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