They say that every occurrence in society has a cause. The cause defines the effect and vice versa. Let us see why the human lifestyle is the way it is, by exploring two sets of causes and effects.
Social Darwinism: This means survival of the fittest in society. Something like "you get as per your merit". In this case, there are no biases. Merit and performance are the only parameters for success.
In this type, there is no element of humanity. Each individual will be catering to his primal instinct. Due to this, there will be chaos and cutthroat competition, literally. This will lead to the powerful becoming more powerful and the powerless becoming more powerless.
Welfare State: This is a concept that we have studied in economics since grade school. As per the concept goes, merit is a parameter. However, justice, and mercy are more important parameters for success.
In this type, individuals will be content with the mediocre and excellence will be extinct. More so, if an individual sees that mercy is helping him survive, then, he will not work, even if he is capable of. This will not affect those in the highest and lowest strata of society. But, the middle class will suffer a great deal.
Both these types are extremes, is true. Nonetheless, they both propound a few very important proponents of what a society should contain:
1. A society should judge an individual entity's credit on the basis of merit, and no other bias.
2. The better a person performs, the more he should deserve, and the more he should receive. Irrespective of what the others might think.
3. As a society, individuals have to co-exist. It is inevitable. Hence, humanity should be maintained, to a reasonable extent.
4. If an individual needs society to help him, then begging for alms is not the way to go.They need to be given an opportunity to prove themselves by just means. If they succeed at that, then the help is done.
Our society is what we make it. Rules and policies cannot be rigid. They need to change from time to time to ensure that the dynamics of the society is maintained.