It seems to me that you can break down peoples standards into parts. How we hold others and how we hold ourselves. Another factor involved is the strictness that we actually hold these ’values’.
It is common to hold others to a higher standard of conduct than we hold ourselves. We see this practiced in every facet of life. The politician that makes a law he or she never plans on following, to the janitor that takes toilet paper for home and reviles the dirty cop. If I were to boil this line of reasoning down to one sentence it would be “that which I do may be bad, But, what others do is much worse, therefore I am not that bad in what I do.” It is a factor of human nature. It is never advisable to try to regulate human nature very hard. When it has been done in the past it has been like squeezing a balloon with your fingers, it never actually takes less room. It only bulges out somewhere else, unpredictably, and possibly destroying the balloon (wrecking society).
Some people only grumble at the injustice of the world. Others persecute and prosecute the malefactors. When it is obvious, that those who have taken it upon themselves to force virtue in the world, don’t live the virtuous life they would enforce on others, their moral authority is destroyed and society rebounds away from the virtue that was trying to be forced. This speaks to the strictness that people hold these values on others but not on themselves.
This is why Confucius and Mencius demanded virtue from the rulers (Elite). The moral authority of the Elite is proportionate with the virtue that they live their lives. This is demonstrably true if one looks to history. Rome’s republic was destroyed by decadence long before it was destroyed by Cassius, Pompeii and Caesar. The Elite (Patricians) were becoming more and more decadent. They were basically stealing the land from the returning Roman soldiers. Hero’s of the republic were returning to unused overgrown land with no access to funds for seed and tools. He sold his land for food for his family. With slavery there was no need for labor so the Roman war hero was reduced to poverty. The Elite bought up more and more land and amassed giant estates and great wealth. Controlling the Senate they maintained this state of affairs to enrich themselves to the ultimate destruction of the Roman Republic and their own massacre at the hands of their own countrymen Sulla and Marius. Leading to the end to the political turmoil that had sealed the roads of Rome with the blood of it’s Patricians. Tomes could be filled with other examples.
Perhaps a better way would be to Control the lusts and rapine of the Elite. Instead of trying to force virtue on the masses looking up at a decadent Elite.
Don’t force us to be virtuous, lead us to be virtuous.