Societal Ethos

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that one of the biggest problems with the modern ethos is embodied in a advertisement that I heard the other day. It was making the valid point that people shouldn’t park in handicapped parking areas if they are not handicapped. The part that piqued my interest was one line; “Parking in a handicapped space is not just wrong it is illegal.”

What makes this line stand out to me is the priority of wrong. By the order of the harms it appears that, in the mindset of the person writing the commercial, to do something illegal is worse than to do something morally wrong… When in reality the exact opposite is true.

For example, it is legal for Prudential Insurance company to rip off the widows and orphans of American soldiers killed in action. But at the same time it is morally reprehensible. While it is illegal to build within the zoned setback in the area that you live in. The one is reprehensible and the other is simply rude.

The pernicious idea is that, people hold Man’s law above God’s law, the worldly over the divine, the passing over the eternal. It makes us feel, as long as I am not breaking the law, whatever I do, without limit, is ok. Changing the societal ethos to, that which is immoral should be eschewed; that which is illegal must be eschewed.

When people value the law of Man over the law of God government must necessarily get large. Ever larger government to regulate ever smaller portions of daily life. More and More to do less and less. Building tension until societal structure catastrophically fails and there is a general breakdown.

Because government is like the roof of a house. The roof should be light, sound, watertight and long lasting. The people are like the foundation and business the structure. The roof cannot long support the foundation no matter how strong it gets. Else the Law of physics is violated and being one of God’s Laws it must necessarily have dire consequences were it violated. There is no political out for the Elite no matter their worldly power… Even Marius the enemy of Sulla, died a horrible death despite his immense wealth and power.

But where a people practice self control there is necessarily less need for government. Self sufficient people need no dubious help from government, self sufficient people need less policing, self sufficient people need less regulation, self sufficient people are a threat to the power of the Elite.

Livy pointed to these issues in ancient Rome. He was ridiculed for his portentous advice. Because Rome would fall exactly as Livy said it would, for largely the reasons he claimed. What has happened in the past, is proven possible, thus can happen in the future. To believe otherwise is to be willfully ignorant.

But it is the Elite’s self interest to, nudge, society away from self sufficiency. Take for an extreme example laws against holding firearms. No liberal democracy on Earth does not have a monopoly on violence in it’s jurisdiction. Only in the poorest and nonfunctioning States does the State loose it’s monopoly on violence. With it’s monopoly on violence, (a part of the social contract), the State is empowered to take the property, rights and lives of it’s citizens in the form of taxes, punishments and coercion. Some legitimate some illegitimate. But all are universal powers of the modern State.

But where guns are the most illegal for the citizenry to hold we see the State has the least monopoly on violence. Mexico is an example. The Elite argue that guns are too dangerous a right to allow. It’s misuse results in human deaths. Ignoring the obvious counter argument, that the right to free speech is far more dangerous then the right to keep and bear arms, their argument flies in the face of the modern States monopoly on violence.

But what is the result of an unarmed citizenry? People who are utterly dependant on government for protection. If a person breaks into the home of an unarmed citizen the citizen is at the mercy of the invader, (never a good position to be in), but the home invader who enters the house of an armed and prepared citizen, is in mortal danger.

The Elite argue, we are not to be trusted with arms, despite our demonstrated morality, but they can be trusted with a monopoly on violence, despite their demonstrated corruption… And they are believed because in our hearts we all want a big brother to look after us… Or do we?

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