Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rational Self Interest, Morality & Liberty

How do we reconcile public morality and personal liberty?
“poverty does not create our social problems; our social problems create our poverty.” – Marco Rubio, US Senator-Florida
In a post last week, I observed that the British looters were acting in their rational self-interest, and Bastiatarian took me to task, albeit in a polite and friendly way…
Bastiatarian:
I don't really think the looters are acting in their rational self-interest, though. I believe that they think they are, but it's a very short-sighted self-interest. At the very least, they don't take into consideration the deep and lasting damage done to their characters by such behavior.
So true.  I could not agree more, and I appreciate Bastiatarian's professorial mien.

What I meant was that those lost souls (on both sides of the Atlantic) live in their own narrow world of the id-driven here and now.  Cash, a flat screen and new sneakers are everything, and a little smashy-smashy to get them is just payback to the store owner for being rich.  That is the incentive system the social engineers have put in place.  Get it all while you can, and getting it at someone else's expense makes it all the better, be it free electronics, housing, money or sex. 


We've imprisoned them...
... with shoddy schools and no expectations.  They cannot see over the horizon; there is no future.  We could preach morality, but we have that embarrassing little issue of the DC-NY bandits in suits looting trillions with impunity.


So here we are in the creeping jungle, staring helplessly as it reclaims the space that Western Civilization had cleared

Anyone who has ever raised children or trained animals (remarkably similar activities!), knows that morals are the foundation of individual and societal success.  It doesn't have to be a religious thing.  Simply teaching people age-old virtues that predate Christianity and holding them up as the ideal would get us most of the way there. 
Trestin:
The truth is society needs a combination of the morality championed by social conservatives and the individual liberty championed by libertarians. Freedom does not work without morality, and morality can not exist without freedom.
Bastiatarian:
Exactly right. Without agency (freedom), there is no ability to choose between right, wrong, or anything else. Regardless of the specific system, morality implies that there is also immorality, and vice versa. One requires the opposing other. Otherwise, it would merely be one big clump that is neither morality nor immorality […]

If I have no choice, my actions are neither good nor evil, neither moral nor immoral. They may be beneficial or damaging for somebody, but those actions do not make me moral or immoral.
What about liberty?
Bastiatarian:
Authority without accountability is tyranny.
Accountability without authority is slavery.
Only when authority and accountability are combined can liberty exist.
If the Marco Rubio quote is too high minded for you, here's one from British writer James Delingpole.  He applies it to his home country, but it fits here almost as well:
For those of us who never got to experience the Second World War, this is the beginning of the most dramatic, turbulent and terrifying era of our lifetime. The rules have changed; the old keep-whistling-cheerfully-and-pretend-it’s-all-going-to-go-away political bullshit is no longer valid currency. (Delingpole - What are the Police Good For?)
For an even more provocative take, see conservative David French's short article, The Sources of Poverty.  Be sure to read the comments as well.  Lots of liberal dissenters showed up and made some valid points to the contrary.

For a concise and entertaining treatise on rational self-interest, see:  UNC - Economicae:  Rational Self-Interest 

36 comments:

Always On Watch said...

Cash, a flat screen and new sneakers are everything, and a little smashy-smashy to get them is just payback to the store owner for being rich. That is the incentive system the social engineers have put in place. Get it all while you can, and getting it at someone else's expense makes it all the better, be it free electronics, housing, money or sex.

Materialism, combined with expectations of the Nanny State, is the "new religion." And these people are zealots, too.

In my view, Western civilization has sown the seeds of its destruction. I'm not sure that Western civilization can recover.

Feeling pessimistic this morning, I guess.

MK said...

"Simply teaching people age-old virtues that predate Christianity and holding them up as the ideal would get us most of the way there."

And somewhere in there you need a man with a gun to beat your ass into line when some ignore the teachings.

Unfortunately in Britain they didn't bother teaching them any virtues especially any Christian ones and they didn't let the men with guns beat the ratbags into line either.

Silverfiddle said...

@ MK: And somewhere in there you need a man with a gun to beat your ass into line when some ignore the teachings.

I admire your clarity and keen ability to get to the heart of the matter.

Anonymous said...

Somehow or other we must encourage and train people from the cradle on to understand that they are individuals who are directly responsible for their own actions no matter what their sex, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, or economic and social circumstances may be.

The twin obsessions with victimhood and group identity have encouraged the Us versus Them mentality that fuels the notion that aggressive disrespect, stealing, vandalism and even murder is nothing more than "getting back a bit of our own."

I, personally, didn't start to grow up till I began to understand that the way others behaved towards me didn't matter nearly so much as the way I chose to respond to them.

In other words we owe ourselves and society the best we have to offer, but no one owes us anything, except the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of fulfillment (a term I much prefer to "happiness").

To put it yet another way:

If you're in love with someone, and they don't return your affection, that gives you no special rights regarding that individual, and that individual owes you nothing in return for your ardor.

The ONLY proper way to deal with unrequited love is to take satisfaction in behaving beautifully towards the object of your affection. You do this by graciously accepting their verdict and doing whatever you can to make their life more pleasant -- from a safe distance.

If someone treats you poorly, it's incumbent on you NOT to respond in kind.

Unfortunately, thanks to the deadly, perverse, anti-Christian, pro-aggressive pursuit of victim's rights ideology with which we've been saddled, moral education has been corrupted and transformed into the direct opposite of the belief that continual self-sacrifice and constant consideration of others is a cardinal virtue -- and necessary for the fulfillment of our existence.

I hope this makes sense? It's difficult to put these things succinctly.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

I've long admired -- and drawn inspiration from -- this quotation from an early advocate of "tough love," though he may never have heard the term:

"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you're thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."

~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Yes, Shaw thought of himself as a socialist, and at one point was partial to the idea of Eugenics, but so were a great many well-educated, highly respectable, high-achieving individuals from the pre-World War One era. We mustn't make the mistake the modern advocates of "Social and Economic Justice" do by judging former times by contemporary standards.

Shaw was so much more than any of that. Glenn Beck's recent portrayal of Shaw as some kind of Leftist Monster-Demon helped me to realize how shallow, manipulative and even fatuous Glenn Beck really is, despite the important truths he's brought to our attention. Grotesque over-simplification to serve an agenda -- a primary tactic of the left -- always does a disservice to the Truth.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

There was horrid poverty, much immigrant poverty, in NYC, for example, during our immigration bust. There was horrid poverty in our South among Blacks. Never did we see flash mobs, rarely did we see (if ever?) people destroying anything to get what they want.

Marco Rubio is so right; And, of course, if we have a gov't or 'types' who do think it's poverty which creates our social problems, that's a great excuse for rotten behavior where nobody has to take responsibility for himself.

Fatherless homes, corrupt government, the removal of HEROES from our ethos and even an inability to declare what's truly heroic, making morality "old fashioned and oppressive", "shoddy schools", as you put it so aptly, nasty-behaving celeb worship.......where DO we go from here?

Funny, my word verif. is 'readsane'....we always do that here :-)

Z said...

I just read the French article and only the top comment because it stopped me in my tracks.
It felt like Laura, the commenter, was suggesting that because she's poor and has suffered greatly now, though she and her husband did all the 'right things'(and I applaud her for them), she's to be considered by Mr. French and people who share his philosophy as depraved and self serving and part of America's problem and the free market has failed her.
It's an attitude that puzzles me; it's as if nobody can just have very bad luck despite doing one's best...and it must be the system's fault.
I believe that liberal Americans follow and encourage this line of thinking; "if it's not perfect, we need government help to pull her out of her problems, we need a law to legislate into perfection what is not perfect", etc.
I honestly don't mean to blame liberals on this; but her comment struck me as smacking of this prevailing thought pattern which does perpetuate a kind of personal liberty crisis and a crisis for Americans who do not agree with government as the only solution.

Ducky's here said...

The National Review gives a sensationalist partially true review, no surprise from the fringe right media.

Yes, there is an underclass criminal element. It's entrenched and frightens the daintier among us.

But what this article, along with douche nozzles like Rubio ignore are the huge numbers of people who have done the right thing and are without means and without much hope. They don't act out so things just decline and they are ignored. They do not have a crisis of values. Marco Rubio (R - Douche nozzle) has a crisis of values and we go nowhere till that is understood.

But we don't see this as a structural failure of the West, rather we duck the whole problem and imagine some of us are where we are because of good choices (i.e. good luck) or because we are part of the elect, that disgusting idea.

No the problem is the the quotes aren't high minded enough. They are just cheap anecdotal cop outs from the Calvinists and the Randoids who have crowded out reasoned discourse.

Silverfiddle said...

Ducky: I don't know anyone who thinks they are successful because of some Calvinistic belief or being part of an elect.

It is a system problem. We incentivize bad behavior and the personal and corporate and government levels, and we reward failure.

Virtuous people get laughed at by those "getting over."

Silverfiddle said...

Z: Ducky and the young lady commit the error of pointing to a statistical aberration.

Saying that the poverty rate is lower for those who get married and go to school does not mean that is's 100%. It's obviously not.

I don't know why the lady took offense and assumed the author was talking about her. If I were in her position I would probably be testy, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm posting this, because it's Sunday and the commandments are always relevant to all our moral and political problems -- besides it's kinda cute:


 
 

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS SOUTHERN STYLE
 

1      Just one God.


2      Put nothin' before God.


3      Watch yer mouth.


4      Git yourself to Sunday meetin'.


5      Honor yer Ma & Pa.


6      No killin'.


7      No foolin' around with another fellow's gal.


8      Don't take what ain't yers.


9      No tellin' tales or gossipin'.


10   Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff.



Now that's simple, plain an' direct, ain't it? Jest what chall need.

Y'all have a nice day now, ya hear?

~ FreeThinke
 
 

Z said...

Silverfiddle, I had to smile reading Ducky's comment; it played exactly into what I'd predicted.

I surely can't blame the woman for being testy, either, but she jumped to that ridiculous conclusion that anybody actually thinks people who did all the 'right things' and don't succeed are part of ANY PROBLEM. Who'd think that? Who'd jump to that silly conclusion unless one has an ideology that demands we blame and get defensive over everything?

There's a lot to be said for "Sometimes S*** just HAPPENS" ....because, sometimes, it just does and we need to feel badly for the situation and help if we can and stand up to it as well as we can.

Anonymous said...

Some salient points from the article on Adam Smith that deserve special attention:


While chair at the University of Glasgow, Smith’s lecture subjects, in order of preference, were natural theology, ethics, jurisprudence, and economics ...


”[However] selfish man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature which interest him in the fortune of others and render their happiness necessary to him though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it.”


Smith did not view sympathy and self-interest as antithetical; they were complementary. “Man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only.”


Someone earning money by his own labor benefits himself. ... he also benefits society, because to earn income on his labor in a competitive market, he must produce something others value.


Smith saw the main cause of prosperity as increasing division of labor. ... Smith asserted that ten workers could produce 48,000 pins per day if each of eighteen specialized tasks was assigned to particular workers. ... [without] the division of labor, a worker would be lucky to produce even one pin per day,


[Adam Smith explained] why wage rates differed. [Wages] would be higher ... for trades ... more difficult to learn, because people would not be willing to learn them if they were not compensated by a higher wage. ... [Wages] would also be higher for those who engaged in dirty or unsafe occupations ...


In the fourth book of The Wealth of Nations—published ... in 1776 — Smith told Great Britain that its American colonies were not worth the cost of keeping.


[Adam Smith believed] the primary advantage of trade ... was that it opened up new markets for surplus goods and also provided some commodities from abroad at a lower cost than at home.


[Adam Smith] believed that government had an important role to play. ... Smith believed the government should enforce contracts and grant patents and copyrights to encourage inventions and new ideas. He also thought that the government should provide public works, such as roads and bridges, that, he assumed, would not be worthwhile for individuals to provide. Interestingly, though, he wanted the users of such public works to pay in proportion to their use.

What may seem like good old-fashioned common sense to us may not be so "common" after all, since it came from such a distinguished source as Adam Smith. Let's hope his thoughts are not be forgotten.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't dismiss the theory of Virtue Ethics as described in the Wiki article cited, but let's face it when all the pomp and pageantry of Pedaguese is stripped away [One of my favorite professors described reading typical academic prose as tantamount to ingesting a soup plate full of steel filings!] the nuts and bolts of it is simply rooted in Common Sense.

Unfortunately, a already noted, Common Sense has become increasingly rare in the modern world where mediocre minds attempt to portray themselves as distinguished by inventing all manner of elaborate, convoluted esoteric terminology for things that would be far better explained in plain English.

At the risk of sounding corny I won't hesitate to say that in the simplest possible terms "Virtue is its own reward."

What a grand world it would be, if only more people understood that, instead of always trying to deny it, defy it or subvert it!

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Having spent a good deal of my life below the statistical poverty line I would go even farther than Marco Rubio, and dare to say, Poverty is much more a state of mind than an economic condition.

One doesn't need to be affluent to read good books, listen to good music, improve one's mind by taking courses and attending lectures, visiting museums, appreciate the beauty on display in public parks and gardens.

One doesn't need to be rich to cultivate interesting friendships with worthwhile individuals. One needn't have pots of money to enjoy cooking good food and eating sensibly.

One doesn't need to be well-healed to avoid contact with trashy pop culture. In fact it's absolutely amazing what one can do with one's time when one can't afford to let oneself be ensnared by expensive, highly touted popular items and trendy pursuits the advertising industry has conditioned the mindless masses to think they can't live without.

One needn't be rich to read and study the Bible, to go to church, to attend town meetings, and try to contribute something worthwhile to community life.

In fact the more one thinks of "all that is lovely and of good report," the less one thinks of oneself -- the less "poor" one is apt to feel.

And you know what? Getting out into the world with the idea that you may have something to contribute to the well being of others is likely to attract favorable attention to you, and pretty soon opportunities may come your way you never dreamed of and "poverty" will become a thing of the past.

Read the quotation posted from George Bernard Shaw earlier on this thread. As usual, GBS was really onto something.

Self pity, and self-serving maneuvers are not only unattractive, they are downright loathsome.

In Sunday School they taught us "The Lord loveth a cheerful giver."

No matter how bad your condition might be there's always someone worse off than you. Go find that person and try to cheer him up. It will do wonders for both of you.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

An Excellent Motto for All Times:

IF IT IS TO BE, IT"S UP TO ME.

Or, as another beloved professor once said:

"NO ONE CAN EAT YOUR DINNER FOR YOU."

I have just read Mr. French's article, and I have to say that while I agree with much of what he's said, I find the tone a little smarmy and self-righteous. Very frankly I do not believe in teaching people they are miserable sinners who are just no damned good, and that their lives must be lived in a state of perpetual atonement for being members of a FALLEN species -- i.e. simply for the terrible SIN of having been BORN.

I do believe in feeding very young children material that will stimulate their imagination while uplifting and enhancing the quality of their future dreams and aspirations, thus fostering worthy ambition in their hearts.

There is so much richness and beauty in the world readily available to all who are equipped to see it and willing to take it. Good children's literature encourages the development of empathy and compassion -- tender feelings of affection for people and animals, sensitivity to wonder and appreciation of beauty.

Children -- all of us -- need to broaden our SPIRITUAL horizons, enrich our capacity to imagine, envision better ways of living, intuit understanding and express love, loyalty and devotion.

What we do NOT need is Negativity whether it be of the Marxian Class Warfare kind or the warped Calvinistic attempt to foster a grovelling sense of deep unworthiness and self-hatred.

If you've ever really read through and understood the Pentateuch -- every word, unflinchingly -- you would understand why Judaism has attracted so much unfavorable attention to its followers and why most of the orthodox Christian sects have failed in their mission.

Crass, consumer-based materialism is bullshit.

Marxian Dialetical Materialism is bullshit.

The kind of Christianity that causes such fear of being human that the intellect becomes paralyzed with a sense of hopelessness and despair is ALSO bullshit.


It encourages enslavement to mindless, formulaic morality that could have no meaning to the individual. Intelligent, thoughtful people instinctively reject this -- and rightly so. The trouble is that for the most part they've replaced it with modes of thinking that are even worse.

Here's another motto that might be helpful:

STOP CONDEMNING; START CONSTRUCTING!

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

And to those addicted to moaning and wringing their hands while playing the game identified by Eric Berne as AIN'T IT AWFUL! I say:

KWITCHEBELLYAKIN!!!

I first ran into that emblazoned on a T-shirt back in the Sick-sties. It never fails to bring a smile to my lips.

If you really believed in the Gospels, you would take this excellent advice therefrom:

BE OF GOOD CHEER!

And while I'm sloganeering away, here's the best piece of advice I've ever found:

DON'T LET THE BASTARDS GET yOU DOWN!


Cheerio!

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

FT: I too found French's article a little too preachy, and I thought some of the pushback in the comments was justified.

Morality is key, but no sense in getting on your high horse about it.

Adam Smith's harmonization of morality and free markets is why I prefer him over Ayn Rand's sterile Nietzscheanism.

conservativesonfire said...

Dignity comes from work and self reliance. If one's dignity is destroyed for whatever reason, is it any wonder that this person is indignant toward others.

Silverfiddle said...

And yes, Rand makes perfect logical sense. But since she excludes God and mocks believers, there is no room there for me.

Ducky's here said...

...to that ridiculous conclusion that anybody actually thinks people who did all the 'right things' and don't succeed are part of ANY PROBLEM. Who'd think that?

-----------

Their growing desperation IS THE PROBLEM. Got it?

Ducky's here said...

”[However] selfish man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature which interest him in the fortune of others and render their happiness necessary to him though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it.”

------

Or right wingers can take a mathematics course, study game theory and learn the necessity of cooperation for optimum results in many problems.

Last man standing is the province of suckers who think they'll survive The Full Ayn Rand.

Anonymous said...

SIlverFiddle,

I am old enough to remember Ayn Rand when she made her first big splash on the New York scene. The New York Herald Tribune and the New York Times wrote reams of editorial about her. She was popularized in magazines, and did numerous interviews on television.

I was very young, but pretty aware for a kid, and I remember looking at her and thinking how repugnant a figure she was -- definitely someone you would not want to invite over for lunch or a cup of tea. She was dour, harsh, humorless, and haughty. To me she seemed downright belligerent.

I am religious, although by no means orthodox in my beliefs, but when I learned that she regarded The Sermon on the Mount as "anathema" that was the end of Rand for me.

Nevertheless, I do believe she made important points in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, which I read when it first came out -- without much comprehension of its social signifiance," I'm afraid.

Leaving God out, puts her in a similar category with Marx -- just as Ducky claimed the other day. Dialectical materialism and Rand's brand of materialism are not all that far apart in the deleterious impact they have on the human psyche.

Thanks for putting up such thought-provoking stuff.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

As I said earlier -- and will doubtless say again and again:

NATTERING NABOBS OF NEGATIVISM SOLVE NO PROBLEMS, CUT NO ICE, BUILD NO BRIDGE, HEAL NO DISEASES, GIVE NO HOPE, OFFER NO HELP, AND FEED NO STARVING CHILDREN.

Got that?

~ FreeThinke

OD357 said...

I like what Sir Max Hugh MacDonald Hastings, the British journalist said about the London looters.

"The people who wrecked swathes of property, burned vehicles and terrorised communities have no moral compass to make them susceptible to guilt or shame.

Most have no jobs to go to or exams they might pass. They know no family role models, for most live in homes in which the father is unemployed, or from which he has decamped. They are illiterate and innumerate, beyond maybe some dexterity with computer games and BlackBerries.

They are essentially wild beasts. I use that phrase advisedly, because it seems appropriate to young people bereft of the discipline that might make them employable; of the conscience that distinguishes between right and wrong.

They respond only to instinctive animal impulses — to eat and drink, have sex, seize or destroy the accessible property of others Of course it is true that few have jobs, learn anything useful at school, live in decent homes, eat meals at regular hours or feel loyalty to anything beyond their local gang.

This is not, however, because they are victims of mistreatment or neglect.

It is because it is fantastically hard to help such people, young or old, without imposing a measure of compulsion which modern society finds unacceptable. These kids are what they are because nobody makes them be anything different or better."


Now that said, for all the talk about positive motivation, negative motivation works also. Society needs to send a strong message. There will be consequences for bad behavior. And it will be severe. And don't whine about schools. Excessive money has been thrown down this sewer pipe time and time again. While I'm not against some of my money going toward the betterment of the unfortunate. I personally have no control to force persons to take advantage of it.

It's not that a secret world is being harbored for only a select few. Study after study has narrowed it down. Work hard, get educated, do no criminal acts, marry and stay married. That's it. The time tested formula. Take it or leave it. Just stop yer bitching when you choose the latter.

Anonymous said...

Yes, OD, all of that is true, but what Sir Max hasn't stated -- because no one except an unabashed old Tory like me would dare say it -- is that this is the consequence of importing large numbers of unassimilable non-whites into a white society in which they are unprepared to participate except on this sub-human level.

Very frankly it was asinine for Britain to encourage these people to stay in Mother England. It's another terrible legacy from the days of the Empire. I'm morally certain modern Britain allowed this cultural and racial pollution to occur out of a sense of guilt for ever having conquered these savages in the first place.

A complete fuck up, if you ask me.

Nobody but a fool begs for trouble on bended knee, but that's what the Brits have done. Now they're paying the price.

We can try to rationalize all we like, but what I've said is the truth -- unpalatable as it may be to hose obsessed with political correctness.

No one could possibly hope to correct one grievous error in judgment by making yet another.

~ FreeThinke

OD357 said...

This is true, I can't argue about Britain's lousy immigration policies. But sadly, this example is made up also of white Anglo. And a lot of the innocent shopkeepers where southern Asian.
It comes down to personal accountability. Most of this break down stems from the family break down. With younger kids the mother plays a more important role. With older ones the father. Most of these Hooligans probably don't even know who is their fathers. And that is because society has slowly encouraged that,, dare I say empowered that.

Z said...

Ducky "Their growing desperation IS THE PROBLEM. Got it?"

And some don't BLAME...get it, Ducky? Don't you grasp what the commenter was saying? Why not? She's acting as if French is blaming her or including her in the problems of society.....he is not. Nobody does. She tried, she did not succeed as she'd hoped for many reasons: If you read all the comments in their totality, you'll understand better what I was saying, Ducky...don't jump to your ideologically-biased conclusions; it's a waste of time for everyone.
thanks.

Silverfiddle said...

Ducky: I doubt those Wall Street "wiz kids" who crashed the economy and crafted the exotic financial instruments are rightwingers.

From all accounts, they have no ideology besides Moloch worship.

Silverfiddle said...

OD: I read that as well. It's about time we start talking about this stuff again, and holding people accountable.

Anonymous said...

Ducky, you may consider both of your ideologically motivated wrists soundly slapped.

Cheerio!

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

" ... this example is made up also of white Anglo. And a lot of the innocent shopkeepers where southern Asian."

Good morning, OD. I'm not suggesting that all non whites are unified or bring the same cultural perspective to white societies. Blacks tend to resent Asians in our country very much, and in my experience respectable Hispanics tend to look down on blacks.

My point was that the presence of these alien populations in large doses tends to change the mores of the indigenous white population -- and not for the better.

Doubtless God, who always works in mysterious ways, had some purpose of His own in creating human types so markedly different from one another that they were bound to arouse suspicion, resentment and misunderstanding on contact, but I've never been able to figure out what it might be.

Meanwhile, it's a reality we must learn to live with.

I see it all as part of a long chain reaction. How we might break the chain and start afresh I don't know, but it's the only thing that could save us from reverting to savagery, I'm afraid.

Have a good one.

~ FreeThinke

OD357 said...

Anonymous, I now see the point you were trying to make. But some of these thugs would have turn out like they did even with zero immigration. Years of liberal doctrine amoral punks.

No we do not have to live with them. They must change to become what it expected of them. They have to contribute to the well being of society, not tear down it's very foundations.

That's why society exists in the first place. Humans learned to live together early on. Our very strength is our civilization. And people of civilizations decide what is beneficial to the majority. They make rules and laws governing themselves and expect all to perform to the expected norm. To not do so would result in chaos and savagery.

Rob said...

We're setting up our society to be perpetually bereft of values given how we do everything short of reward (hell, in some cases we do reward them!) illegals for pouring across the border.

But I agree with OD that this isn't an immigration-based issue. It's a generational issue. The further away we get from the stability of traditional families, the more we're going to plunge down the rabbit hole of depravity.

And yes, there must to be some price exacted for those failing to subscribe to at least a bare minimum of societal norms. Our system of punishments is so badly skewed that going to jail in the real world is not much unlike going to jail in Monopoly - a welcome break before you have to battle the odds again.

But that also means that we have to continually re-evaluate what those norms are and make corrective adjustments. You can't trust the car to drive itself unless you're intent is to end up in the ditch.

Rob said...

Dangit, look at that. I got so flustered that I mis-used an apostrophe. And that's practically a sin for a guy with one of those funky little squiggles in his own name!

Trestin said...

I've been away for a few days.

The moral downgrade is something that cannot be ignored in the 2012 election.