There is a lot of judgement about morality in the headlines lately. The 24/7 cable news cycle is obsessed with it. Surprisingly, many of the self-appointed morality police are from the left of the political spectrum this election cycle. This is unusual because hasn’t the position of the progressives been that judging morality is somehow immoral?
Well, it seems, that was their position when the political opposition was preaching morality. Now that they are not, the progressives simply shift their position to the opposite of what it had been. Does that sound confusing. Yes. It is meant to confuse. That is a tactic progressives use to march forward. The ends justify the means.
Those of us that are concerned about what ends we are being marched towards must not be distracted. We must stop looking at the shiny objects held before us that are meant to blur our focus on the larger picture.
What is the larger picture our gaze is being pulled from? The same picture that social planners have been painting for millennia. A picture that you have no input into the design; a picture that you are placed in.
No motive of the social planners will be assigned here. Some have benevolent intentions, some do not. The warning, for those who value individualism and liberty, is that the direction the planners are pushing our society towards is collective in nature. The planners wish to steer lives and plot the course that must be followed.
Some planners want immediate results, while other are patient. The planners that want to accomplish their goal with the least resistance will seek to nudge individuals. A method used to nudge is to change people’s feelings about things.
That is where morality comes into play. What we as a society expect individual behavior to be is essential to how a society functions. If people have a similar judgement of what is right and wrong, society will operate smoother than if there are different judgements about what is right and wrong.
In Chapter One of “LYING AS A WAY OF LIFE: Corruption and Collectivism Come of Age in America”, by Alexandra York, the concept of morality is addressed and the important role it plays in a society. The chapter begins with the definitions from Random House American Dictionary.
Morality: conformity to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct. Also: the Doctrine or system of morals; ethics; duties.
Immorality: immoral quality, character, or conduct; wickedness; vice.
Amorality: neither moral nor immoral. The Oxford English Dictionary is more specific on this definition. Amoral: not within the sphere of moral sense; not to be characterized as either good or bad; nonmoral.
Of the three, amorality poses the greatest danger to America, because if lying cannot be judged right or wrong it can easily be used as it has been by oppressive totalitarian countries, past and present.
Alexis de Tocqueville concluded this about America when he visited to study the new society across the pond, “America is great because she is good, and if America will cease to be good, America will cease to be great.”
We, Americans, must understand that to be good we must have a definition of good. An amoral code where nothing is good and nothing is bad poses the largest risk to our liberty as individuals.
Alexandra York’s book goes into deeper discussion about how our society is being transformed from within and the last chapter offers some possible cures to the cultural ills she has diagnosed. Some she suggests are, stand firm in your moral beliefs, and influence others, not with your passion, but with objective facts and reasoning. Another is, teach your children to be independent in their value system and refuse to cave into others’ persuasions or threats to conform. Some of these remedies sound simple enough, but they must be followed through on to work.
Other actions she suggests are geared more towards political engagement, not only at the national level, but even more importantly at the local level. There are social planners grabbing power at all levels of our government and bureaucracies are growing. There must be checks placed on them.
The book also points to the group-think that has permeated our education system, the arts and entertainment. It provides a brief history of how Marxists infiltrated academia via The Frankfurt School in the 1930s and how its attitudes are present on campuses and embedded in our culture today. Cultural influences have a great impact on societies. We must be aware of that and make contributions to the culture that reflect our values if we want to perpetuate individualism, integrity, honor, personal responsibility, liberty and other values we hold dear.
Don’t give in to hopelessness. Hopelessness is exactly what those who wish to nudge us in their direction wish for. If we do nothing to push back against those who wish to take our liberty, we will certainly lose it. And once liberty is lost, it is not easily won back.
Diana Erbio is a freelance writer and author of “Coming to America: A Girl Struggles to Find her Way in a New World”.