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Changing Ethics

 

 

This morning I happened to watch TV for a while – because our Attorney General, William Barr was a guest of the U. S. Senate and was being asked various questions by various senators.

One of them (Senator Kamala Harris of California) asked him – “I KNOW you said that what the president did was Not ILLEGAL … but, DO YOU THINK WHAT HE DID WAS OKAY?”    

(A great question, I thought.  I wish the Attorney General had ANSWERED it.)

 

One might think that when Wm. Barr explains that his role is to determine whether a given act is CRIMINAL  … that he is simply behaving like a LAWYER. But (I am afraid) his is (rather) – thinking like a MODERN MAN.

I actually do not KNOW how widespread the change is; but I’m aware that there has BEEN one.  Fifty years ago, it was ‘normal’ to consider that ETHICS and LEGALITY were NOT equivalent.

In general, people (in the U. S.) had Higher Ethical Standards than what was understood as (merely) Legal or Illegal.

But at some point there came a SHIFT … such that (for many people, especially the young Movers & Shakers  … began to adopt WHAT is LEGAL – as their “ethics”.

One way to look at it – is that ETHICS per se  … were DROPPED … in favor of LEGALITY. And THE LAW became the new ‘ground rules’ that we ‘agreed’ to play by.

 

Consider, for example, the Great Meltdown of 2008.  This was an Economic Catastrophe (which impoverished thousands of people … all over the world) … and it was done ON PURPOSE … by a small handful of ‘modern men’    (playing these ‘new ground-rules’).

 

It’s a degradation.

 

[I include below – an excerpt from a little “play” I wrote several years ago … as it pertains to this topic] :

 

Hi. What’s your name?

Gregg Pravorsky.

How old are you, Gregg?

Five. I’ll be six soon.

Do you like it here? at Vine Maple?

Yeah.

What do you like about it?

The culture, I guess. The kids here are great, and the teachers are very dedicated. They’re smart and well rounded. (I understand they’re well paid; and I’m glad of that.) They’re very good at working together and at getting us excited about the things they reckon are the most important. And they learn too! The whole place is a learning community. But it doesn’t end there. You know ­­ Knowledge should move into Service. So we always have at least one activist project happening.

And right now that’s …?

Right now we’re collaborating with the folks at the Conflict Cafe trying to help people rethink the whole Enemy mindset, which, you know, is quite a prejudice.

Yeah. What would the world be like if we didn’t have enemies?

Well, it would be bad for business.

Maybe we should be in a better business.

(two seconds) Yep. We should.

Gregg, what would you say is the most exciting thing you’ve learned about here?

Well, I guess ­­ in the area of Economics. Ms. Jennings opened my eyes about what

wealth is and where it comes from. She has us imagine that we’re sitting on a cloud ­­ that we can see what people are doing, but we can’t see money. What you see then is ­­ everybody doing things for other people. (three seconds) So the fact that people are selfish ­­ that the whole thing is greed­ driven (you know ­­ people believe that money is real, that money is wealth) ­­ is very ironic. We go about taking care of each other and imagining that we’re selfish! It’s so funny!

I know. It’s very funny.

It is! And then, you know, Ms. Jennings has us think about the Organic Economics of a tree. It’s not hard to understand ­­ that when another leaf comes out on the tree, it’s not at the expense of the tree. The tree nourishes the leaf, of course, but the leaf gives more to the tree than it takes. It’s a sustainable arrangement. Nature functions on the basis of Specialization … and Service to the whole. (two seconds) Maybe we’ll figure it out. I hope so. (three seconds) The big financial meltdown of 2007 and 2008 is very disturbing. A few rascals ­­ hot shots ­­ financial engineers, academics, and business executives figured out a way to make money coming or going. They planned the whole thing … and then they just did it. Because the could. For fun. They impoverished people all over the world! For what? I’m pretty sure every one of them already had more money than they needed. They must have done it just for a lark ­­ just to indulge their power addictions. (four seconds) If you and I knew we were part of a tree ­­ how much sense would it make for us, first to figure out how to profit from the sale of the lumber … and then cut the tree down? And cut it up! And sell it!

Not only is it predatory, it’s self­-predatory! Like self­-mutilation. It’s madness. (three seconds)

I’m afraid so. It is disturbing. But thanks, Gregg, for sharing.

You’re welcome, Nancy.

 

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The link to the entire ‘play’ is below, in case you want to look at it.

 

Also, I recommend you watch the film – “Margin Call”  (2011) … which portrays a “scene” from the big 2008 Meltdown.

 

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https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pp8EPXHkV__y1lQ65wSpQT2hDDio8Gck1YVLSre9jjo/edit?usp=sharing   (Preschool Interviews)

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