30. Corruption – whether individual or organizational, financial, moral, artistic, social, or intellectual – is not new. What is new is the public’s inability, if not refusal, to constrain behavior on the grounds that there is no valid standard by which to judge it. This attitude is termed “moral relativism” and it holds that most choices are of equal value; in other words, because all individuals are philosophically equal each opinion, interpretation, and judgment should be considered to have equal value. This reflects a step away from understanding the interdependence of morality and governance – and the hard-won reality that some choices are better than others, demonstrably better. In today’s world, by way of example, the media’s portrayals of a moral society (or the less than moral society that they display)ATJ help create forces that sometimes work against the universal lessons learned during thirty centuries of social evolution….The loss of that higher degree of virtue in society endangers the opportunity for a viable democratic republic. Our everyday world rests on a foundation of reciprocity that is largely unstated (we owe gratitude to those who have passed and a duty to those in the future to do the right by virtue of the blessings it has brought us and will bring them)ATJ, but is equally universally understood. If that commonality is not present, a free society can exist, but it is more likely to be anarchic than angelic.
- Thomas N. Tripp – First Principles, 2008
97. When authority presents itself in the guise of organization, it develops charms fascinating enough to convert communities of free people into totalitarian States.
- The Times (London)