Ethical Guidebook

A discussion of the difference between our personal values and our public ethics, how mature citizens can support both, and why our love for public ethics must trump our love for personal and group values when they conflict in the public space. Ethics offers a guidebook for evaluating public issues and finding multilateral solutions to endless cycles of values centric conflicts and unilateral violence.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Power of Our Ethics

The failure of Mr. Bush's War, and the core of Mr. Obama's Hope, come down to the same thing: Do we allow our love for Public Ethics (fair play) trump our love for Personal Values (the home team) when they conflict?

Our common love for Public Ethics and fairness offers a check and balance on our love for our Personal Values. Letting our Public Ethics trump our Personal Values when making Public (versus Private) decisions is the very definition of Civic Maturity, the foundation of Democracy, the core idea of the Enlightenment, and the heart of Environmental and Social Ethics.

Real leaders understand the power of Ethics and appeal to our understanding, Bullies only comprehend Values and appeal to our fear and greed.

Our love for Public Ethics and the institutions we nurture and support for fair allocation of glut and shortage, for maintaining a level playing field and equal opportunity, and for multilateral escalation of arbitration and enforcement when Values conflict, will sustain us through crisis.

The sad alternative if one only focuses on love for Personal Values, is endless cycles of Values based fear and greed, and unilateral escalations of self-serving violence when Values conflict.

Therefore as Citizens of a Democracy and of the World, we recognize and nurture our common love for Public Ethics when making Public Decisions and let it mitigate our equally strong love of our Personal Values in our Private Lives. This is the message Mr. Obama understands clearly, and seeks to lead this nation to honor.

This is the message that Mr. Bush's failure to comprehend dooms his efforts to unending cycles of Values based unilateral war.