united for freedom 

Liberal Financial Morality
February 2015

Liberal Finacial Morality is a Freedom Driven Idolatrous Morality that justifies waste and debt. By the tenets of liberalism a person is not responsible for his or her actions and consequences are costs others pay. Liberal Morality is open ended, conceptual and without substance or grounding and geared towards personal freedom. Freedom as conceived by liberals has no boundaries or limitations. Liberalism is all about the wants and drives of the individual. Society is made both the dumping ground for costs and consequences and the source of all excuses. Liberal morality makes the criminal the victim and society the criminal. Liberals consider the greatest good is to be free and the end to which all humans strive but what does it mean to have freedom in this sense when it is by definition infinite in possibilities? Ones own freedom must ultimately, to be fully realized require one control the actions of others? This makes one the equal of God.

Striving towards a non-realizable goal creates a form of enslavement or addiction. One is never really free in the liberal conception so long as there is some person or force limiting what one can do.

The first need or basic necessity for a liberal is for the Ego or self to survive. Ego existence is the primary or first objective because existence is a prerequisite to freedom. The individual is the carrier of the Ego as the gene is the carrier of the genetic code. Some have argued that the unit of survival is the gene but this only redefines the nature of Ego as a genetic factor. But no individual is able to retain all the elements of his or her humanity/individuality isolated from the rest of our race. The Ego though it considers itself supreme is not able to exist in a Supreme state. The true expression of Ego requires the existence of others and others always impose conditions on the Ego. Therefore the Egos drive to be free is always thwarted by its own needs.

Liberals think they have Knowledge of Good and Evil. Liberals consider what is good is what leads to greater freedom and whatever limits human freedom is of necessity wrong. Knowledge of Good and Evil however is not the same as knowing good from evil. It is worth making the distinction clear.

Knowing good from evil is having the ability of discernment. Knowledge of Good and Evil is being the standard, the measure, the arbiter and the judge of Good and Evil. To have knowledge of good and evil is to be the measure of what is good and of what is evil. By idolizing freedom ones Ego is made the barometer of what is good and what is not good.

When Hitler rose to power the German people thought he promised freedom from all the constraints and ills that at the time impacted the German nation. The end that Hitler envisioned justified the means he used in the eyes of his subjects. The costs created in pursuit of freedom is incalculable.

The moral problem is how to eliminate the subjective basis of our conception of the good. Ego is not the true definition of freedom. True morality requires an objective determination of right and wrong. A desire to be free of all restraint does not define one as a moral person.

Some thinkers have attempted to create a moral code or what might be better referred to as an ethical system or a set of moral laws to guide behaviour using other concepts than freedom. (Read about the difference between morals and ethics). They recognize the need for an objective standard to guide behaviour but positing some action as a solution tends to mask the problem. Acting good does not make one good otherwise prisoners would be the most moral population in the nation.

The most well known attempt to create an ethical guide is probably Kant's Categorical Imperative. Kant suggested that people act as if their behaviour created a moral maxim. But as with all moral rules Kant's Categorical Imperative works best for people who are good and desire to be better and not so well with those obsessed with their Ego needs. A terrorist is unlikely to be slowed in his tracks by thinking that his actions will be a rule everyone will follow. Indeed his behaviour may be prompted by a desire to encourage all-out war.

Many criminals are criminals because they are trying to redress a grievance or are acting in a way they think everyone would act given the same circumstance. In other words many criminals already believe they are acting according to universal moral principles. The maxim of never snitching to the authorities is a principle most criminals live by and defend vigorously.

Ethical codes are in any case not inherently moral. Following a code whether defined as moral or not does not mean one is doing the right thing. A lawyer is required by the Bar Association to defend a client to the utmost of his or her ability. Doctors must always seek to heal their patient. But even in limited applications such as these moral goodness is not achieved nor is it the objective of the code. Many of us think that when a lawyer exploits a loophole in the law that gets his client acquitted a travesty of justice has been committed. According to his ethical code the lawyer has no option but to take advantage of every opportunity to benefit his client. Should a lawyer allow his or her client to be convicted if the only way he will escape being convicted is to exploit a legal loophole? The lawyers job is to defend his or her client to the best of his or her ability. Whether this is moral or not is less the issue than the immorality of a lawyer not fulfilling his or her role in the justice system.

There is a growing belief that doctors should help people die when this is the desire of the patient. Sometimes when a person is kept alive against their wishes the process appears to be morally wrong. One example of this would be to nurse a condemned man back to health so he can be executed. but how can a doctor be committed to saving lives when he or she is prepared to help them die?

The law serves as a bottom line defining minimally accepted behaviour but it does not express the upper limits of what is right.

The law condemns it does not uplift. The legal system does not try to promote right action so much as it seeks to prevent wrong action. The legal system is stronger on the proscriptive side than the prescriptive. Jurisprudence condemns wrong actions and behaviours with greater felicity than it provides guides to right behaviour. Writing law is an exhausting exercise of compiling extensive lists of things one ought not to do. There are always exceptions.

But what category of actions ought to be forbidden? What criteria do lawmakers use to determine what actions are to be made illegal and which are not necessarily good but not specifically targeted for legal sanctions?

Many persons realize different countries have different laws and different values. In one nation speeding means one thing and in another nation speeding is defined differently. Laws are viewed as relative to the context in which they are enacted. They are specific to the country which enacts them. In war it is treason to help the enemy, in peacetime it is illegal to harm the same people. The man one was expected to shoot becomes with a signature on a Treaty a man one must treat as an equal.

The morality of liberals is relativistic and opportunistic for it is always centered on the Ego needs of the individual and encapsulated in a concept such as freedom, justice, peace and so on. Egos are concept-driven.

On a personal level people tolerate friends and family behaviour that would not be tolerated if done by a stranger. We interpret events in a way that favours our nation, traditions and citizens as well as those close to us. Ones man terrorist is another man's freedom fighter; or so some believe. The end justifies the means when the end suits us. The liberal is concept-driven. He or she does not think there are universal laws that apply to all people at all times.

This does not mean liberals do not espouse universal values, such as freedom but ultimately freedom is Ego driven and personal.

Tyrannies strive to elicit obedience from their citizens. This creates tensions between the governing authority and the subject people. People are not easily forced into obedience. People strive to be free even when they are not sure what freedom is they are fairly clear as to what it is not. But even were it possible to force people to obey the law this does not make the State tyrannical as normally understood. A State that governs a people who abide fully with the law implies a State that always acts fully within the law. A State that governs within the law is not technically a tyranny. Tyranny is a State with a freedom-driven ruler. A tyrannical ruler takes Kant's maxim and applies it to the utmost using force and intimidation. The ruler wants to ensure what is a personal preference for him is turned into an absolute rule for his subjects.

In the days of the Divine Right of Kings when the ruler wished to declare war he expected the people to willingly furnish the means and manpower to make it happen. The wish of the ruler became or was expected to become the desire of the people. This is the Categorical Imperative in action.

Rationalists believe rulers and administrators ought to be subject to the same laws as the people. We believe there is a power or principle all people are equally subject to. All are equal under the law. However even an unbiased law has a bias. As one wit observed in a democracy it is as unlawful for a rich man to sleep under a bridge as it is for a vagrant. The imposition of a universal rule can have different consequence at the individual level. It means one thing to a family man to face incarcerated than it does to a career criminal. A fine levied on a poor man can have disastrous results while the same fine levied against a rich man has little consequence.

Governments in trying to produce social justice using the law can create much hardship such as that generated by the laws restricting marijuana use.

A person who strictly follows an Ethical Principle or set of moral laws is not by this made moral. He or she may have no personal sense of what makes an action right or wrong. Such behaviour is akin to smashing into a car because it is running a red light and you have the right of way, according to the light. It is possible to follow the protocols of Fascism or Communism or Capitalism without a qualm. But are the protocols always morally valid? People adhere to the rules of a belief system without concern if others are hurt as a consequence because the rules justify, for them, the actions done. A capitalist may unemploy hundreds or thousands of people without seeing anything wrong in the act because the protocols of capitalism justify laying off surplus workers.

The fact that he is justified by the protocols of his belief system allows him or her to act according to his or her conscience. The business owner is more likely to feel he is acting wrongly by keeping  people employed at jobs that do not generate profits for the company.

Following ethical norms or social dictates does not make a person moral in fact the rules may necessitate going against what most people would consider ones moral conscience. Hitler's supporters may have all been model citizens and ethical in the social milieu the Nazis created but most people would not consider supporting Hitler was consistent with good moral character regardless of what the individual was doing. Making coffee for him and his cronies could be considered immoral.

Slavishly following any set of rules or ethical norms does not constitute morality. Robots or computers are not moral though one could call them ethical since they follow their programming and would do so even if the program required them to terminate themselves. Morality is a distinctly human attribute.

We cannot give up personal responsibility in favour of ethical norms. The soldier at some point must be prepared to disobey a direct order if it is morally repugnant. We can never abdicate responsibility for what we do and this includes the right and obligation to make the right moral choice.

This thrusts the moral dynamic back upon the individual. It is impossible to devise an ethics for all peoples for all times and places that encompasses or takes into account every possible eventuality. If we could it would be at the cost of turning ourselves into machines programmed to run the appropriate sub-routine according to predefined circumstances. Society would also need to be simplified and regimentated to prevent complications from arising and novel situations from presenting themselves. Morality comes down to the question of how can an individual do the right thing in an environment in which he can do anything? Without the option of evil the ability to do the noble thing is equally missing.

But as has been noted individual moral codes are only as valid as they do not infringe upon the moral rights of others. The moral values of a commanding officer for example, ought not to allow him to issue orders that a subordinate would consider so morally repugnant that he could not in good conscience obey them.

The ethics of a community cannot predetermine the moral actions of an individual and the moral values of an individual must not excuse actions that infringe upon the rights of the community. Moral codes must be either objective or they are subjective. If a moral code has been fashioned by the individual it is subjective and subject to modification by the person who formed it. But how can one be subject to something so plastic?

Writing moral codes down does not change the situation. If moral codes can be codified they become legalistic. So an effective moral code cannot be open to interpretation by the subject nor yet can it be so fixed it prevents moral choice from happening. Moral codes cannot take the form of an fixed command or normative rule such as do not lie or do not kill, nor can it be so loose as to be open to interpretation such as is the case with the normative principle: do what is best for the greater number of people.

Every wrong action creates debt or unpaid costs. This is where liberal morality breaks down. Liberals put the desire for freedom above those whom must pay the bill. Wrong actions create costs that others pay and since all costs are levied against the environment all immoral choices have a negative impact on the environment.

Only individuals are able to ascertain values and costs and determine if a course of action is worth the price paid. But this price has to be paid for the calculation to make sense.

Only individuals know if he or she is paying all of the costs his or her actions create. This determination is a matter of conscience as much as economics. He or she can come to an accurate estimation of costs only in a market governed by rational exchanges. All transactions have to benefit the buyer and seller equally. This is why economics holds a central place in moral thinking. A moral action is an action that is economically faultless, that is it takes the form of a rational exchange. Moral wrong doing creates costs not paid for and costs can always be given a monetary value.

Liberals have not fully understood the linkage between economics and morality. All choices have costs and all costs need to be paid. If they are not the environment is harmed, the planet is harmed and all those who rely on or will come to rely on the environment in the future are harmed. The failure to grasp the economic and environmental aspects of morality has allowed Liberals to develop the concept of the free market which can justifiably considered a market free of moral limitations.

If we are interested in living a moral life we need to live to benefit our social networks. This is not a subjective experience. Rational exchanges and morality requires an objective standard of comparison. This is achieved by the use of equity as a measure of morality. We need to increase the equity of our Social Networks. If we increase the equity of an Exchange, which is a formalized Social Network, then we know our actions were moral and economically justified. The earth us the ultimate Exchange and the expression of mankind's Dominion. The equity of the earth serves as the final expression of human morality and an objective foundation on which to determine how moral our morality is.

More on this subject can be found on this web site and in the book 'Under New Management: The Rise Of Social Networking".

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