by LJ Frank
Ethic is historically contextual. Each age throughout history appears to redefine its meaning. Today the ethic (and conscience) of the Republic is experiencing a Grand Mal seizure.
“Who is John Galt” as asked by Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged is no longer a relevant or objective question when applied to the word ethic and the seizure of the Republic. The decaying carcass of objective thought is laying on the roadside. Albert Camus, the French Algerian writer’s work, Le Mythe de Sisphe, seems more appropriate for this moment – the “absurd is the essential concept and the first truth” for the seizure is shaking the body of the Republic.
The chief motivating philosophical ethic for the Government, Inc., is money and power. Today capitalism is the driver behind the ethical wheel from megachurches to social media from theology to social constructs, ethic is experiencing a convulsion.
The Etymology of the word ethic may be found in Greek, Latin, German and French roots extending back to the Middle Ages though the act itself is considered ancient – primitive tribes throughout the world retained their own moral values – an ethic of sorts. Of course, in the burial sites of the most ancient human sites we find the ethic of cannibalism mixed in with religion and afterlife. Today that cannibalism with its connotations of ritualized communion is about greed. The desire for power, wealth and control of “other” people exterior to one’s privileged tribe.
Moral is a synonym. Each generation may appraise their traditional responsibilities to each other, make adjustments within the limitations of their capability affected by political agendas. Make America great again is a fraudulent lyrical agendized ethic. It’s the branding, marketing and the manipulating of the naïve mind. The viewer is the product. Have we become a nation of Chauncey Gardner’s as in the film titled Being There? Where is the remote to turn the channel?
When an ethical person commits a grievous act, they regret and experience guilt – that is, if they recognize the grievous nature of the act and if they are of genuine ethical character…they step back and examine their character and work on it, as best they can. If they are amoral…then it’s impossible. They are ill-equipped to apologize. The remorse is superficial and acted out through the virtual rather than the actual. A social and intellectual pathology embedded within – the chemistry of the brain remains an enigma.
The seizure of the Republic has arrived – camouflaged in unmarked vehicles and teargas, the military attacks its citizens, while a child dies in a detention camp, and a man says he can’t breathe, a woman’s body is lifeless in a private prison from a pandemic infection, the Senator in Chief averts his eyes and counts the paper and coins in his off shore bank account, a Wall Streeter makes money from another’s suffering, a rampant abuse of power is disguised in smiles and frowns while poverty is violence to human dignity, rises – the Republic is experiencing a Grand Mal seizure. Will it survive (in what form)?