Monday, June 21, 2010

Moral Authority

Mr. Quarter has often pondered the issue of "Moral Authority" and "Moral Relativism" in the West generally and in the United States specifically. Why is it that maintaining moral authority is perceived as advantaging our nation as opposed defeating our opponents and making our adversaries kneel before us? This is particularly puzzling since reality is that the much of the West practices moral relativism, forgiving the means if the ends are worthy. Shelby Steele opines in today's WSJ on the issue of moral authority had how it has constricted our ability to defend our selves and address the problems that are leading to the rapid demise of our nation. Mr. Steele observed that:

"Today we in the West are reluctant to use our full military might in war lest we seem imperialistic; we hesitate to enforce our borders lest we seem racist; we are reluctant to ask for assimilation from new immigrants lest we seem xenophobic; and we are pained to give Western Civilization primacy in our educational curricula lest we seem supremacist. Today the West lives on the defensive, the very legitimacy of our modern societies requiring constant dissociation from the sins of the Western past—racism, economic exploitation, imperialism and so on."

For 10,000 years, human beings have survived and flourished individually and as societies not by maintaining their moral authority, but by making sure to win all contests with their adversaries and preventing their adversaries from every gaining advantage. This is not moral relativism. Rather it is self-interest and self-preservation. Works rather well. Maybe we should rethink and re-calibrate?

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