I am increasingly reminded of that famous biblical story about Sodom and Gommorroh, Genesis 18:20 – 19:30, in which Abraham tried to intercede on their behalf with God, until he couldn’t find any righteous person, and so the cities were destroyed. It is a common pastime in western democracies to blame the government for all the inadequacies of a nation. And certainly the men and women who sit in government seats must take their share of the blame for the inequities within a nation. However increasingly I have realized that the person living in my street is likely to be twice a corrupt as a politician. And the person in my street works for a pharmaceutical company, manages a building company, is a financial adviser, is a doctors union, an advocate lawyer, a scientist, or just a person who doesn’t care a damn about their neighbours. There seems to be very few people who have self-regulating ethical decision-making process. Pharmaceutical companies provide false evidence so they can sell more product. Building managers charge exorbitant, really exorbitant amounts of tax payers money, to build small school infrastructures. Financial advisers, yet again, get carried away with greed driven propaganda and severely damage many people’s lives. Doctor’s unions let people suffer of disease and injury while they fight an paranoid protectionist war for their income and social status. Advocate lawyers hide the truth of their own involvement in political decisions, befriend capitalists on one hand while decrying them on the other, chastising other advocates for upholding concerns that they then promote as their own.
And if anyone was to ask these people, the cause of their behaviour, they would tell that it is because that is the way business and politics has to be done in these modern nations. They would say, “this is the way of a pluralist society, the secular society.” “Oh, yes”, they would say, “it is not right to break the law.” “But after all, the law is all grey, so it is hard to tell when I am breaking it. So I just test it out until I get called to court, and then, if the court tells me, then I know. And if I never get called, then I don’t have to give a damn.”
And so this rabble of millions of people require a watch dog over everything they do, to make sure they are not going to steal from the tax payer or the sick person, their neighbour’s quality of life; or kill someone; or put them in a poorhouse. This rabble has no ethical education nor any commitment. They do not learn the lessons of yesterday’s generation, nor develop any new insights for today’s problems. Because their religious leaders became corrupt, they failed to learn any of the valuable lessons of the great educators, becoming as corrupt as those they decried. And into the ears of the politicians, they harp and complain, placing before the politician, the most great temptation, to win power by ensuring problems are never quite solved. In not quite solving problems in a pluralistic society, the politician can always say, “Oh well, it was because the divers voices couldn’t all be made happy.” In providing solutions that fall over, the politician can say, “Oh well, that is the outcome of all the various consultations we had, so how can we be blamed if the other parties gave us bad information.” And the final fallback in the Australian political system, “Oh well, we could’nt get the States or other political parties, to agree on a better solution, so it is their fault.
So, yes, it is indeed, their fault. It is indeed our fault. Everytime a contractor charges an unfair price, everytime a neighbour ruins another person’s quality of life, everytime a financial advisor gets carried away with greed, everytim a doctor union undermines the ability for a nation to build a better health system for their own benefit, every time we believe the only way to go ahead is to undermine rather than co-operate, every time anyone of us need a watch dog to ensure we do the fair thing by others in our society, we are the fault for an inadequate governance in our democracy. If our need for a watch dog continues to increase as it seems to need, nations are eventually not going to be able to afford both progress and the watchdogs. At that stage, democracies will stagnate and fall.
With luck, as dogs-eat-dogs amidst the chaos of nation-state failures, a transformed mind-set will be raised. But how many lives will need to be lost. The small warnings of the last 30 years have done little to stop people repeating the mistakes a mere decade on. Only the great wars have managed to significantly change the mindset of nations.
While atheists hold conferences, proudly and sarcastically deriding lesser mortals, thay do nothing from their ivory towers, about the lack of ethics education across the nations. From them we hear only words. Words, and sometimes, an advancement in knowledge and technology, sometimes, scientific frauds, sometimes, just theft through pluralism, sometimes, just nothing of any cultural advancement at all.
There is no leadership out there in pluralist society, just a cacophony of voices asking, unfairly, for more for themselves. There has been only one voice, one example, that I have found ethically pure in word and deed, and therefore worthwhile following, over the last 200 years. That is the voice of the Bab and Baha’u’llah, the founders of the Baha’i Faith, and Abdu’l-Baha, the successor and leader of the Baha’i Faith after Baha’u’llah. I say one voice, because they indeed, were of one voice, one understanding, one ethic, one transformative teaching, one perfect example. It is they who the phenomenologists and the theologians, the secularists and pluralists avoid study. For it is they who put their lives for the whole of their lives, on the line for an ethic of equity and human progress. It is their example who no-one can make excuses against. It is they who every failed state will need to turn to find redemption.