Until we arrived at a university, the name of our first U.S. president coming up in a conversation almost universally served as the paradigm of personal honesty. We were nearly all brought up with the legend of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree and confessing to the deed because “he could not tell a lie.”
Most of us also went to some Christian church or perhaps a synagogue and were steeped in the Ten Commandments and related hellfire for transgressors. We learned as children that lying was shameful and wrong and socially despised. We knew that lying existed of course; we did it ourselves to escape punishments but we remember being handed punishments for some childhood transgression with an additional punishment tacked on for lying about it. The message was clear.
One primary difference between Euro-North American society and the rest of the world, is the degree of political corruption extant. It is also notable that the degree of wealth and the related standard of living differs as well, almost exactly following the honesty of the societies. The more corrupt the society, the greater the degree of poverty. You can see it on the map.
Parenthetically, it is notable that the borders of these societal variances are also the borders of Judeo-Christianity’s historical development in the world. We believe that this is no coincidence; you are free to decide for yourself. However you decide, we are in the midst of a social change that may determine the truth of the matter; we in that society have largely abandoned the religion that characterized it; the West so called, is no longer also “Christianity.” Most seem pleased enough at that, with the feeling of having thrown off a burden.And we note that today’s school children seem unfamiliar with that chopped cherry tree.
Instead of a president extolled for being unable to tell a lie, we have arrived at one who claims that you can keep your doctor under Obamacare, knowing it to be untrue. His minions lie to Congress and to the press, which now lies to us. Government statistics are no longer accepted unquestionably. Truth itself is no longer highly regarded; we have adopted moral relativism that degrades it. Such changes have historically, never been free. They have typically accompanied decaying societies and their meaning today is fueling discussion.
It seems to us that there is little need for discussion of one particular aspect of this. American society is heading for widespread poverty, compared to the recent past. We are returning to the same historical median of socio-political corruption as seen in the rest of the world and that will return us to that level of wealth, or rather, lack of it, as well. Add to that government policies that raise costs and lower business opportunities.
We have gone from President Washington who could not tell a lie, cheap energy and can-do Americans to President Obama who cannot tell the truth, demonized energy and you aren’t allowed to do Americans. We saw the early rsult: Unprecedented wealth; the new product is taking shape in front of us …