Two intriguing maps are telling indicators for the future but few are paying attention. One is a map of the best and worst places in the world in which to be born today. We doubt many will find it controversial. The other is a map of the most and least corrupt places on earth. That doesn’t surprise either. But these maps raise an issue we aren’t expecting …
Corruption is a defining difference among those maps; the worst places are also the most corrupt; the best places are the least corrupt. Duh, right? But consider for a moment: the least corrupt places are those of Christian tradition and particularly, places that experienced the Reformation. You can look it up; it’s interesting history. So the most honest places on earth are also the most successful and vice very much versa.
But if you look at the corruption map again, it’s notable that the U.S. isn’t as honest as neighboring Canada. That may be dismissed as an effect of recent immigration from less honest places. But more than that, it is an effect of the abandonment of Christian principles in favor of moral relativism. “You can keep your doctor” from a President who will deny he was lying — he will claim he was merely saying what was needed in order to accomplish an important good. He of course, decides that. There is no objective truth anymore in public discourse and many other places too.
It has been important for the Internal Revenue Service to be seen to treat all taxpayers fairly; that’s a basic good government standard needed to maintain public acceptance of a tax system. But Lois Lerner wrote IRS employees instructions not to mention what they were doing in any emails and her own emails strangely vanished when Congress asked to see them. Ex-Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans just entered upon his 10 year sentence for graft. And local politicians almost everywhere are regularly reported under accusations and prosecutions. Nor is it only politicians; a recent report accused Google of misdirecting searchers for Dinesh D’Souza’s new conservative film: “America. It’s science, too; an academic technical journal “Vibration and Control” has just recalled 60 of its published peer reviewed articles as result of a”peer review fraud ring.” The most telling aspect of all this is the lack of significant public reaction; these things seem expected and tacitly at least, accepted.
The lesson of the two maps seems to us simple: If we wish to remain among the best places to live rather than join the worst, we must find some means for remaining among the least corrupt. We are abandoning the source of our honesty and we have so far, no replacement. There is a price for that.