I received a chain email from a multi-millionaire today. His message is testimony to the moral bankruptcy that persists among business people. The message is one of those 'feel good' anecdotes which concludes with ambiguous moral statements. I have placed the concluding excerpts below (in 'Communist Red):
"Be kinder than necessary,For everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.Live simply,Love generously,Care deeply,Speak kindly,And pray continually.Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain.It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived".
His opening remark to all those on his mailing list was:
I'm sure some of you can relate to this...
I fired back a reply to this person..
The question Terry is....can you? The last line is blatant socialism...a few lines before than you have mysticism. Its a poor man's encouragement, and a rich man's future ailment. I think you're watering the wrong side of the fence :)
Here is the problem. Bad things happen because of moral ambivalence. Unfortunately the poor do not have a monopoly on moral scepticism or ambivalence. The reader has clearly accepted a number of moral misconceptions, or because of his scepticism, he feels compelled to appease all manner of moral values. He is of course appealing to pragmatism, which is a collectivist philosophy which is ultimately going to undermine his own prosperity. This is going to go over some 'sceptical' or 'anti-conceptual' heads, so let me break it down into some psychology and economics....
Be kind for reasons. If you are unhappy, acknowledge those feelings and respond accordingly. Do not repress it, because that is an evasion of your personal responsibility. Yes, everyone is fighting some type of battle, but you are not going to improve their sense of efficacy by solving their problems for them. Ultimately they need personal responsibility before they need any other value. Only help those who help themselves, and only then to the extent that you can do so without undermining your own life. If you are going to resent it, then you ought not be doing it, because you are not dealing from a place of surplus. We live in a society where perceptions are more important than facts. This compels people to 'fake it until they make it'. This is a fraud and it ought to be exposed as such.
The ability to act depends on maintaining a personal sense of confidence and motivation. Pursue that purpose which gives you the most enthusiasm to preserve that confidence and motivation.
Remind focused, taking on only those challenges which you are able to handle. Be generous only when you can afford it, and in the process repudiate that moral code which says you are a sacrificial lamb to serve the entitlements or social obligations which others would impose upon you. Love for a reason, and good reasons at that. Everyone has a hierarchy of values, right or wrong, their pursuit is a basis for revision and eventual integrity.
Do that and you will acquire success eventually, and you won't need to pray because you would never find solace in externalising responsibility. The notion that you should be positive in every situation is a repudiation of your nature, and implies that the world evolves around you. Its implied philosophical base is subjectivism. This 'metaphysical' conception is at the base of every immoral philosophy ever conceived....various forms of collectivism such as fascism, socialism, democracy, as well as religion, whether organised/institutionalised or your own indulgence.
I would thus conclude that you cannot give unless you have produced, therefore moral virtue must lie with those who produced. One does not produce if it is virtuous to receive. Humanity who accepts that it is moral to give can only conclude that their live is as a sacrificial animal. When you accept that you repudiate the virtues which make production and innovation possible.
You mixed and ambivalent moral framework is a testament to the mixed moral statements you receive throughout your day. Every time you get one, send the sender this email. Better still, discover how to repudiate the moral code which was the cause of war in the Balkans, and is destined to see civil unrest escalate in Europe, and people will not see it coming.
When it finally comes, they will be none the wise from where it came or how to solve it. They will however blame the escalation of nationalism on the wrong issues. It will precipitate all types of persecution and a 'national emergency', which will not easily be resolved because people, the majority of people, would not have been encouraged or rewarded for thinking in a way which reflects their humanity.