Politics > Determining Political Choice > Moral Context: CL6 > Moral Influences

Moral Influences in Politics

Influences in the channels linking the moral context to the personal context of politics and to government solutions.

Transcendentalist principles operate in a world of potential apart from everyday realities. The challenge for each and all is to make them evident in everyday events. As proposed above, this occurs within persons as Integrity (CL6PCL5P), and shows in the people en masse as Strength (CL6SCL5S).

ClosedIndividuals and Society Reflect Each Other

Cultural Identity ↔ Personal Principles

Personal principles are naturally related to the cultural identity of the society. Everyone internalizes the culture during childhood socialization and language development. In return, personal principles become the mechanism by which cultural identity is sustained in a meaningful and effective way.

A person whose principles reveal the best of the cultural identity is given Honour by society. A person whose principles undermine the culture is guilty of Betrayal. The converse applies: a person can feel betrayed by his society, and a society can be honoured by the conduct of its most distinguished individuals.

ClosedThe Old-Enduring Confronts the New-Transient

Cultural Identity ↔ Public Opinion

A cultural identity is always «the old», and is expressed in custom. Public opinion and sentiment lie in the present, and are fluid, dynamic and transient. Public opinion and mood can get out of synch with traditional requirements and manners. At some point the majority may view certain traditional beliefs as out of date and out of touch with modern problems and ways of life. If sustained, the identity is slowly remoulded as older people die off.

When the cultural identity is in synch with public opinion, society manifests Strength. When the two are out of synch, the society exhibits Weakness.

ClosedPrinciples and Practicality often Conflict

Cultural Identity ↔ Personal Principles

A person's principles should shape commitments at least some of the time—otherwise how can they be personal principles? The problem is that practicality may often dictate a course at variance with those principles—perhaps there are social or financial pressures that are difficult or painful to resist. Principles may get adjusted if such pressures are enduring and forceful.

The reflection of principles in commitments and vice versa is an expression of Integrity. The philosophy of «do what I say, not what I do» is recognized as Hypocrisy. It is commonly seen in politicians who passionately advocate policies as a matter of personal principle, but are then found to act differently in their private life.

ClosedTradition affects Government Solutions

Cultural Identity ↔ Government Solutions

Cultural identity and government solutions need to be inter-connected to some degree. In order to be effective, governments adapt policies to what they perceive are defining values or moral imperatives within the culture. Such Adaptation is a positive and it works in the other direction as well: solutions progressively responding to emerging social forces do alter the cultural identity. When the influence in either direction seems destructive, it is perceived as Subversion. Governments may seek to subvert the cultural values, perhaps because they experience traditions as subverting their solutions.

ClosedPersonal Principles and Government Solutions Do Interact

Personal Principles ↔ Government Solutions

Choices made by governments may fit with common personal principles and Support them, which usually activates a reciprocal backing of solutions. Alternatively, a clash emerges as solutions trample over principles and principles, in their turn, invite solutions to be ignored or rejected. This negative channel is Violation.

Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 12 June 2014.

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
All Rights Reserved.

comments powered by Disqus