Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that writing seems as if it increases the pain and the disappointment in the world around us; that even commenting on it increases the clarity of the error(s) of our ways and makes it even more unlikely that there ever will be a Financial-like correction in our moral compass, bringing us back to something like a meaningful society.
But, eventually the words and thoughts build up and demand their freedom...a release, even if without effect, to flow into the universe looking for fertile soil in which the thoughts contained may take root and be discussed with other, compared, and considered.
So...today my thoughts center around what seems to be a general consensus of the majority that there should be no such things as Consequences.
Friends and acquaintances have said that I am over-reacting; that consequences are still the norm. They point out that there are laws and, when broken, that they are enforced to settle consequences on the law breakers. They suggest that generally, despite the exceptions, those who do evil and wrong things are held to account.
My response it that not only does it not happen often enough, but that the frequency of it happening is in decline. Moreover, when people do the right thing, more often than not they are criticized for "getting involved." Millions of people are cheating on their taxes; few are ever made to suffer any consequences, nor do they lose the approbation of their neighbors and associates...many of these miscreants are actually held in high esteem by those that know their actions. Just yesterday a gang rape took place on a Florida Beach, surrounded by multitudes of young people drinking beer and partying, and not one person interfered with the attack. Only because of the fact that someone actually filmed video of the event was any police action taken...if not accidental, then just sign of the fact that such behavior is acceptable.
There are some people who are psychopaths who will ignore laws in favor of their own wishes and desires. There are others who need no laws to motivate them; they will do all they can to help others and make life better for their fellow man. But the vast majority in the middle are remarkably responsive to the general behavior and general definition of acceptance in the ordering of their lives...they won't rock the boat. And it seems clear to me that the boat may be deserving of some rocking...not that I have much hope that such action will happen anytime soon.
Some of my friends suggest that this is simply a natural phenomenon; such a fall occurred to the Greeks as well as the Roman Empire and therefore it is inevitable that it happens to the United States of America. I used to agree in major part with this view.
But now I wonder if it is not far more extensive that just an American phenomenon. It seems to be spreading to the International Stage...to the entire world. My friends say I am nuts...which, of course, may or may not be true and a subject that may be worthy of a full discussion at a later point...but I am not convinced.
Consider the events in Foreign affairs in the last year or so. Terrorists killed our Ambassador to Lybia and others. One person was arrested. Have any of them been punished, much less caught? Russia has annexed through force a portion of the Ukraine. Has there been any uproar of any significance from the world nation states, much less those countries immediately surrounding the area? For years, Pirates have operated lucrative seizures of ships off the coast of Africa, making millions of dollars from the hijackings? Any serious repercussions to those pirates?
And more recently we have the rise of ISIL (or ISIS, or whatever they are calling themselves these days, as if it matters) and the killing of all believers in Christianity that they catch, as well as many of Islamic sects with which they disagree. Any serious repercussions? And some in the world see their cause as acceptable. Yes, there are words of condemnation but few indeed...and tiny if you look at the percentage of involvement...people involved in standing against it.
Consider the matter of Iran. Here is a nation-state that has a track record of lying and failure to abide by promises. A nation state that finances and supports with material and people terrorists around the world. Any consequences? Well, one of my friends argued that we do have economic sanctions in force which hurts them. Oh? Really? Who is hurt? The leaders? The ones who control the actions of Iran? Or is the people of Iran who suffer despite have very little, if any, control over the political decisions of Iran's leaders?
But that is the past and is almost an after-thought now. Now Iran is working toward developing a nuclear capability, which could include nuclear weaponry. So...what does the world do? It sits down with the powers in Iran and begins negotiating. Not declaring that such a development is unacceptable, which each participating nation had assured their own citizens up until a short time ago was not ever going to be allowed, but a timetable by which ultimately Iran would have the capability it desires...and also a lifting of sanctions. And all of this based on a written promise by Iran to limit their activity toward such an end. Doesn't anyone else see anything wrong with this picture? A country that has a consistent track record of breaking promises now is to get relief from sanctions on the basis of a written "promise" to play well with others? Really? Wonder what odds would be given by any professional Book-maker on Iran fulfilling that promise. And yet, multiple nation-states are actually seriously considering entering into such an agreement.
This is not only a failure of Consequences, but could be argued appears to be reverse consequences...a reward for bad behavior.
And the most recent event involves the Communist nations of Cuba. Cuba has been cut off from diplomatic ties to America ever since the Communists took control of that country. It has a proven record of human rights violations, has no freedom of the press, precious little freedom of religion and is a Dictatorship. No change at all. So...what are the consequences? America opens up talks to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. This amounts, also, to reverse consequences; a reward for continued bad behavior.
What I am raising for discussion is that fact that all around the world there seems to be a general acceptance that consequences for bad behavior can be done away with and there will be no adverse repercussions.
I think that is not possible. The balance that the world has heretofore acknowledged is that all people and nations should have the freedom to make decisions and choices for themselves....but that those choices have consequences. It is the consequences that check the unfettered expression of wants and desires. Freedoms without consequences becomes license...and that never turns out well for anyone.