The Case for Moral Government (Part 1)
I believe that the problem with the existing modern governments (as well as the traditional governments that were deemed flawed), was they have lost something intrinsically and critically important: a moral core.
In a previous post where I proposed the defects of Marxist Democracy, I mentioned that it was the second in a series of posts which I described as “Searching for Democracy”. In the series I sought to describe the problems of the existing Western Democratic Model, as well as the aforementioned Communist/Eastern-identified Democratic Model. I posited the possible existence of a third Democracy, or at least form of Government which would provide as a hopeful alternative to the two ideologies.
In the years that followed, I could not fulfill that promise of an alternative. Socio-political thinkers have grappled with the question for years and have not come up with an answer—who was I to dare to step forward? I did, in fact, initially plan to propose a return to Monarchy, but as I have described in another post, non-democratic and traditional political structures tend to be distant from popular representation. The monarch, for all his efforts to be a king for his people, will be rooted in the capital, to be advised by rivaling circles of influence. An aristocracy or ruling elite, like the one in the Roman Republic, tend to alienate or even disenfranchise the masses. This ruling class also often fracture to pursue the interests of their political bloc or the people they patron.
It would seem, then, that Churchill’s words (which he paraphrased from somewhere), was correct: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for the other forms of government that have been tried.” Democracy, while decried as being flawed and having failed (particularly in the fateful year of 2016), seemed to be still deemed as the best option out there, as the history books decry the dictatorships of the early modern and modern era, the absolutist monarchies of pre-modern and early modern periods, as well as the oligarchies from the Republican Roman Senate to the Soviet Politburo. The half of the world, though seemingly leaning back towards “populist modern monarchies”, horrifies the other half, which has been wary of traditional political structures.
But what if we have been looking at this the wrong way? What if the traditional and modern political structures are flawed because of some other internal aspect, or lack thereof?
I believe that the problem with the existing modern governments (as well as the traditional governments that were deemed flawed), was they have lost something intrinsically and critically important: a moral core. Whatever the government, as long as the rulers remained anchored to a moral compass, the nation would be prosperous and healthy. And, however virtuous the government, if society was in the midst of a moral collapse, the State would still be powerless to stop the institutional collapse of the nation.
I propose, in this and a series of posts, an alternative vision for government: a Moral Government, or as I would call it: a Virtue State; while the nation would be kept in order by the existing Civic Laws, this politically foundational framework would be superseded by a higher, Universal Moral Law. In the following series of posts I will explain how the new Virtue State would form its Moral Law, and its twin foundations of Justice and Charity.
I am not proposing a system borne from epiphany; many before me have already complained about society’s loss of moral compass. Many more have proposed an alternative to economy politics of present liberal governments. And I have discovered, through research, that my proposal could very well have been presaged by the “Ethics of Care” which was initially espoused by feminists but have since been used as a political alternative to the existing mindset. But hopefully, though, I will try to integrate it into my own narrative, and propose a position that, though not clearly the one answer, would at least be my “two-cent” contribution to a search that has reached alarming necessity in the wake of the seeming collapse of liberal democratic systems.
For the next part I will deal with the ideologies that I think exist in place of a needed moral structure. In the meantime, I have started to read two relevant references that could help me: “Caring Democracy”, a text that employs the Ethics of Care to government, and the classic modern text, the “Politics of Virtue”, which proposes a “post-liberal” way of government. The links provided (with the title) will direct the reader to the pertinent reference.