musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

On ethics, honesty and morality

These past few days have seen two items hit the headlines, the first relates to the FIFA scandal and the second to the ongoing scandal about the home of the president of South Africa: Jacob Zuma. I will not even try to explain the matters because this post is more about consequences and principles. I will also touch briefly on fraudulent educational certification, because that has a lot to do with what I am going to discuss.  
When I was young I was raised to be honest. That meant that I paid my debts, I presented my educational certification correctly, I did not accept or offer bribes, paid my taxes and I generally obeyed the laws and regulations that pertained to wherever I was at the time. It was drummed into me at a very young age and I learnt the lesson and carried it forward into adulthood. I also accepted that there were consequences for dishonesty, and there were things that you could do, and things that you were not allowed to do. When I look for a job I do not add the odd masters degree or certification. I was not brought up that way. I try to be ethical and honest wherever possible. 
Yet, I look at the whole FIFA debacle and the controversy back in South Africa with dismay because something is fundamentally wrong with our society. The perception exists that if you wear a suit and tie you are honest, and if you are a blue collar worker you are stupid and know nothing. Yet, it was men (mostly) in suits that brought about the global collapse not too long ago, it was men in suits that took bribes and lined their pockets, it was men in suits who stood in front of national television in South Africa and blatantly made excuses about how money was spent on a house and a swimming pool, money that could have built at least one school, or fed at least a million people. It is the sheer brazenness of those suits (for that is how I shall refer to them, even if they wear skirts), and their lackeys and cronies and henchmen that gets my gall up. It is the greasy metro cop who stands next to a car and tells the driver that he is hungry or thirsty and that he knows somebody who knows somebody that can get a fine squashed. It is the glib politician that stands on a podium and says “vote for me” even if he is the biggest crook on the planet. It is the little men in offices that create rules that make ordinary peoples lives difficult, it is the social system that pays money to somebody who does not deserve it yet denies assistance to those that need it. It is the suit that becomes a director with a fraudulent degree to his name, it is the company that persecutes the blue collar worker for taking loose change found in a machine yet ignores the shenanigans being perpetrated in the head office that cost the company millions.
These things go against everything that I believe and stand for, They make me angry and bitter, and they make me loose respect for those who should not be doing these things in the first place. They make me view every policeman as a corrupt official, and every public servant as a lazy good for nothing that does the bare minimum. How do you respect a manager that has lied about his qualifications? How do you sit in a disciplinary hearing about something trivial while the person conducting that hearing has lied through his teeth to get where he is? How can I believe a public broadcaster that has a board with so many clouds over its head that even the weather service is defeated? How can a president of a country ignore the starving people in his country while he adds to his personal fiefdom? I could go on forever asking these questions and I will not have an answer to any of them.
I have always been interested in motivation, I always want to know why a serial killer murders people, or why a man rapes a woman, or why the Nazi’s killed the Jews or why Anakin Skywalker did not rescue his mother long before she fell into the hands of the Sandpeople. 
I was raised to believe that one day there will be a retribution for what you have done wrong, and if this is true I expect some people are going to be in a lot of trouble with the universe. Some are going to be stuck in the queue where dictators go to answer for every crime committed in their name. Some will have to explain why they beat their children to death or taped the mouth of a dog closed, and some will have to explain how they stole food from a dumpster to feed their starving family. 
I would hope that the retribution will make up for the many wrongs and rights that we perpetrate in our lives, because the law sure isn’t doing the job it is supposed to do, although given the propensity for the dishonesty amongst those who are supposed to obey and uphold the law I suspect they may find retribution a very difficult time.
My mother is a great fan of “payback time” and while we usually laugh about it I like to think that somewhere along the line this is true, but given the greasiness of many of these people I suspect they will find a way  to evade the turning wheel.
So this message goes out to the suits and their cronies and henchmen and those who run roughshod over everybody: you may think that you are above the law, but at the end of the day you never learnt anything about being honest, or have any ethics and frankly your lack of morality is deplorable. I know you will be proud of yourself, but take it from me, the rest of us aren’t! 
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