Thursday, July 31, 2008

Neopotism, Law and Ethics

While in Spain and learning about the Hasburgs, the Medicis, et al, it became clearer to me how the world used to view marriage and political alliances.

Marriage was a political alliance, not a commitment of love and trust. This was an accepted form of governing the peasantry. While this brought political fruitfulness in trade and diplomacy, what did it do for the peasants?

While touring the Royal Palace in Madrid, it was pointed out that the King and Queen of Spain would wash a number of peasants feet, to remind them of their duty under God. I thought this was important as it signified that the Royals understood that their duty was under God and brought accountability.

With the American Revolution, laws were formed to protect rights and the duties under God were balanced by accountability to other branches of government. It was not assumed that leaders would be fair and just in their dealings unless there was this balance of power.

One of the laws that maintain equal justice under law is the law against neopotism. It inhibits relatives or friends from partiality in political or job alliances. It is based on an equality under the law, where all are respected with equal opportunities.

Although everyone knows that neopotism happens, ideally, it shouldn't. I value this law because it gives opportunity to those who may not have that opportunity otherwise. It affirms all as equal before the law. And it protects from corruption. Corruption is bred on the heels of "good ole boy" systems.

Unfortunately, our government's first leaders were viewed as public servants under God. Nowadays, government's leaders are viewed as image builders and maintainers. Real Character does not matter, it is what people think about their leaders, not what is actually true.....

Without a responsibility and commitment to those who they serve, leaders cannot help but be unethical in their governance. Laws were to protect the freedoms of everyone, not just those in leadership.

2 comments:

Kris said...

Hello Angie,
I have noticed many of your postings on Prof. Schenck's blogs over the past year or two and have found your writing to be edifying. Do you mind if I add you to my bloglist?

Grace and Peace,
-Kris

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Kris,
I'm glad you find value in Ken's blog. Of course you can add my address to your blogspot.
Angie