Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Ethical Implications for Leadership and Good Governing

Good government is necessary for human flourishing. What is good government?

Some believe that good government is listening to whoever happens to be empowered and submitting to their authority. While humility is a necessary character quality, is submission the only response that constitutes humility? I used to think so, as "God ordains the powers that be". That meant that I didn't have a choice, as God was superintending history and every outcome was his design, if not overtly, then coverty....this is theologizing history, and has been done in many ways. Good government cannot be based on such attempts at the transcendent.

Understanding government as necessary to human flourishing is first and foremost of importance to understanding that government is not about God's purposes, but man's...Man is the focus of history, as "god" is defined by many "SOURCES" and in many ways. There is not a universal "god", but only our imaginings of him. Our imaginings themselves are a "felt need" which means that man is made for "god" but man is limited in understanding "god" as god is the projected image that is stamped in man's consciousness...

Not only are our "felt needs" an aspect of God's imprinting, but also our understanding of 'justice", as C.S. Lewis attests in Mere Christianity. All men have a sense of justice, when there has been a transgression against their person. "Self perception" , itself, is an aspect of this sense of justice, for without a sense of "self" there is no understanding or sense of being "wronged". We see children, as they grow gaining a sense of self, when they become self aware. This is when their sense of "mine" becomes important, but the child gains more and more a sense of others as he grows, that is, if he has "community"....But, self-perception is first and foremost to be developed, which is not the case in tribal communities. These types of communities only understand group identification factors. Boundary maintenance is not understood, unless it is identified as "other", meaning 'the enemie's" attempt to gain over their "group" and the identifying factors of the group. (Understanding tribal identities might help us understand also how polarization, prejuidice, etc. happens) Tribal identities are identities that have not fully developed the "self awareness of the individual, and the individual feels threatened when their tribal identification factors are challenged. Even with America's individualized culture, America felt it's tribal identification factors challenged when 9/11 happened.

The best government's would recognize the individual's right to develop their self awareness, tribal/traditional identities, and then, come to understand themselves, as separate and distinct individuals. Governments that allow such freedom are the best, as they allow the freedom of tradition to exists where the group/social are not annihilated, and the child has community where his sense of belonging to something greater than himself is an important step in self-actualization.

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