If we think we live isolated lives that do not matter in the large scheme of things, we are mistaken. Our country does value and affirm the individual and for the most part, allows the individual the freedom to choose his "way of life". Is this changing in our globalized world? I believe it is, because we don't choose to do what is wrong or shady alone. We must have co-operation from a larger "group".
This morning it was reported that the SEC person who should have overseen Bernie Madoff, "overlooked" his indiscrepencies. Her "indiscrepency" encouraged Bernie's "greed" and has made her culpable in the "scheme of things". She has resigned. Bernie's actions have affected many, but he obviously did not do it alone. This is how the "system" works. And it has become more and more prevalent as our world has become interconnected.
I think that without individual choice and responsibiltiy for "self", that there is no real morality, because it alleviates personal decision making, which salves consciences from what would otherwise be reprehensible. And many times the "evil" is done in the name of "good", so it further gives credibility to the pressure to conform to the "system's" role and function appropriately.
Also, this morning, it was reported that our country was headed for socialized medicine. Whil many countries have this style of medical insurance, socialism has not bred the best environment for medical research and development. Systems do not allow the individual as many choices in being responsible for their own health-care. Insurance companies would not cover certain surguries or treatments, as these would be considered prohibitive in costs, or "outside" the scope of "common" concern. Again, we will not be allowed the freedom to choose whether we can or will afford a certain treatment. But, I am sure the socialists would approve of this design in the name of the common good!
Last night, during his presidental address, I got the impression that Obama was cautious in his word selection concerning Iran and what our future actions would be toward that nation. While I respect his carefulness, if it was due to lack of information at this point about our future actions, I do not condone an attitude of tolerance toward those who would subvert the "rule of law".
Boundaries are necessary to maintain identification factors and allow a consideration of difference. Otherwise, humankind looses their identification factors and I think, this leads to violent fear and anxiety. Identity breeds security because "we know who we are and what we stand for". Otherwise, the human is dissolved into social and political "forces/issues" that don't regard the person, but uses the person for the "system's interest".
"Sin" is not just a personal issue, but a systemic one. Individuals must resist the "group mentality" that would subvert "proper respect" and regard for another human being. Justice is standing for and up to these forces/factors in the name of individuals who have no voice. Our country has sought to bring that freedom to other nations, so that their people can have a voice. Just recntly, elections were held in Iraq and women were on the ballot. This is dramatic social change. And yet, we do not hear about this change on our major news networks.
Humankind is not a personal word, nor is, the "common good". Socialism, communism and political dictatorships all breed on "group think" and "common purposes", which disregard personal interests, disrespecting the individual. These are manavolent factors in the world that do not breed "freedom" in any shape or form. This is why our Founding Fathers were so careful to allow the individual the freedoms that we tout in our Bill of Rights. Without these laws, we cannot make any difference for others, because we, ourselves, will be slaves to the "common good", which will be "dictated" by "elite rulers" and not the "common person". We must fight the "banality of the common good".