terça-feira, 10 de agosto de 2004

Conscience: In Search of the Lesser Evil

"(...)But is it ethical in accordancewith the principles of right and good conduct to cast a vote for any evil?

Most moral philosophers would answer this question in the affirmative – as longas the lesser evil serves to prevent the greater evil. To save a life, I may lieand deceive a raving assassin who is searching for his victim. But does thismoral principle apply to the world of politics? This writer is inclined to denyits applicability because a vote for one evil does not lead to inactivity butrather to ever more evil; social and economic policies spring from social andeconomic thought that may give rise to many levels of evil.

If I approve of any labor legislation that interferes with actual marketconditions, I may invite ever more regulation. If I favor some health-carebenefits for some people at the expense of other people, I may not be able toobject to “further improvements.” If I approve of any “affirmative action,”that is, government programs to overcome the effects of past societaldiscrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of special groups,such as minorities and women, I may, in the end, clear the way for thesubstitution of the political command order for the market order in allrelations with minorities and women. If I approve of some government protectionof American labor from the competition of foreign labor in NAFTA countries, Imay not be able to object to ever “better protection.” If I look with favorupon some free medical services to the elderly, I may not be able to deny themever more benefits. After I say “yes” to benefits and entitlements, how can Ilater say “no”? (...)"

Hans F. Sennholz www.sennholz.com

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