Sunday, 25 July 2021

The List

Integrity is an elusive idea isn’t it? Absolutely vital for a functioning society, but we seem to have no reliable consensus on how to retain it. Or even how to know if we have retained it. Or why we haven’t retained it.

The problem with integrity is obvious enough. If we lose it, we also lose the integrity to notice the loss. Or we do notice it but lack the integrity to do anything about it. Or we lose it intentionally for personal gain. The basic risk is the same though. If we lose it, we lose the incentive to regain it whether we know it or not. Integrity is the original slippery slope. Very steep, very slippery.

Yet here in the UK, there appears to be an underlying assumption that we still possess some kind of basic, caring, sharing, cycling, recycling, inclusive, green political integrity and this is enough to venture into the future. Confidently corrupt, we have no way of regaining the integrity we have so plainly lost. No way of knowing it. No way to avoid losing even more than we have lost already.

We know we’ve lost a great chunk of political integrity because the coronavirus police state tells us so and this was far from being the first clue. The effects of the pandemic have not been worth the costs, neither economically nor politically, but this cannot be admitted. The integrity to do so officially is not there.

We know it because mainstream media lie to us as a matter of routine, because governments exaggerate risks to the point where they too are lying, because celebrities repeat the lies for their publicity value, because scientists support the lies for professional gain, because academics invent more lies for professional gain, because we allow lies into the lives of our children, because we are constantly lied to about the weather, because we are presented with obvious lies about the biology of human sexuality, because we cannot state certain obvious facts without political or legal risk, because the history of slavery is not discussed factually, because history is frequently distorted, because we cannot reap the benefits of free speech, because we cannot easily criticise politically favoured groups, because equality does not mean equality before the law, because we cannot vote for integrity, because…

We know it because the list just keeps growing.


DiscoveredJoys said...

Integrity requires honesty. But most businesses/organisations/political parties of the last 30 years or so are reluctant to be honest - because they fear the consequences of honesty.

So when the honest response is 'shit happens so just stand up and deal with it', the message is diluted, loses integrity, by 'there will be special arrangements put in place to support those caught out by these changes (at great cost to the general public but spread thinly enough that we hope people won't notice)'.

I suspect this reluctance to be straightforward is only retrospectively justified by the hope that you can carry the people with you. In practice the reluctance is self serving, ducking personal responsibility for making hard choices.

Look at the mess the USA is in.

A K Haart said...

DJ - I agree, the reluctance is self serving. The longer we go on like this, the bigger hurdle honesty becomes. Even now honesty may be impossible politically because too much would come out of the woodwork.