We have a plethora of social sciences; each attempting to freeze and define the human condition. Common sense overwhelmed by studies, statistics, academic competition and the joy of yet another ‘new theory’ conjured of whole cloth. However, it is precisely common sense and observation that define the societal prime numbers.
Consequence! As consequences for our actions or inactions weakens or is rendered mute, social fabric erodes. Shared values fall prey to convenience. Consequence, as punishment or reward, exits bold colors for the dreary grey of lethargy and dependency.
The recent attempts to remove consequence by way of political social engineering will, invariably, lead to decline. Unemployment benefits extended to nearly two years; massive increases in and promotion of food stamps. 800,000 illegal emigrants rendered legal with the swipe of a pen. Welfare work rules similarly rendered mute by Presidential fiat. All in the context of an economy that refuses to recover.
The latest; school discipline, again by Presidential fiat, will be limited by racial and ethnic grouping. One would have to surmise that if 50% of discipline appropriate activities are engaged in by a group representing 25% of the school population half of the incidents will be greeted with a ‘get out of jail free card’. Improve schools by eliminating event and individually specific discipline in favor of racial and ethnic profiling; a new theory perhaps? Johnny just beat the crap out of one of his classmates? Sorry, Johnny is off the hook because we’ve filled the discipline quota that can be applied to his ethnic group! Really, this is going to improve schools?
It’s not about improving schools. It is yet again about the ill defined concept of ‘fairness’; in this case, demographically guided ‘fairness’. As this space points out from time to time, it’s almost never about what the left says it’s about, another case in point, based on the premise that membership in a particular group should be the ‘pass go’ card for bad behavior outside of the statistical imperatives. By ‘fairly’ applying only the discipline that is proportionate to population you achieve egalitarian, educational Nirvana?
Consequence comes with fear (fear can be good or bad). Fear comes with increasing degrees of consideration and self editing. Self editing comes with recognition of consequence which guides behaviors to evolving degrees. Behavior results in the effort to avoid negative consequence which is in fact, a form of motivation. Fear and motivation are two sides of the same coin. Eliminate the fear and you often eliminate the motivation.
The circle has at its center, consequence or the absence of consequence. As we reach ever deeper into society to remove harsh consequence, to generate the yet undefined condition of fairness.
Eliminate consequence, eliminate responsibility; absent responsibility being the consequence for the absence of consequence. The lack of responsibility is the pathway to the erosion of values. The collective result is the elimination of positive motivation and reliance on a dependency based social construct.
Unchecked it is truly the beginning of the end.