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I feel that people in the developed world are now facing the kinds of social crises that they have been able to avoid for decades. The breakdown (or "transformation," for the less doom-y among you) of various economic and social systems will place incredible burdens on human ethics, and it will call for very shrewd insights into ourselves and our behavior. Many will try sincerely to do the right thing and fail catestrophically. Others will shrug and give up their morality lightly, either with a pang of sorrow or a feeling of outright relief.
As the ground shifts out from under them, thoughtful people will struggle to decide what course of action they should take on every level. Should I bribe this guy just to get by even though I know that's wrong and we never used to do that in this country? Should I swipe this loaf of bread or let my daughter go to bed hungry? Do I owe my life first to my country or my family? And so on. Information systems, new financial issues, unanticpated dangers, security issues: all of these will demand moral acrobatics that few are prepared for.
I'd like to open a general thread on the topic of morality/ethics and the role of "decent behavior" in the darker societies we are seeing unfold each day before our eyes. There are many situations that have the potential to get very ugly, very quickly. Thinking on your toes will be called for. All will be tested and most will be found wanting, sadly, if history is any guide. Let's not be among them. How can we survive, protect our loved ones, and retain our decency as humans in a world gone mad?