Civic Vices

In the Orthopraxis section, we discuss Virtue and its importance to the justice teaching. Virtues have opposites, and they are vices. Just as public virtue is necessary for a successful community, public vices can destroy a society. This section considers ten "Civic Vices" which encourage injustice, strengthen structures of sin, and destroy harmony and community.

Indifference. There are no absolutes. Anything goes. Getting caught is the only sin. All value systems are created equal.

Denials of human dignity. Coercion. Abortion. Elitism. Death Penalty. Oppression of the poor. Euthanasia.

Exaltation of radical selfish autonomy. Instant Gratification. No patience. Gimme-gimme attitude.

Economic reductionism. Money can buy anything and is the prime value. What's good for business is good for the country. The all-consuming thirst for profit at any price. Consumerism. Materialism. High-dollar shoes manufactured in third world factories where the overseers beat the employees, with corporate logos of business institutions that export jobs overseas for looking for cheap labor and places where people don't ask questions about the employee policies or work conditions.

Evasion of Responsibility. NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard.) Pollution. Hiding behind lawyers. It's not my fault. It's their fault.

Corruption of Political Life. The all-consuming thirst for power at any price. Purchase of favors for businesses and special interests with campaign contributions. Lobbyists and their trips and favors and cushy jobs and high dollar speaking engagements after political retirement.

Abandonment of the Common Good. Political deal-making. "General Welfare" clause of the Constitution is stretched to the point of meaninglessness, thus making a mockery of the concept of general welfare and common good.

Politicization of All Life. Superstitious Worship of Text. If we can just say things exactly correctly, then the Reign of God will arrive on Earth -- enables evasion of real responsibilities and obscures the need for structural changes in the direction of a more just and humane society. Desire for a law for everything, centralization of authority, decline in civil society, registering/counting/sorting everything politically..

Loss of all sense of tradition and continuity. It's it's new, it's good; if it's old, it's bad. Little concern for those who come after us. National Debt. Social Security. In the long run, we'll all be dead, so why not loot the public treasury NOW and ensure our re-election?

Sociopathic political and economic elites. Willing oppression of the poor and working classes for the benefit of the top 10%. Widening gap between rich and poor. Centralization of wealth and assets. Stretched middle classes, declining working and poverty classes, increases in mortality for the poor and uninsured. Euthanasia for the sick who don't have insurance or assets. Conspicuous consumption and waste paralleling destitution and want. Deliberate diversion of public attention away from important issues and towards meaningless sound bytes video opportunities, and photo-shoots. Trash TV. If it can't be explained in 15 seconds, it can't be discussed. Dumbing down of everything. Abortion as a means of reducing the numbers of non-white peoples in the world. Grotesque squandering of public resources on playgrounds for the rich and powerful. Displacement of poor communities to benefit the upper classes. "Over classes" treat the "underclass" with contempt, like dirt, way too often.

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