"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Passing the Moral Buck

One thing that has struck me throughout all the debates that have rumbled on about the recent riots on the streets of England is something M Scott Peck wrote of in his book People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil, (London: Arrow, 1990, p. 249). Peck warned of the phenomenon whereby there is a fragmentation of conscience across a group of individuals such that it becomes less than the sum of all the individual consciences. He called it ‘passing the moral buck’, and saw therein a great potential for evil.
Clearly there were quite a few of these looters and rioters who when they woke up and reflected in the cold light of day on what they had done, felt rather stupid, even remorseful. At least I hope so!
The holistic education of our kids that I support so wholeheartedly should include group behavior dynamics, alongside conflict resolution and learning to be good decent honest responsible citizens in the community. Academic league tables are far from all that matters in our classrooms.

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