Ethics

All posts tagged Ethics

π“π‘πž π“π’πžπ¬ π“π‘πšπ­ ππ’𝐧𝐝

Published August 19, 2019 by tindertender

Written by Huntsman@Flyover_Country

Leadership is one of the key concerns of those who wish to explore the totality of the masculine experience.

This is specifically for the man who wants to step up and be a respected leader of other men, as well as women and children.

This is NOT for the guy who wants to argue the utility of ethics.

If a discussion of ethical leadership threatens your worldview enough to attack that frame, this isn’t an emotional safe space to work out your dissonance.

Onward.

Because modern man’s views are inherently informed by pop culture, let’s broadly introduce this discussion around two models of “leadership”:

Maximus and Commodus, from the film Gladiator.

They are strongly archetypal, and well-acted by Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix.

When we meet Maximus, he is preparing to lead the Roman legion into battle.

He is calm, sober.

He knows that death is an old friend who calls us in our turn.

As he rides the line doing his final inspections, the men salute him.

They will die for Rome, and for him.

Maximus calls his men to silence.

He and his cavalry unit are the teeth of the Roman tiger, and will take heavy casualties.

He reminds them that Elysium, their paradise, awaits those who fight bravely:

“π–π‘πšπ­ 𝐰𝐞 𝐝𝐨 𝐒𝐧 π₯𝐒𝐟𝐞 𝐞𝐜𝐑𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐒𝐧 𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐒𝐭𝐲.”

This is no mere call to arms.

It’s his ethos, and that of the warriors who follow at his side.

It is their tie that binds – the reminder that however different they are individually, they are brothers, covered in the same blood spilled in the same mud.

Persuasion – and thus the right to lead – begins with ethos. It is the essential character, or statement of purpose, to the group.

From this we derive “ethics”, or specific commonly-shared standards that tether individual action to the group’s ethos.

Upon the murder of the emperor by his son, Commodus, the honorable general Maximus is captured and sent for execution.

Even in that moment, Maximus’ servant Cicero is ready to pull his sword and kill the multiple captors, knowing he would die in the process.

Maximus escapes, but is taken into custody by the owner of a gladiatorial ludus.

Here again proves himself a man for whom other men will die, using his leadership to help the men survive the arena.

He leads, because his ethos demands that he do what he believes is right.

Commodus, the prince who murdered his father to gain the throne, is the antithesis of Maximus.

He is vain in the extreme, first seen arriving late to the battle, then later showing his “prowess” at choreographed swordfighting.

He has no ethos – only his own self-interest.

His father the emperor wished to return Rome to a republican system, led by the senate and held in trust with Maximus as regent.

Commodus, seeing his moment to become emperor vanish, kills his father and attempts to eliminate Maximus, who knew of the emperor’s plans.

With Maximus in exile (presumed dead by Commodus) and his father dead, Commodus establishes himself as the new emperor.

His purity of commitment is undeniable – he is actualized to his own radical self-interest.

But he builds his empire on a pile of bodies to do it.

In the end (because it’s mostly a fictional story and the good guy always wins), Commodus and Maximus die by each other’s blades.

Maximus is feted and carried out as a hero, Commodus dead on the sand.

The reforms are made, spurred by the example of noble Maximus.

And while a blockbuster like Gladiator must certainly follow major beats of the Hero’s Journey to ensure audience engagement, the film resonates deeply with men in particular because it is rooted in our cultural and ancestral memories of what it means to be a “good” man.

In this instance, “good” and “ethical” are broadly similar.

Maximus shows a willingness to put his life on the line, just as he asks the same of his men.

To stand against the royal might of an empire, avenge his family and mentor, and bring new hope to Rome.

Contra Maximus, Commodus is a caricature of pure self-interest.

Narcissistic and brutal, ambitious.

His father says “Commodus is not a MORAL man.” to justify the structural change in governance.

He is unethical, unfit to lead, because everything is a means to his own end.

This is the primary takeaway of the Gladiator example:

An unethical man is not a “leader” in the traditionally-masculine sense.

He can be “alpha”, and have primacy of position and status, but the rank and file are not followers – they are subjects.

The subject/follower dynamic is critical to distinguishing what a “leader” tends to mean to the average person.

A subject is obligated.

A follower volunteers.

The ethos must be clear, and the ethical expectations enforced, for a leader to maintain primacy.

Understand, an ethos and ethics can be polarizing to some (or many) people.

Hitler built power through ethos (however horrific) to attract a certain type of “true believer”, but also used terror and coercion as weapons to maintain the balance of the population as subjects.

The key is that the ethos and ethics are congruent to the leader and enough followers to achieve a certain threshold of power and influence.

Note: This diversion was needed to forestall the inevitable whataboutism from drive-by critics.

Returning to our frame of ethics being a concept that carries a traditionally-beneficent context…

We may assume that someone who pursues primacy of a group out of pure self-interest MUST hurt people to do so. However, their pain does not factor into his calculus.

The average person would say that the wholly self-interested man is acting “unethically” when he takes primacy by means other than acclamation of the crowd.

The truth is that most people will not follow a man who openly admits to embracing harm as a valid means to primacy.

As social creatures, humans have a combination of inborn and cultural factors that reinforce in us a general desire to avoid actively harming others.

Marriage, family, religion, education – the foundations of ethos/ethics – are mitigating influences on our primal biology.

We co-evolved notions of ethics alongside social structures as a species-enhancement (or survival) mechanism.

Thus, a man who wishes to be fit to lead willing followers has to embrace and enforce an ethical code based on a palatable/desirable ethos.

Even in situations where a body politic resorts to force to achieve its ends, as the Romans did in the Germanic forests where we meet Maximus, it is the individual ethos and ethical code embodied by Maximus that compels his men to follow and fight so fiercely.

Even in situations where a body politic resorts to force to achieve its ends, as the Romans did in the Germanic forests where we meet Maximus, it is the individual ethos and ethical code embodied by Maximus that compels his men to follow and fight so fiercely.

If a leader cannot abide by an ethical code, the only tools remaining to maintain control are:

– Transactional means

– Manipulation

– Force

Each is also self-limiting because it cuts against the natural behaviors of most civilized people.

To avoid loss of primacy, it is both practical and “good” for a man to develop within himself the behaviors and mindset of a beneficent monarch.

Leading is a lonely, difficult thing.

Challengers, externalities, and the inertia of life start fires constantly.

Still, decisions must be made. Actions taken. New decisions are made and actions taken based on observation and orientation from previous experience.

And an effective organization or team MUST have a single point of leadership at some level to get anything done.

Without a leader, the Bystander Effect kicks in.

Everyone assumes someone else will do the work.

This holds increasingly-true as the emotional intensity of the task is elevated.

Someone must still ride to the front of the column and lead the charge.

The cult of leadership theory that has arisen in our industrial and post-industrial age has made major science out of basic ethics, by and large.

I’ve even been published in a book about applications of principles of military leadership.

The body of knowledge is extensive.

And yet, we watch Maximus utter a few simple words…

“π–π‘πšπ­ 𝐰𝐞 𝐝𝐨 𝐒𝐧 π₯𝐒𝐟𝐞 𝐞𝐜𝐑𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐒𝐧 𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐒𝐭𝐲.”

…and we connect with the ethos and NECESSITY of such a man.

We would jump into the screen and charge headlong into clashing steel for him.

No fancy words. No dogma. No regard for the intellectual rightness or wrongness of the action.

It is an ethos and applied ethics that are compatible to the shared culture of leader and led, which drives cohesion and action.

This is why I disclaim, reject, and advocate against any system that attempts to diminish or eliminate the notion of ethics.

It is a rejection of both common sense and cultural behaviors that have provided practical utility since the dawn of civilization.

A man can only go so far alone before he runs out of options or capacity.

He can stare at that wall and justify to himself why it is the right choice to stay there.

Or, he can do what great men have always done, and enlist the help of others to move forward.

We require those ties that bind – ethics – to achieve great things together, even to survive as a social species.

Radical self-interest can work for a man so long as he can rationalize to himself the emotional, mental, and physical consequences of being limited and alone.

Even the concept of “enlightened self interest” is a weak attempt to have it both ways.

There will always be times when a man must choose to submit himself to loss or pain for the good of his followers, or sacrifice them to his own needs and wants.

And the leader is free to do that, so long as he also accepts the consequences of not reconciling those competing interests via ethics.

He will:

Fail

Be deposed

Succeed by leveraging mercenary behaviors

None of these achieve long-term stability and success in one’s life.

To become a true leader of men, a man must focus on embracing accountability to himself, and those he wishes to lead.

He must maintain balance of his own self-interest and that of others.

He must be willing to put himself to the fire first, and eat last.

Above all, the ethical leader – the man who would be Maximus – must know who he is inside.

He must be honest with himself if he is up to the lonely, painful life of a leader.

He must have the strength to carry those who can’t carry themselves, and leave hope in his wake.

For an excellent long-form discussion on some of these points, click through to the YouTube link of a podcast I did with https://twitter.com/bethmartens. She’s a wonderful lady doing good work in helping both men and women find the leader within themselves.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/speeC0-TiCo
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Mea culpa.

The Trident, Trinity, Three Pure Ones

Published December 30, 2018 by tindertender

I woke this morning to a discussion about the Trident. There are many stories of the Trident, who uses it, and what for, but the Taoist description is the one which rings true for this mornings message. “In religious Taoism, the trident represents the Taoist Trinity, the Three Pure Ones. In Taoist rituals, a trident bell is used to invite the presence of deities and summon spirits, as the trident signifies the highest authority of Heaven.”

Prosperity is possible, however, ethics are necessary for real success. I see around me people struggling, often reverting to methods of gain which are not ethical, or even moral. I hear, as they speak of the woe that befalls them continuously, and I marvel at their inability to connect ethical behavior with potential abundance. Curious how suffering brings about action which is harmful. Could it be, that which is inflicting lack upon the population is manipulating minds to produce the ‘behavior’ which continues cycles of harm?

Forgive yourself, forgive others. Compassion for another’s situation is important at this time. Consider another persons point of view and choose connection rather than separateness. Especially in this current time, it is so easy to avoid the attempt of wearing another’s ‘shoes’, or putting of self, in another’s position. What would we do if we found ourselves there? Displaying martyr-like energy is not going to do any good. No one has to put themselves last in order to be compassionate toward others. There is a balance which can be nurtured and met.

I find that when I listen to the squabbles of the government representatives, joined by those who have chosen sides in the citizenry, my own mind and words and actions begin to mimic their child-like, tantrum throwing behaviors. I must shut them out if I am to remain in balance. The more times I experience this in myself, the more I see lack of awareness in the world around me, as people are torn apart and pushed and pulled by the manipulative ‘stories’ behind the actions we see taken. There must be a disconnect from the chaos pumped into homes and minds by those wishing to manipulate circumstances.

You are loved and protected even through the most difficult of trials. This is a time for healing. You need mothering, or to use your mothering energy. Sometimes, no matter how much we may try to protect someone, things do not turn out as we wish. While we may mean well, and even be right, people need to learn life’s lessons on their own. It may be a karmic situation that is resolving itself or a key life skill that someone is learning while we watch. It is natural to want to end the suffering of others. It is natural to try and protect ourself from the same suffering we see happening to others.

Current technology allows us to be connected near and far, in real time, viewing the horrors that befall humanity and all other life. It is natural for our nervous system to jolt and recoil and for the mental faculties to scream out for the need of change. The inner-most self of the majority yearns with great passion for the end of suffering. The inner-most self also fears that this suffering may come too close to home, which slams the door on compassion.

The key is in first, recognizing when this happens, and then learning to open the door to compassion, even though there is fear.

If we tune out the squabbles of adult children in high places, we may see that by coming together in body and mind we will be able to create a situation where all have enough.

This, however, requires that the participants be willing to work as a team, rather than have the mindset of taking that which they perceive to be abundance, or overflow of wealth, from another.

Those who’s only goal is the absorption of another’s profits from hard work, have no place in the building of a new world where people honor, respect, care for, and work with one another for the benefit of the whole.

Gifting and receiving is the way of the future. The give and take are on their way out. The first is gentle sharing, the latter is forceful compliance. It is clear which idea and mind frame the entire world has been operating from. It is past-due time for change.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trident.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Pure_Ones

Native American Code of Ethics

Published August 23, 2018 by tindertender

NAtive American Girl

  1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.

  2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they will find guidance.

  3. Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.

  4. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve them the best food, give them the best bed and treat them with respect and honor.

  5. Do not take what is not yours whether from a person, a community, the wilderness or from a culture. It was not earned nor given. It is not yours.

  6. Respect all things that are placed upon this earthβ€”whether it be people, animal or plant. Honor the Spirit in all things.

  7. Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to personal expression.

  8. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you. All persons make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven. Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practice optimism.

  9. Nature is notΒ forΒ us, it is aΒ partΒ of us. They are part of your worldly family.

  10. Children are the seeds of our future. Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life’s lessons. When they are grown, give them space to grow.

  11. Avoid hurting the hearts of others. The poison of your pain will return to you.

  12. Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of ones will within this universe.

  13. Keep yourself balanced. Your mental self, spiritual self, emotional self, and physical selfβ€”all need to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.

  14. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react. Be responsible for your own actions.

  15. Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch the personal property of othersβ€”especially sacred and religious objects. This is forbidden.

  16. Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you cannot nurture and help yourself first.

  17. Respect others religious beliefs. Do not force your belief on others.

  18. Share your good fortune with others. Participate in charity. Be willing toΒ give backΒ to the people, so that People will live.

This code of ethics would serve us all well.Β 
Here is the link to the original document:
http://www.appleseeds.org/nat-amer_ethics.htm

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