Ethics started to play very little role these days due to the variety of reasons. Modern people are focused on personal prosperity in most countries and cases, so they have neither desire nor time to think about ethical side of their behavior. However, it is in the power of every individual to change such state of things. There are many different approaches to the understanding and interpreting ethical considerations within a society. Moral intuitions and judgments based on Religious, Utilitarian, Liberal, Libertarian, Egalitarian, Communitarian, and some other principles are common for modern society. It creates an ethical diversity and heterogeneity of the modern world.
My ethical intuitions and judgments are based on the principles of egalitarian liberalism. The rights of individuals are more important than the consequences to the social environment as a whole these individuals live at. All people are unique and have rights to be unique, not follow the commonly accepted laws of ethics just because they have to. On the other hand, I stand for constructive liberalism or egalitarian because liberals are destructive mostly – they are ready to stand for their rights “not to do” regarding almost every aspect, proposed by the society and government.
It means that liberalism is more about chaos than order. Egalitarian liberalism stands for order within chaos without losing individuality. Therefore, I support everything good and individual and condemn the right for doing bad things. It sounds too simple and primitive but it the ethical considerations I have had for a long time. Once, some wise man said the following: The freedom of a person ends where the freedom of another person starts. Egalitarian liberalism is my choice because it correlates with my desire to act as I want along without limiting the same right of people around. Thus, for example, I do not mind to hear loud music from my neighbors when it is appropriate and will call a police if these liberals continue the party at night.
Another example is cyber journalism that flourished relatively recently due to the extensive development of the internet and related technologies. Citizen journalism includes activities from posting comments in blogs and news sites to creating rather scooped stories regarding the topic of interest. The goal of the vast majority of such journalists is to provide the community with views from both sides regarding the subject and not to allow some reporters’ biased opinions guide other people. Some news outlets claim that citizen journalists threaten journalistic integrity and professionalism.
However, it was citizen journalists, who sometimes caught provocative footages, such as inappropriate behavior of law enforcement authorities, or celebrities doing something worthy of more attention, than usual. Therefore, citizen journalists provide people with another point of view and thus help mainstream media hold higher standards. It is clear that these journalists are not journalists in the true meaning of this word, since they have not spent years working in this area and have no appropriate education.
I feel normal when someone takes photos of me with my consent. However, I do not tolerate such activities without it. The same with government and corporations. While they act in the name of prosperity and protection of the nation, people, employees, etc. – I am glad to support wise choices of policy and regulations. On the other hand, if there are policies aimed to limit my freedom in favor of others who have access to the policymaking institutions or board of directors, for example, there is no way I would support people related to such activities or have good relationships with them. Moreover, it concerns all people around me would it be my relatives, friends, or other close people.
Political violence is a very controversial issue of any society and political regime for all times. Politicians possess the power to influence the development process of a society. Any power is something people got used to very quickly therefore, politicians usually exploit all opportunities to preserve it in current hands. Political violence is one of such opportunities. It has many forms and manifestations from media actions to tortures of opposition and other similar things. Among the most obvious forms of political violence, the following can be outlined: genocide, violation of human rights, wars, brutality of police forces, counter-insurgency activities, tortures, and capital punishment.
As it can be noticed, the list is not full but rather substantial at the same time. It is easy to say that political violence cannot be justified ever however, there are situation when political will of the country leaders provokes extreme measures and can be the only possible response to the situation. War on the own territory in order to protect own people from foreign oppressors is justified by the need to survive. Counter-insurgency activities and use of excessive force during the operations can be justified by the care of greater good in the scale of nation. Violation of human rights can be different as well – forbidding people to gather in public is violation of human rights however, in cases of possible threat of terrorist act, it can be justified.
Of course, all these activities and limitations can be applied in case of extra emergency and for the sake of people’s interests only. It should be noted that political violence is a very dangerous and powerful instrument to be used by government. It must be used with extreme caution by government and related agencies only. Otherwise, such activities should be considered as the act of terrorism or treason depending on the situation. It is also very important to notify people regarding the whole process. In other words, it is necessary to explain the need in political violence in each particular case via media so people would understand the situation. They might not support it however, people must understand the consequences of disobeying temporary political violence limitations.
There is one more case of political violence that holds a special place in any society. It is capital punishment. People are capable of doing terrible things that can be evaluated by the society as deserving to be punished by death. However, it is an utterly controversial issue of giving government the right to kill people. There are many opinions regarding this issue and there is no clear answer to it. In this case, political violence is a tool to be used considering the situation and public opinion.
Taxes are among things most people would like to not to think about. It is inevitable evil for some and the source of income for the governmental structures across the world. Taxes were invented by the first government to assure their activities. There are several major forms of taxes that include numerous subcategories differentiating taxes: taxes on income, social security taxes, taxes on payroll, taxes on property, taxes on goods and services, various tariffs, licensing taxes, and number of others. All taxes are aimed to collect some amount of money for particular purposes of government would it be social issues or military programs.
It is not possible to imagine a country without taxes. Such country should be either utterly small (like Monaco) or have unlimited resources that can provide the entire country with necessary financing by exporting these resources (like Saudi Arabia, for example). Most countries have taxes applied to various categories of citizens. Taxes are necessary to support government functioning so they are justified, in most cases. However, taxation must have certain limits. Too many taxes or too heavy taxes can negatively influence the standard of living substantially and make people leave the country that will eventually influence the population. Too liberal taxes would make the country some kind of shelter for crooks and criminals of all kinds that would hide their money in local banks. In any case, taxation is a very sensitive issue for every government.
Taxation policy reflects the situation within a country objectively. The higher the taxes are – the better standard of living is. People live better in the countries with higher taxes, in overall meaning because social standards depend on the amount of money collected from business activities of related residents. Therefore, smart taxation policy can attract more companies that would provide investments to the prosperous region. It will end with increasing incomes for companies and increased taxes collection for the government. Thus, taxation is an instrument of internal and external financial policy of any government.
In the countries with unwise taxation policy standard of living are rather low for most of the population. However, the people who have the power to influence taxes (governmental institutions) abuse these policies in their favor providing higher living standards for their own favor. Such situation is common for the countries with authoritarian form of ruling in present or in the past. Former Soviet Union republics, some South African countries, for example, suffer from such state of things due to the lack of taxation culture. Taxes are used improperly and the income from taxation is usurped by small group of government officials that leads to social tension and lack of investment attractiveness for these regions. This, in turn, influences the further development of local businesses.