A Dialogue on Politics and Ethics

MYSELF - The concept of politics and ethics are united and exclusive. That is, we see all the time that politicians and their charges will speak solely of ethics that cater to their own beliefs and opinions. They do not look to an established ethical belief system as much as they define ethics based on their own need. This undermines the entire concept of the virtuous life.

SOCRATES  The virtuous life is one that cannot be defined until it is completed. We need to so the whole of the life even if parts of the whole may lack virtue. The politicians life as seen before and after his public service will need to be examined. It would be premature to restrict the parts of the whole

MYSELF - While this may be true for the common man, those that control  or seek to manipulate  the powers of state and government need to maintain an oath of their office. They are found by particular codes of governance. All political bodies were the members are elected in some form are bound by certain ethical procedure. Violations of such procedures can lead to their impeachment or their expulsion. As such, it is understood that they are to maintain a certain level of conduct. They are bound by certain ethics or else they would be removed. This means there is no room for unethical behavior in political circle.

THRASYMACKOS  You seem to misunderstand the purpose of political rule. It is intended to maintain order.

MYSELF  Which is why it need to maintain a certain level of ethical behavior.

THRASYMACKOS  This is why the stringent adherence to certain ethical behavior is something that needs to be subjective.

SOCRATES  A virtuous life is one that entails the benefits that you can provide to others. It may not be virtuous to kill but there are segments of the government that may be required under certain circumstance to commit deadly force under certain circumstances. We see this in our abilities to maintain the law. A small extension of this aspect can be carried over to certain political offices where certain needs exist to go beyond ethical procedures in order to create a greater good for society.

MYSELF  Only if the bulk of the non-virtuous behavior was being employed to serve the greater good and not the self.

SOCRATES  Do not all their actions eventually benefit others

MYSELF  It would be a crime to paint the entirety of politics with one brush. In this case, lets clearly discuss those that violate ethics when they are less than truthful with their constituents when they seek election or re-election. To campaign on issues that one has no intention to take seriously when actually arriving in office, that is purely unethical.

THRASYMACKOS  It remains such a constant in political circles you almost cannot take it seriously.

MYSELF  But, I do take it seriously and so should you and the populace of society. Most importantly, those that are in political office need to take such things seriously or they completely lose their value over time. This can contribute to the outright eroding of society.

SOCRATES  Virtue can have different meanings because it can be subjective. When you define virtue to limit it to rules of such things as a subcommittee in a political arena.

THRASYMACKOS  The key to maintaining a level of ethics and politics will rely on the relationship of all aspects to justice itself. Justice can require many different seemingly less than ethical behavior. Justice will always center on obedience to the laws regardless of the ethics of those that have crafted the laws. When you establish justice you are placing the advantages on society to those that are stronger than others. It seeks to establish the idea that some with have an advantage over others. This is the core of all justice.
MYSELF  Does it not lose its moral grounding when a lack of ethics governs the politics of the process

THRASYMACKOS  When you create a concept of justice, you create a concept of order. This will forever expand beyond the mere notion of ethical behavior on the part of the political machine as long as the advantages over the populace do not become tantamount to suppression.

SOCRATES  Suppression completely undermines virtue because it goes beyond advantage to domination of the weak which is not virtuous behavior. A level of legitimate virtue must be maintained in order to create any claim of legitimacy.

THRASYMACKOS  Justice must be for the good of the people as long as the notion of an advantage is not designed to completely crush the spirit of the population. That is not an advantage as much as it is pure control.

MYSELF  The two of you seem to be ignoring the fact that you both speak of a top down rule from the political class to the population as opposed to the population speaking upwards to the political class. There must always be an ethical link to where those in the ruling class ignore the temptation to rule and act more as representatives. Far too often there is a tendency for them to act as if they have been appointed as guardians. Certainly they do not run for office on such a position because they would be summarily rejected by their own electorate. Yet, they continue such behaviors year in and year out in a truly unethical manner.

THRASYMACKOS  Because a populace has opted to accept the notion that they have abdicated an advantage to those that they elect. This is because they place them in a position of power.

SOCRATES  Where virtue becomes subjective due to certain external factors during their tenure in their positions.

MYSELF  Regardless of how they obtained and advantage or how virtue is defined or refined based on external factors, there can be no connection to ethical behavior if there is no connection to truthfulness. When promises are made on a campaign trail that are not kept and a lack of honesty is permitted within the halls of elected office, the potential to maintain a connection between ethics and politics becomes limited. Clearly that cannot be good nor can it be allowed as it is a perversion of all things virtuous, advantageous, and ethical.

SOCRATES  By whose definition does this derive

MYSELF  By the original authority natural law.


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