The question this week revolves around a notion that society is becoming more ethical. Given weak evidence of this (Strom, 2003) which documents a single person who, for some unstated reason, is giving away his fortune and would like to give away his sole kidney, I can only think of the recent banking and insurance industries foray into subprime lending, the response to that by cities and towns by artificially inflating home values for increases in tax revenue, and people attempting to remove Haitian children from their country under the pretense of humanitarian aid, whether legitimate or not (Hojnacki & Shick, 2008; Tergesen, 2007; Cooney, 2010).
I guess we need to define the terms and the boundaries of the terms. Which society are we talking about? In India, children living in brothels are denied an education because their parents are considered criminals, thereby denying the rights of the children (Briski & Kauffman, 2004). Is this more ethical?
Since when? Which eras are we comparing? In the 1930’s and 40’s, Hitler’s Nazi regime perpetrated one of the most heinous genocides in history, except for China and Tibet in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, where Mao Ze-Dong killed off between 50 and 80 million people. Some more recent and notable genocides (as cited in Scaruffi, 2009):
1,700,000 dead, by Pol Pot in Cambodia, 1975-1979;
1,600,000 dead, by Kim Il Sung in North Korea, 1948-1994;
1,500,000 dead, by Menghistu in Ethiopia, 1975-1978;
1,000,000 dead, by Yakubu Gowon in Biafra, 1967-1970;
900,000 dead, by Leonid Brezhnev in Afghanistan, 1979-1982;
800,000 dead, by Jean Kambanda in Rwanda, 1994;
600,000 dead, by Saddam Hussein in Iran 1980-1990 and Kurdistan 1987-1988.
I believe that if there is a so-called ethical call-to-arms, it is merely a return to balance in the newscasting and reporting which is perceived as something it is not. Though, I would like a return to values, so to speak, but whose values should we value?
Briski, Z., & Kauffman, R. [Writers/directors]. (2004). Born into brothels: Calcutta’s red-light kids [Motion picture]. Los Angeles, CA: ThinkFilm.
Cooney, P. [Ed.]. (2010, January 30). Americans arrested taking children out of Haiti. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60T23I20100130
Hojnacki, J. E., & Shick, R. A. (2008, December). The subprime mortgage lending collapse – Should we have seen it coming? Journal of Business & Economics Research, 6(12), 25-36.
Scaruffi, P. (2009). 1900-2000: A century of genocides. Retrieved from http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/dictat.html
Strom, S. (2003, August 17). An organ donor’s generosity raises the question of how much is too much. The New York Times (New York ed.), pp. 117.
Tergesen, A. (2007, November 5). How to Reduce Your Property Taxes. BusinessWeek. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_45/b4057079.htm