Responsibility is effectively an obsolete concept in much of the West. One of the most diabolical (and effective) strategies of the modern nation state has been the elimination of individual responsibility and the constant blaming of the other guy. Consider the myriad of examples of this which we witness on a day to day basis. Some blacks blame white people for everything wrong in their lives, and the world in general. Everyone bears some responsibility for their lot in life. Those who are slaves bear far less responsibility for their conditions than those who are not. Slavery is the most egregious example of the imbalance of rights and responsibilities. There are a great many slaves in the world. The government is the source of slavery in nearly all cases. Ideally, these people become slaves as a result of their own criminal action, rather than simply being members of the wrong tribe or thinkers of unpopular thoughts. Of course this is an ideal which is ignored all too frequently.
The government promotes irresponsibility to an extent no other organization ever has previously. The examples of this surround us daily. The government, if it finds a useful immorality, will present it to the people as a virtue. For example, taking property which does not belong to you is theft, and is decried as immoral by every successful culture. However, if the entity performing the collection is the government, and particularly if the victims are wealthy, this taking of property is somehow now seen as the wealthy "paying their fair share" rather than the simple act of theivery it is. Similarly, killing children is normally abominable, but, if the government says this outrage is the proper course of action, this act, so singularly evil, is treated as a positive good, and those who still see it for what it is are turned into pariahs.
Government officials have problems even using the word responsibility correctly. I notice that when government people speak of responsibilies, they either speak of someone else's or they use it in an empty manner. They love to support laws to enforce these alleged responsibilities upon various people. They take very little responsibilities for themselves. I have heard politicians say they take "full responsibility" or "personal responsibility" for this or that, but what does that actually mean? Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, says that he takes full responsibility for the intelligence failures which have shown the big lie behind the invasion of Iraq. Does this mean than Tony Blair will put his own life on the line in an Iraqi court to answer for the deaths of innocents? Of course it doesn't. Does it mean that he will be tried in England for leading many troops to their deaths? Of course it doesn't. When I say I take full responsibility for something, I mean that if I have caused you injury, I will pay out of my own pocket or my own hide for the injury I have inflicted upon you. This is never what politicians mean by responsibility. They mean that they will suffer some public embarassment and, at worst, will step down from office to a life of wealth out of the spotlight. This is a farcical version of responsibility indeed.