911 Words inspired by the Act of Sales Order Processing; May 6th, 14:45 Onwards
I do not view the affairs of nations through a moral lens. Some individual men and women have a moral sense, but organisations - particularly those as large and diverse as governments - do not. Morality is a subjective quality, each individual man and woman having their own interpretation and execution of morality. Diversity has many positive attributes, not merely sentimental but actual, concrete advantages, but morality cannot be one of them, for each individual has an individual moral sense. The mix of experiences and skills which allow a group to outperform an individual provide no advantage in the moral or emotional domain. A group does not magnify the morals of an individual, indeed the mixture of personal morality and ethical conditioning tends to produce an amoral group, one which does not have a moral sense. On a small scale, anyone who has ever been out drinking with their friends has experienced the amorality of group behaviour. Individuals who would never contemplate the assault or murder of another individual can perform such acts when brought together in groups, even without the addition of alcohol. A desire to appear tougher or more rational than the other group members, or simply collective group bravado, can lead to acts which individual group members would find morally unacceptable. I know this to be true. Governments, corporations, religions, followings, gangs are the same swirl in a coffee-cup, even those which employ ethics advisors. Only diversity can nullify the magnification inherent in commonality.
For this is the disadvantage of diversity. Whilst a diverse group is resistant to disease and possesses an expansive skill-set, diverse groups tend to erase subjective attributes, learned attributes, one being morality. There is no objective morality. Human beings find pleasure - both sexual and non-sexual - in the torture and murder of other human beings and of animals. One is possessed of the desire to protect oneself and one's family at the expense of others. The things which drive us are pain and pleasure, fear of the former, the desire to experience the latter either through sensual gratification or the domination and destruction of others, the desire to treat other men and women not as competitors but as toys or pets, objects to be used or cherished or destroyed. These are mankind's natural urges, there is no morality there. We instinctively despise the weak and seek to destroy them; we respect the strong, and seek to destroy them as well, so that we can wear their heads as hats.
In this respect therefore the amorality of large, diverse groups is positively moral, in that neutrality is less destructive than the natural state of disorder. For this reason we continue to tolerate the ineffectual paralysis of international organisations, for this paralysis is greatly preferable to the dynamic vigour of genocidal movements. We choose not to march to Olympus not because it is easy, but because it is hard, and whatever good we might achieve, it would easily be overshadowed by the evil we could so easily unleash. Whatever positive effect The Body Shop or Live Aid have had on the collective happiness of humanity, the constant tide of massacres cancel it and drive the balance so far into the red as to demand a new graph. The risks we face from evil are greater than the rewards we stand to gain from good, and thus we have chosen a constant state of nothingness. The checks and balances with which we bind ourselves to the sound of a bell-like victory. Charlie does not surf; he is my contact in China.
Individuals are capable of great evil. Groups are not capable of evil. They may perform and allow evil acts, but the intention is not evil, it is instead political. There is no emotion, and morality cannot exist without emotion. We tend to assume that such individuals must have been damaged or conditioned by their upbringing to be evil, and that those who spread love and happiness either through their acts or because they are attractive are such because they have not been damaged. Yet these people have also spent their lives being conditioned. Other people want them, and are apt to express this with compliments, reinforcing the enlightened with a sense of value. Furthermore, observers are more likely to express a positive opinion of the subject to others, thus increasing society's positive perception of these individuals. Only the anonymous man is free from judgement. The non-participant, the silent majority, the observer. This man is the moral man, for only he can perceive the extremes of morality. The ugly man and the handsome man are alike too close to the subject, their lens in macro mode. Only the plain man, of average build, can judge, can hold the rifle, can drive the blade.
If the individuals who make up an organisation could be added together and divided by their quantity, the result would be a figure, an average man, a moral man. Yet this moral man is spread thin, and morality can only exist in concentration. Thus the organisation is amoral, despite its moral average. I conclude therefore that the amorality of the machine derives from its nature as a collection of components rather than a whole. The peas on my plate are nonetheless capable of evil, for they are a collection of the same components, indeed they are elements of pod, many different ones.
The thin man is not a moral man. He is a liability.