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On The Fall Of English Morals and Values Part One: Civil Society | Blog | William Cody Winter .Com

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On The Fall Of English Morals and Values Part One: Civil Society

For this post I take a look at what I believe to be a fall in English morals and values. I primarily take at look at cultural standardisation and a civil society.
Tintoretto_Allegory
We once had a very strict sense of right and wrong, following a strict set of morals that was at its very pinnacle during victorian times. Many people believed in trying to do what was deemed right, even if they sometimes lapsed. It could be argued that our moral code has changed many times throughout the centuries, however, many of these key rules and ideals have remained the same for hundreds or even thousands of years. Because they have long since been tried, tested and demand the correct or best way for us to conduct ourselves.

If we are to look at just the past couple of hundred years or so, we can not deny that our morals and values have been rapidly declining since the end of the second world war. It was those born in the final few years of the war and the next fifteen or so years that would be responsible for the rise in football hooliganism. It would be these few years that would also spawn the likes of Tony Blair and Ken Livingstone (need I say more?). Since the late 1990s, we have become as a nation on the whole nearly completely morally bankrupt.

I shall begin by delineating to you the difference between morals and values. Values are our own personal believes that we come to through our own experiences, whereas morals are a set of beliefs that most of us are taught from a young age to instil in us a system of basic rights and wrongs. We, each and every one of us are at some point judged by our moral standing or the lack thereof and are described as immoral if we are found to be inadequate in this area, however no such label is put on us for our values. Values are often described as an intuition, or as coming from the heart.


Let us look here for a moment at not just the fall of morals, but at civilisation as a whole. Anthropologist Bryan S. Turner says that there are three factors that a civilisation needs to resist cultural standardisation. A strong aesthetic tradition. A viable civil society and policies that promote and sustain a national heritage.

In anthropology, cultural standardization refers to the process by which an increasingly technological and interconnected planet develops an increasingly homogeneous culture. Such a planet might be one in which everyone plays soccer in their leisure time and eats out at the same ubiquitous fast-food restaurant. It might be a tidy, easy-to-navigate world, but it also might be a bit, well, dull.


- What is cultural standardization? - curiosity.discovery.com

A civil society is a group of institutions or organisations that display the interests and the will of citizens, the terminology is also often used in a generalised sense to represent "the elements such as freedom of speech, an independent judiciary, etc, that make up a democratic society" (Collins English Dictionary). A viable civil society ties in I believe with the notion of morals and values, as surely if a civil society manifests the will of the people it is at least in part representing their morals and values, such as their belief in a person's right to free speech.

Now I think is the perfect time to go into the changing attitudes towards people's right to free speech and the freedom of expression, as this idea can fall under both morals and values. On the subject of freedom of speech and expression, I shall start by listing just a few of violations against free speech and expression that made the news recently (not necessary Britain). 

1. Mozilla’s chief executive in California was forced to resign after he made a political donation in support of a movement against same-sex marriage.

My input: I take no issue whatsoever with homosexual couples being together, I believe that some people are that way like others are straight and that is just who they are. They too have the right to be in a relationship like anyone else. However on the other side of the table I also do not believe that someone should lose their job because of their personal views and what organisations they choose to donate to (as long as it didn’t come out of the company’s money of course). His views I am sure do not impair his ability to do his job and I look at this as an unfair dismissal.

2. A taxi driver in Devon received a letter from the local council accusing her of discrimination and breaching equality laws because she had a small St George sticker on her taxi. They also told her they would not be renewing her license if she did not remove them. In the end to carry on making a living she gave in and removed them.

My input: The flag of St George is England’s national flag and it should be everyone’s right to fly or display their country’s flag if they so choose. As for the council saying the flag is putting people who are not born in England at an unfair disadvantage, all nations have a national flag and if I moved to say Spain, America or Iraq I would never expect that country to stop displaying their flag just because I was not born there and besides the St George’s Cross is not exclusive to England alone, it is used in other countries too.

3. In 2013, a pregnant woman in Oldham is recorded holding a Union Flag whilst being questioned by Police.

My input: Unfortunately even with a good pair of headphones it is not clear enough to pick out for sure what they say they are arresting her for. However if you pay attention to the video it does look that way, coupled with the fact that bystanders are saying clearly things such as “How can you be arrested for carrying a flag?” and one person comes up to the main group of bystanders and asks why she is being arrested, a man replies “It’s racist carrying the flag… that's what they just said”, his tone genuine and a clear mixture of surprise and anger. But obviously it is up to you to watch it and make up your mind, it can easily be found by searching Google for a phrase such as ‘pregnant woman arrested with union jack’. Also searching for this phrase will turn up an article by a website called
theamericanmuslim.orgthat says that this is a false claim and they imply that it is islamophobic and bigoted to suggest she was being arrested or questioned for holding the Union Flag.

The police are now claiming that she was not arrested or questioned for the Union Flag and that she was carrying a second flag that was offensive and it was this flag that was confiscated from her, this alleged second flag is never seen in the videos. Do you believe the Police or do you feel this is just an attempt by them to look in the right after the video went viral and caused a lot of people to complain on social networking sites?

4. A UK party leader was arrested in 2014 for daring to quote Winston Churchill in public.

My input: Paul Weston was arrested for repeating a quote criticising Islam by Winton Churchill. Was Churchill in his day (which is not all that long ago) arrested for being critical of Islam? No! That is because just a few short years ago in Britain we truly had Free Speech, not this pretence of Freedom of Speech. This is surely a direct violation of Mr Weston’s human rights and the police have since dropped the charges after it sparked a nationwide debate on free speech and made international headlines. I put this question to you to think about, if he had instead used a quote that criticised Christianity would he have been so quickly arrested?

In the not so distant past most people believed in free speech and people's right to their own opinions. They may not have liked what someone said and thought it was utter nonsense, but they respected that persons right to say it and yes even to think differently from them. Now there is this growing attitude especially from the Thatcher baby generation (yes I am an 80s baby myself) onwards, that everyone has the right to their own views, unless it disagrees in any way with theirs then you have no right whatsoever to speak, express or even think your opinions. Even worse many of these people with that attitude, instead of debating and discussing their opposing views they result to insult, name calling and telling you to “Shut the F**k up” and to “Shut your F**king mouth”.

In this post I have mostly just defined what morals and values are and went over the fall of morals and values in regard to a national identity, opinions  and free speech, but in a future post I shall look into other areas that our morals, culture and values have fallen.

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