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THE ETHICAL BLANK: FAULT LINES OF MODERN CIVILIZATION by Dr. Jernail S. Anand

THE ETHICAL BLANK: FAULT LINES OF MODERN CIVILIZATION

Dr. Jernail S. Anand
President, International Academy of Ethics

When we think of the ethical blank, we find ourselves enter a terrain in which morality has taken wing, and an exclusive existentialist ethos is at work. No doubt, the story of survival is nothing but the struggle of the species and the ultimate survival of a few who were really powerful, and this story has its parallel in nature also. When we look at fish, how the bigger one just gobbles up the smaller one, one starts feeling that each created thing is a fodder for another created thing, placed better in power and mental powers. If we continue with this logic, we see that if man has been able to eat away forests, animals, and birds, and rivers, and mountains, it is because of his mental powers.


What could not be done with physical power, like your arms and your muscles, was accomplished with the help of the mind, by creating cranes and huge building and bullying machines. So, finally it is all a game of one upmanship, in which the superior survives, while the lesser ones become their fodder.


If this is nature’s game plan, who is there to feel for smaller fish when they are eaten up by the larger fish? When the ploughshare tumbles up small insects from the sheet of the earth, how small white birds have a feast on them. On which vegetarian food peacocks and cocks live? Nature’s world is very Unkind, if we wish to think so. But it is straight. There is no feeling attached to it. Nor there are any tyrants. Nor victims. Every created object is a bird of prey. It preys upon its lesser species.


THE HUMAN DOMAIN


But the ideas of morality, goodness, fairness enter the screen of thought when we enter the human domain. It is the idea of the soul, the god, the human and his relationship with the cosmic spread which brings into consideration the ideas like the moral and the immoral. Looking at nature, the moral principle involves nothing more than being alive, [somehow] and then performing their duty. If you are a hen, give eggs. Don’t deny them. If you are a cow, eat the grass and give milk. And they are doing it, without flinching from their eternal course. Don’t winds blow even if your high rise towers try their best to interrupt their flow? The moral power of a flowing river includes the evil perspectives also. It brings fertility, but when it overflows its banks, death and destruction too. No moral consideration can stop the river from causing destruction, once it loses its cool.


So, all the ideas of morality, fairness, goodness, evil are connected with the human thought. It is essential to define what is morally upright and what violates the moral code. Society assisted by religious establishments define a code of conduct for men, so that they develop in a particular way. And men have to be taught this code of conduct. Those who break the barriers, fall on the side of evil. And those who honour the taboos, remain on the side of gods and good.


There was a time when evil and good were easily discernible. One could decidedly say: this act is good, and this act is not good. But, the times that we are wading through, have seen a strange mix up of human urges and emotions. The complexity of human character makes it difficult to finally decide whether the man is good or bad. The angry young man on 1970’s was not a chocolate hero, but a villain also who killed without compunction. His purpose was to fight the evil conditions and emerge from the morass of poverty and establish himself as a towering figure in society. How? That was not the question.


Add to the increasing mass of poverty as a bulwark of social change. Wealth has gathered in a few hands, and it has slipped from the fingers of millions of people. Governments have very gracefully acted as catalysts in turning more and more people poor. When prices increase, without a corresponding increase in the wages, your pockets turn into chawls. If you are poor, how long can you make your kids starve? How long can a young girl keep her honour safe? When it has become a market, where everything that sells,survives. So, men, women, young men and young entrepreneurs: everything is for sale. Including your soul and your morality if you happen to believe in it.


ETHICAL BLANK


This is a society in which morality has taken a back seat. The laws of nature [better call jungle] are in operation. The man with resources must suck the small animals who lack resources. Man has been reduced to an insect. And the concepts of morality have lost relevance, because now, the focus is back on the idea of survival.


When you are facing the crisis of survival, how can you think of good and bad? Morality and immortality? Whatever religious structures might teach you that it is the will of God, [although it is always the will of the dominant forces to distract your mind from your poverty], when you are hungry, you need food. How? The answer is ANY HOW. Grab if you can. [remember Victor Hugo’s great hero: Jean Valjean in ‘Les Miserables’]. Sell if you have anything, [Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller]


So, here we come to the ETHICAL BLANK we are talking of. The winds of commercial success, the war consciousness, the wealth formation, coupled with utter lack of moral training and the fall of religious institutions to the politicians – everything has added to this SORDID STATE OF BLISLESSNESS.


Can man recover his manhood from this state? Can we regain our moral consciousness? I have discussed the fault lines of the modern civilization. Can scholars do something? What can anybody do if you have no time to listen to the scholars? If you have no time to listen to the broken music of your bones and the chaos of your souls?


Do we want to return to the law of the jungle, for ever?


Dr. Jernail Singh Anand, the author of 150 plus books, is the recipient of the  Charter of Morava, the highest  Serbian International Award in Creativity, at the 60th Belgrade International Writers Meeting. His name was engraved in the Poets' Rock in Serbia, a rare honour for an Indian author. He already holds The Franz Kafka Literature Prize,  Maxim Gorky International Literary Award, Cross of Peace, and Cross of Literature (Italy) awards.


Dr Anand is Founder Chairperson of the International Academy of Ethics, and an Honorary  Member of the Association of Serbian Writers, Belgrade. He is Prof Emeritus in Indian Literature at The European Institute of the Roma Studies and Research Belgrade. Dr Anand is credited with the theory of Bio-text (critical theory). His work has been translated into more than twenty world languages. Author of 9 epics which are regarded as modern classics, Anand has organized 4 International Literary Conferences, latest of them, in Chandigarh.

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K V DOMINIC
K V DOMINIC
Nov 09, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

"This article of Dr. Jernail Singh Anand is an eye opener to the world and the war mongers who wish to continue the wars that are going on now. Congrats dear Anand ji!" K V Dominic

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