So many of our problems would disappear if society held the individual responsible for his or her own actions.
But our whole civilization's structure is built on the collective - the group, the political party, the company, the union, the corporation, the board of governors, the parole board, the school board, the committee, the church, the fraternity, the brotherhood, the armed forces, police forces - always the collective.
In that way, the individual may commit all sorts of crimes and abuses with relative impunity and even walk away with a fat bonus to boot. The group protects the worst offenders because each individual within the group gets to hide behind the power of the collective. How far would Hitler have gone without the collective - without the obedient, agreeable, supportive masses ?
The head of British Petroleum, responsible for the worst oil spill in industrial history gets to resign and is rewarded with millions of dollars for his horrible misdeeds and failures.
No one is held responsible. Everyone suffers unfathomable damage. There are no real consequences for the offenders. A slap on the wrist, perhaps, but, for the most part, the offender is Teflon in our society - slippery - untouchable.
The parole board frees a rapist murderer and the monster kills again. No one is responsible. No individual is punished for setting him free. Each and every one of the members of the board escapes the consequences.
The defence lawyer - like the teacher, the doctor, the nurse or the police officer - good or bad - is accepted as an icon in our society - no matter how he may transgress to defend the criminal. Our law requires the lawyer to do "put up a strong defence". Does anyone ever check to see if he has done it honestly? Not likely. Like incompetent doctors and crooked policemen - the lawyer is protected by the brotherhood - the bar association - the collective. Consequently, the innocent victims and their families suffer irreparable damage.
A police officer helps a young thief to rob and destroy a family, but the local station covers up for him and then the detectives cover up - incriminating fingerprints disappear - and no one is held responsible. The case is closed - even though it was never open. The old true blue line covers up instead of stopping that one officer on the day he committed the crime - October 7, 1996 at 4995 Prince of Wales, NDG, Montreal, Quebec. And the victims of his crime continue to suffer day and night, year after year.
A doctor drags a sick and terrified patient around the emergency room of a major Montreal hospital in front of dozens of witnesses. No one stops him. Then he tells the patient there is nothing wrong with her. He orders her to get into a wheelchair and tells her she will be pushed out to a taxi immediately.
The patient saves her own life by refusing to leave the hospital. With great difficulty, she makes her way to the oncology department and learns almost immediately that she has bone cancer.
The patient reports these events to the hospital's complaints commissioner. And, as expected, the chief of staff covers up, as he always does.
This is what happens when no individual is held responsible for his or her mistakes, abuses or crimes. The collective supports and guarantees abuse because there are no consequences for the individual. The individual culprit lives in the cocoon of the collective.
The collective covers up the misdeeds of the lowest, the most irresponsible, the most incompetent and the most evil members of society. The whole structure of our society is riddled with rot because we do not hold the individual responsible.
Our society is in terrible trouble because no one holds the delinquent individual responsible. Why should they? Once in a position of power, each individual is out to save his own seat. It would take a person of noble character, intelligence, and substance - a moral, ethical person - to reach a position of power and then risk personal loss to change things for the sake of us all.
Where, oh where, are the heroes ?
Canada's industry minister, Tony Clement, has been under heavy criticism for his political actions. He was looking like a real loser until, on July 25, 2010, he dove into white water to rescue a stranger. In that moment, he demonstrated courage, core character and individual responsibility. No one is perfect, but there is hope.
Read the details of these cases at PHYLLIS CARTER'S JOURNAL, http://phylliscartersjournal.blogspot.com.
PHYLLIS CARTER'S JOURNAL
A voice crying out against injustice,
corruption and abuse in Canada.