Collapse in providing ethical value screens

Visualization of narrower problems
1. Radical changes in world view and life style are effecting a crisis in both having and providing effective sets of ethical values. Current educational and religious systems have led to the acceptance of short-term "faddish" collective and individualistic values. The following of narrow objectives leads to a patchwork morality and the context for action becomes parochial. Responses to real global needs are ineffective and noncommittal as individuals feel themselves tied to increasingly limited social relations. Such attitudes lead to dissipation of the energy directed at global issues in short-term or reduced projects; and they blunt awareness of the need to create real solutions by fostering the illusion that such needs have already been met. Relations with the community at large, in its diverse and dynamic form, are reduced, as social obligations become limited to one's nearest relations.

2. The prevalent attitude that social benefits should be guaranteed regardless of individual participation further erodes ethical value screens by encouraging licence or withdrawal.

3. During the 1980s, there was a systematic transfer of the moral mandate, that for decades had been almost the sole preserve of the state, to commercial and private, non-profit organizations. This transfer happened in many shapes and guises, including the privatization of previously nationalized industries, the dismantling of legislation that had historically preserved labour rights, the relentless process of international trade liberalization and the retreat of many aspects of the welfare state. These patterns of change have all allowed greater freedom for commercial organizations to determine their own moral or social stances, most conspicuous in the form of advertising, and for the non-profits to take up the moral mantle in advocacy and service provision, most questionably in depicting social misery as a route to fundraising.

4. There are no parental role-models, no historical roots, no precedents and no intellectual grounding for understanding one's situation whether it is as a Yuppy or football hooligan. The absence of reliable values and expectations breeds insecurity, aggression, and finally violence. Severance from the old communal culture leaves a vacuum than can appear to be filled with a sub-culture built around the codes of one's contemporaries. But such reactive cults are inevitably defensive in their instability and amoral in their lack of adult direction.

It may be that the moral unrest be seen is not so much a breakdown in society as a breaking down of social barriers. This dismantling of old certainties, of what could be expected from one's life, offers an almost intolerable form of freedom, but is freedom all the same. This kind of identity crisis seems a hard price to pay so that later generations may believe anything might be possible for them.
(F) Fuzzy exceptional problems