Our Only Shared Morality

by Caleb Roberts

What is made true by this ideological success — as well as by ‘power and money’ — is not participative citizens collectively ruling themselves but subjects attributing ‘democracy’ to the state, accepting that they are morally obliged to obey its commands and, even, to participating in its electoral rituals.  Indeed, so successful has been contemporary liberalism that the idea of the good is now widely regarded as private and merely subjective whilst that of right has been detached from it and identified with the law enforced by the state, justice being equated with adherence to the state’s procedures.  Our only shared morality is that of acquiescent obedience to power, and what the powerful tells us to fear is any appeal to first principles or final ends.  A more insidiously demoralizing ideology of passivity and manipulation is hard to imagine. (176)

Kelvin Knight | Aristotelian Philosophy: Ethics and Politics from Aristotle to MacIntyre