By Gerard Elfstrom (auth.)
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Extra resources for Ethics for a Shrinking World
The resort to arms, where successful, is hugely popular. At the very least, it can be touted as a mark of decisiveness, the fortitude to come to grips with problems. What is more, it is action, movement. Masses like to see their leaders doing things, and violence is the most spectacular and riveting doing of all. Thus, means which, it would seem, should be reserved for the last resort often become the first resort, and it is all too easy to see why. Of the factors that allow international violence to flourish and make it appear attractive to national leaders, two loom above the rest.
Certainly they add great richness to human life, and this alone 26 Ethics for a Shrinking World is sufficient to give them utilitarian weight. But there are good reasons for believing that this scheme of apportioning clearly defined responsibilities to specific individuals results in the greatest satisfaction of preferences over the long term. The institution of government also plays its role in supporting human life. If evidence is needed, the chaos of Lebanon should suffice to demonstrate the importance of stable and effective government for providing the basic requirements of a decent human existence.
It requires little more than what Jimmy Carter hoped for during his tenure as President of the United States. There is a variety of reasons for the failure of his efforts. Material cost is not among them. National political leaders have the ability to gain support for such efforts if they make the attempt. President John Kennedy had great success in fostering an internationalism of this sort during his tenure in office. Other politicians could achieve similar awareness today. Of course, there are many reasons why they do not do so, and these will be examined in the concluding chapter.
Ethics for a Shrinking World by Gerard Elfstrom (auth.)