In Honor Of The Government Shutdown: Niebuhr's MORAL MAN AND IMMORAL SOCIETY

Published in 1932 (before the rise of Nazism)  Reinhold Niebuhr’s book explains America today.   It is as current as your Republican Congressman and Obama’s Bush-like policies.  It is not because Niebuhr predicted them, but because these underlying forces have been in play everyday for the past 5,000 years. 

Human beings treat each other as individuals, based upon personal moral habits.  But when those same individuals collect into groups, their moral restraints lessen. 

“People find it impossible to grant to others what they claim for themselves.”

“Any rationalization for unequal allotment of goods is only an afterthought.”  

The common man’s personal frustrations with the limitations of his own life, are easily recruited into the state’s agenda. 

"the behavior of the state would horrify anyone personal moral code, so the leaders must invent “romantic and moral interpretations of real facts.”

Only occasionally are they so obvious as to be visible.  Clear in both political parties, they are even more so in the Tea Party and Libertarian Movements.  On the most fundamental level, this is what we do, it is what we are, we can do little else.  Presented below are only a few of his insights.   


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  • Larry M.

    Research shows that people are poor at predicting how they will respond in future situations.

    1 · October 27, 2013

  • John O.


    October 27, 2013

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