An eight-year-old Little League ball player hits a single. The next batter hits a sharp ground ball that's bobbled by the shortstop, who then picks the ball up and tosses it to the second baseman. The baseman, not yet at second base, swooped his glove, containing the ball, toward the base runner. The base runner reached second base. The umpire signs "Safe!"
The second base runner signals "time" and walks over to the umpire. "Sir, his body was between you and me, but I felt his glove brush my shoulder. I'm out."
An unbelievable story, right? It could never happen?
I've come to the conclusion that this is where our current "getting away with it" attitude starts. Sports coaches teaching youngsters to take an erroneous call in their favor. Teaching them to seize advantage by breaking rules, and trying to hide it from the referee.
In the children's prisons, it becomes ok to sneak a look at the test paper of another, if it can be done unobserved. It no longer is a problem that one's peers are aware of his ethical shortcomings, it's only a problem if he gets caught. Even then, his peers will likely respond with "Dawg! Good try!"
After a number of years and a number of confirmations of this behavior pass, our ethically challenged lad graduates law school and becomes an attorney. The firm at which he's employed--as do most law firms today--advocates and requires him to win the case regardless of truth and regardless of the harm caused to the innocent.
Then come years of success winning huge punitive sums for his clients, many of whom would have no complaint had they exercised diligence to protect themselves in advance, against deep pocket plaintiffs who were merely attempting to provide a service, and who had been problem-free for decades. He decides to go into politics.
After building a warchest and setting up a campaign staff, our anti-hero wins the election by digging up irrelevant dirt on his opponent. He has used, walked over and cast aside friends whose usefulness is at an end, or who become liabilities.
It doesn't matter, his plan for his people is unquestionably good. Should anyone actually try to question it, they are evil and enemies of the people. They are to be discredited, and jailed, if possible.
Meanwhile, the country sinks into a war of each man's hand in the pocket of another and productivity being punished at every turn.
This is the path destined for those who advocate the maxim, "The end justifies the means."
Unless a more livable philosophy can achieve pre-eminence, the world will slide, on the skids of altruism, back into a new Dark Age.
They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!