Civilization and Administrative Ethics

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Shahid Majeed Mir

Contemporary societies have evolved certain distinguished attributes since time immemorial. These attributes shape and reshape the makeup of society to reorient social attitudes, preferences and beliefs. Our society rests on secular and Democratic credentials where equality and liberty are inalienable to man’s life. This century rests on belief of Humanism which accords central place to individual in society. In this respect Montesquieu’s separation of power is supposed to play prominent role. The distinction in spatial extent of official jurisdiction to three branches was brought by theorist to duly regard Liberty as inalienable. It laid down the conditions for different branches necessary for smooth working without undue interference. This whole state mechanism in modern orientation from executive dimension has grown in size as well as volume. The meritocracy of selection process ensures transparent selection on well defined parameters. Usually the selection occurs through rigorous exam on behalf of prescribed syllabus. However the lack of checking moral sense is emerging as main crisis and perverts the civilization-administration dichotomy further. Without moral considerations executives violate the civilizational essence. This dichotomy is manifested at higher hierarchy in present orientation.
Man is social if not political by nature. Rawls correctly accords role to society for shaping intellect of man. This social nature bestows certain privileges and demands certain duties from its members. All those participants who share power in its exercise are guided by uniform and impersonal rules. The executive branch of modern Govts holds immense power in daily affairs to implement policies, programmes and laws framed by legislative organ. The essence of this functional capacity lies in the moral code of conduct. Usually the rules mandate checks and balances but as put by Robert Merton “Administrative personal are also human beings who are fallible”. Either they mistakenly fail to implement laws in official duties or the moral character impacts their performance. Since there’s complete segregation between personal and official, yet the manner in which administrative officers maintain day today activities impacts their moral ethic and effects the social attitude. A person holding position in the state accords numerous limitations from moral perspective. Nowadays this moral ethic is lacking in our society. An officer of highest rank seems inheriting a property in official duties not to talk of personal life. What lies at the core of discussion is prevailing hype of 21st century and developed civilization. The atmosphere is filled with reason ethic relationship in a mistakenly materialistic perspective. Isn’t there dichotomy between two? Are Human beings in contradiction with ethic or Civilizational attributes?
Civilization survives on recognized social claims which have become part of its essence. These social claims are passed through dialectical style for common satisfaction in society. In this way every civilization possesses certain principles on whose sustenance its structure sustains. Contemporary civilization is touted as Rational and Individualistic guided by reason. As Plato maintains reason ought to be supreme. This narrative was reoriented to slightly modified pattern by Locke that “If a man’s reason teaches him to attract respect from others, he ought to respect rights of others on similar narrative”. However whole rational psychology is facing crisis in life style of rank and file in our backyard. They take the position as inheritance having penchant for comfort. On this dimension complete contradiction exists between East and West. The western public dignitaries think it necessary to serve people in essence of their duties. They usually maintain nip and tuck life style of commoners in thoughts as well as deeds. The video clips of recent past of President Barrack Obama holding hand of juniors under cover from rain that too of opposite gender. On nip and tuck pattern Angelia Merkle herself seeking cover from rainfall are personalities of grandeur. They aren’t leaving their personal ethic at the mercy of position held in public life. While as public personalities in our backyard are promoting themselves as distinguished human beings in public life itself. This moral crisis speaks volumes about civilizational ethics. The saying reminds the dichotomy as” A person isn’t known by the work he performs but what he becomes after the performance of work”. Our society in backyard deems public office as sole property and shelves the humanity for insane reasons.
The inclusion of ethics in civil service augurs well for contemporary civilization but the perception of Gandhi seems illusory. He believed that “Soul is active and Initiative. The education isn’t gained from books as such but book of life”. Although training does shapes intellect of personality to a great extent but to believe it as panacea is not less than lackadaisical belief. The base of human values and ethics depends on character and Aptitude of man which hardly but storm can modify. The great sayings and teachings remain limited to influence character of man. Our society is passing through moral crisis. The dichotomy arousing due to rank and title of haves and haven’ts in administration is endangering. The officers are vested with powers on trust of which they are trustees apart from the essence of humanitistic values. Humanity teaches us “Simple living and High thinking” as saga of any civilization. All the great men of character like our prophets, sages and saints in spiritualist orientation to scientific personalities have lived life of simplicity. Our top brass officials shall awake from slumber to save the essence of Spiritual and humanistic cues from crisis. There are examples where personalities added grace to the positions through their approach of social issues and life style. Gandhi turned wind to his favour not because of his intellect but because of his perpetual belief of Bread Labour and Trusteeship. We hope for sense of ethics filling atmosphere in days ahead rather than memorable events to pass ethics paper in civil service.
(The author hails from Misribehak Machil Kupwara and can be reached at mirshahid363@gmail.com)

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