Changes in Ethics

Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk

An Upside Down World


It is not only the Jewish World that changed, it is the alteration of our entire universe.  From our Talmud we can read and learn much wisdom.  This can be authenticated with the expression:  “In unserem Talmud kann man vieles lesen und alles ist schon einmal da gewesen” (In our Talmud you can read a great deal and all that we read there has already occurred). 

The years between nineteen hundred and two thousand twelve have changed our universe, its inhabitants and their beliefs, actions and expectations enormously.  We not only have altered the concept of ethics, or lack thereof, we have changed our convictions, if indeed they exist.  We have constructed means where all we need to do is press a button on an electronic device and it will tell us what we need to expect, to know and to do.  Technology is used to sanction whatever we wish or not wish our actions to be.  Manipulation and a nonexistent conscience is sanctioned in the twentieth plus century. 

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism as described by Max Weber is no longer in the forefront. This book and its wisdom have disappeared in the unread back stacks of ancient literature.  Reading and research have become efforts of the past, since computers and their attachments have taken their place.  People are declaring themselves disabled at the expense of their fellow citizens who need to work twice as hard to support the new, modern breed of humanity. They no longer have to exert themselves to live the “good life.” We can sit in our armchairs, push buttons, see movies and collect governmental funds.  If we do not want to make the effort to exert ourselves, we can collect ninety-nine weeks of income from the government (funds from those who are still willing to do a day’s work).

Those relatively few in our population who exert themselves are considered old fashioned, misinformed and “cheap.”  Through governmental controls and enormous taxes, they are forced to support the governmental bureaucrats and the relaxed masses who look on with envy that the ambitious folks have one television more than they.  Sympathetic feelings do not exist among these dregs of society.  They do not remember the adage “Ohne Fleiss, kein Preis” (Without ambition, no reward).  Another ancient Germanic European language saying was:  “Wer da trinkt und frisst wird Polizist” (Whoever eats and drinks becomes the police), namely the overseer (in our country it’s the politician). It is similar to the phrase: The rabbit as gardener. 

The myth of Sisyphus describes the feeling of those who still work and are forced by governmental controls to support those who enjoy the “good life,” the so called free spirits whose psyche does not allow the word exertion/work to enter their vocabulary. Sisyphus was a man who rolled a rock up a hill and of course it rolled down again and again, as the law of physics tells us.  This is in effect the story of the hard working person who supports the envious “riffraff” of society.  The eternal adult infants who desire unconditional love, acceptance, other people’s income, material goods and comforts without exerting any effort! Those who take away a large portion of the hardworking people’s earnings through taxation have no feelings and no conscience about the theft that they have perpetrated.


 Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of several books and articles.

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