The people, not just politicians, responsible for realisation of moral economy

The concept of ethics and morality are essential ingredients of any individual or communal endeavour.

It is the basis of integrity and accountability that is a prerequisite for any political or economic entity.

These principles in theory form the basis of governance of any economic model. Be it capitalism that is based on the Keynesian principles that promotes market economy emphasising private sector participation or socialism that emphasises the social ownerships of resources and even communism.

In theory, each of these political economic models posits the principles of distributive justice, elements of liberalism and utilitarianism.

Distributive justice is the just allocation of resources and rewards and costs based on equity.

Those in greatest need must be given priority in the distribution of resources.

Sharing is an integral part of distributive justice. Liberalism is a construct that enjoins political and moral philosophy based on liberty of actions within the limitations of legal framework and the concept of equality before the law, while utilitarianism is to prescribe for the happiness and wellbeing of all individuals.

However, utilitarian principles are not morally constrained for judgments and choice are usually based on certain customs, principles and conventions that may be based on sectarian political ideology, which may be biased towards racial or religious imperatives.

A responsible government, therefore, needs to balance between utilitarian and libertarian principles underlined by distributive justice to maximise the wellbeing of the people in the form of a moral economy.

The realisation of a moral economy, therefore, is not solely dependent on the ethical and moral integrity of politicians but also on the moral and ethical responsibility of the people.

Both must subscribe to the ethos and the vision of the nation, and be responsible for the country and the people wellbeing.

In short, the people must play their part.

The moral obligation of the people is not merely to exercise their voting rights but to also undertake check and balance to guide the political representatives to tread the moral and ethical high ground.

This synergy between politicians and the people based on moral and ethical integrity would go a long way in pursuing the concept of a moral economy.

But such synergy is seldom found in most countries. The people simply consign their fate and that of the nation to the politicians who usually run foul of the moral and ethical principles of governance.

As a result, the institutions of governance that are supposed to prioritise the wellbeing of the people are hijacked by sectarian interests, notwithstanding the lofty principles enshrined in the Constitution and other national symbols.

Malfeasance, misfeasance and corruption become endemic and moral degradation surfaces even among the most pious, resulting in systemic breakdown of governance.

Thus, any political or economic model is only as good as the people who run it.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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