By Larbi Arbaoui
By Larbi Arbaoui
Morocco World News
Tinjedad, Morocco, July 31, 2012
The word crisis generally brings to mind an incident or situation involving a threat to the well being of the economy or the financial instability of a country, a state or a family. The word is hardly associated with a decline in morals of a certain community and the absence of honesty and mutual trust among the individuals of modern societies.
The whole world is in restless talk, and debates are taking place everywhere over the economic crisis that has recently affected even the strongest economy of the world and left the gurus of economy in desperate helplessness. The passive consumption of mass media has reduced the meaning of crisis to a stereotyped understanding of the word as a mere economic disharmony while the word is more than a bank bankruptcy. Are we witnessing the crisis of morals, or instead is it more accurate to say we are witnessing a crisis from the lack of them?
In this attempt to reflect upon our contemporary morals, I am not going to talk about the demoralizing effects of modern society in a religious perspective. Admitting that the current crisis of moral values is the result of the renouncing of religious teachings and guidelines may lead us to think of a religious approach as a definite and ultimate solution to the disease of the modern world. I and many others may go for this argument, but I believe that the complexities of the contemporary world and the social vices are too complicated to be reformed by means of preaching and religious intimidation.
Given the number of factors that come into play, preserving and transmitting moral values to the younger generation is too challenging without a comprehensive and conclusive approach.
The current crisis of our time is a crisis of values. To put it in the right sense, we are living the triumph of those values held before the crisis. In Morocco, we live in the wreckage of a slow deconstruction of values that began only recently. Bribery, fraudulence, social hypocrisy, deceit, to name a few, that used to be in our fathers’ days exceptionally shameful acts of decadence are nowadays manifestations of a good character and a true gentleman.
Everything is turned upside down! The wrong doers and fraudulent people in our society are idealized and are given a higher social status instead of being denounced openly. Out of ignorance, they have become aspired social models that the majority is blindly longing to befriend and imitate. The decline of values is what drove the German philosopher Nietzsche in the nineteen century to call for the trans-valuation or the reversal of values, accusing Christian morality to be a decadent ideology.
I don’t think we need to borrow new values, nor do we need to renovate them. It would be sufficient to retrospect into the traditional repertoire of highly appreciated moral values in our culture to observe how desperately we need some of the manners of our ancestors. I am not a reactionary, but rather a person who looks back in pride to those days of glory, the days when moral values accounts more than money or fame. The insightful rhyme of Ahmad Shawqi, the Arab prince of poets, which may be translated as the following, should be our guide: “Nations thrive as long as their morals do, when virtues die nations do.” Those words indeed have a seed of wisdom, and we are seeing just how true it is with each new headline on TV.