Courtesy of Larry Doyle.
People of faith are likely very familiar with the seven deadly sins: pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth.
I think it goes without saying that our nation would be a better place if we had less of these vices on display. That said, our greatest virtues emanate from the very freedom that allows the aforementioned vices to gain a foothold. What if we did not have our freedom, though? Then what?
To explore this question, let’s navigate to The People’s Republic of China and review a recent report from Global Post that highlights:
In a directive reportedly distributed last month to local party committees, China’s top propaganda officials issued new
restrictions banning discussion of seven topics deemed to be “dangerous Western influences.”
I am a big believer that any individual, group, team, company, and even nation can learn more about their own standing or status if they embrace the humility to view themselves through the lens of a critic. Let’s do just that and review what the leaders of China’s Communist Party believe to be the seven ‘dangerous Western influences.’
1. Universal values
2. Freedom of speech
3. Civil society
4. Civil rights
5. The historical errors of the Chinese Communist Party
6. Crony capitalism
7. Judicial independence
There is no doubt that the freedoms we hold dear are the distinguishing characteristics that make the USA the greatest nation in the world. The mere fact that I can write this blog and speak out vociferously on the waste, fraud, and abuse within our system is testament to that freedom. We should never take it for granted.
Yet I believe we need to remain ever vigilant so that we do not allow what I view as an incipient and increasingly powerful element to corrupt our society and infringe upon our freedoms. What is at the root of this element? No surprise, money and power.
As the ultimate capitalist, I view money and power — properly gained and utilized — as forces that can create untold benefits. But when money and power and pursuit of the same are abused — as they seem to be so often now in America — our core values and in turn our culture take a very real hit. This reality is totally independent of political party.
The question I pose to those who read this is the following: “How are we as a nation really doing in regard to the seven speak-nots put forth by the Chinese Communist Party?” My ‘sense on cents‘ views include:
I personally think we continue to have the critically important values necessary to move our nation forward. Regrettably, though, our values are all too often silenced or rendered mute by those more concerned with promoting political correctness. This is exceptionally unhealthy and dangerous to those who care about promoting democracy.
In regard to freedom of speech, I write this blog and am publishing a book that utilizes a style and delivery to call out individuals and institutions within our markets and government and hold them to account. That freedom is precious. I wish that our general media would do the same in pursuing the truth and upholding their mandate to serve the public interest.
In regard to civil society and civil rights, our freedom allows us to assemble and voice our opinions yet how often do those within positions of power abuse that status to quell the voice of those who hold differing views? Our democracy suffers in the process.
In regard to crony capitalism, having read far more materials than I ever might have imagined on this topic and crossed paths with countless of our citizens who have suffered from it, I hold those who practice this form of capitalism and their consorts in government who prosper personally and allow it to grow in total contempt. I eagerly await the release of my book so that these individuals can feel the wrath of my pen.
In regard to judicial independence, I believe the demise of trust and confidence in our system stemming from the lack of true justice on Wall Street is an exceptionally dangerous precedent and double standard that will cost our society dearly for generations to come.
These are my opinions. I would like to think that I am humble enough to appreciate that I am neither fully right nor wrong. Our nation gains strength, though, when we engage in vigorous debate in the public arena on the critically important topics of the day. To that end, how do others feel America is doing on the seven Chinese ‘speak-nots?’
Please order a copy of my book, In Bed with Wall Street: The Conspiracy Crippling Our Global Economy that will be published by Palgrave Macmillan on January 7, 2014.
For those reading this via a syndicated outlet or receiving it via e-mail or another delivery, please visit my blog and comment on this piece of ‘sense on cents’.
I have no business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.