After I published my previous article (The Plight of the Good, Honest Man), I realized that I should define what I mean by good and honest. Here are some reflections on this…
The good, honest man is the man who acknowledges reality as it is and acts accordingly in a fully appropriate and open manner. He is not necessarily the pleasant man or the lovable man, but he is certainly by his very nature the just man.
The wicked, dishonest man is the man who wishes to deny and/or to defy reality as much as he can and to act in ways that are as inappropriate and dissembling as possible. He strives to present himself as the most pleasant and lovable man, but he is by his very nature a profoundly unjust man.
For example, let us suppose that a good, honest man finds out that another man has been sleeping with his wife. The good, honest man will promptly inform the other man that he will take the necessary measures to deal with him, and will then proceed to do so, without going out of his way to hide or dissemble his intentions or actions.
By contrast, the wicked, dishonest man who is confronted with this situation will resort to any combination of deception, evasion, dissimulation, subterfuge and cunning to deal with the situation in a decidedly dishonest manner. The last thing that a wicked, dishonest man would ever do is to deal with any situation in an honest, straightforward manner.
It should be clear enough that the way that a wicked, dishonest man deals with situations is the way of the weak and timid soul.
The good, honest man is an independent individual. He wants to provide for himself as much as possible and to earn everything he gets. He may not mind the occasional gift from a loved one, but the last things he wants are freebies and handouts.
By contrast, the wicked, dishonest man is always looking for a free ride and is always trying to get everything for free. He can’t even imagine providing for himself or earning anything honestly.
Of course, the wicked, dishonest man will resent the good, honest man, and will reproach him for being proud – as if pride was inherently sinful or shameful. In fact, there is nothing sinful or shameful in good, honest pride (which is not to be confused with arrogance). It is the way of the wicked, dishonest man that is sinful and shameful, but in the twisted mind of the wicked, dishonest man, being sinful and shameful actually becomes a source of vain, wicked pride (which is arrogance).
The good, honest man does not shy away from a fight. In fact, there is no wrong whatsoever if two good, honest men who are both equally matched openly wish to fight each other (for whatever reason). Likewise, there is nothing inherently wrong with war. Only weak and timid souls will be opposed to war on principle.
A war in which one of the opponents is unwilling to fight is obviously condemnable. Yet much more condemnable is the dishonest attempt to impose a war on an unwilling opponent on the basis of lies and deception (God bless America!).
A good, honest government is the government of good, honest men. This does not mean a government that tries to please everyone, and it certainly does not mean a government that goes out of its way to please inferior and mediocre people. A good, honest government is a truly just government that favors proud, independent individuals and that upholds the positive values that such individuals hold dear.
A good, honest government will let the people understand that they are expected to work for what they need and to earn what they want without receiving any unnecessary freebies and handouts, which is entirely according to true justice. At the same time, a good, honest government will make sure that the people are not harmed, abused, mistreated, defrauded or cheated in any way by anyone. A good, honest government will establish and maintain just laws that are based on the way things naturally are in reality, rather than on the desires, beliefs and fantasies of inferior and mediocre people.
By contrast, a wicked, dishonest government will lead the people (especially the inferior and mediocre) to believe that they are free and eminently valuable citizens and that their desires, beliefs and fantasies are wonderful and laudable, and will lavishly bestow freebies and handouts upon them on a regular basis. At the same time, a wicked, dishonest government will not only allow the people to be harmed, abused, mistreated, defrauded and cheated by various institutions and organizations, but will even participate (more or less covertly) in these wrongs against the people. These wrongs, many of which are economic in nature, are often either protected or imposed by law, and are routinely justified through various deceptive rationalizations.
In my previous post, I stated the following: “For most of the history of civilization, systems and institutions generally were set up to favor the good, honest man.” For a while, I was unsure about this statement; I thought I might be mistaken because most past governments in history have seemed to be less than ideal for most people. But then I understood that it depends on what a “good, honest man” means. Given what I have indicated in this present post, I believe that the statement I made in the previous post is correct. Most governments in history (at least before the modern era) have generally been good, honest governments that justly favored good, honest people.