This Thing We Call Honor

By: Rosemary Dewar

If a government diminishes the authority of parents in a family unit, there is nothing reinforcing the citizen’s inclination to honor a government’s authority. Authority is a balancing act of expectations. Those expectations are to be respected through the natural transition of power from one generation to the next. The more societal structures are designed to be constructed, the more a community is motivated to sustain it. Similarly, a family is built with mutually beneficial ethics. You would not tolerate an abusive family; neither should you tolerate an abusive government.

Parents are held to a standard that is above and beyond them. In order to bring up a child in the way the child should go, parents are to sacrifice for them. Children are to be shielded temporarily. An authoritarian parent stunts the social, emotional, and intellectual growth by controlling the environment too much. It makes the child resentfully dependent. Some mistakes can only be learned from by experiencing them. Should an indiscretion put the child in as much risk as the parent, of course the parent ought to intervene. If a child infringes on the parents’ duty to care for them, the child needs more stability in order for the parent to maintain a healthy environment. Again, the rules are to be mutually beneficial.

A government is designed to ultimately train a citizen in the way he should go. It is held to a standard that is also above itself. Any law that violates the individual’s right to autonomy gravely fails. The United States’ republic is intended to keep independent citizens safe from the government itself. If a government is authoritarian, a citizen is intellectually and sovereignly stunted. The social environment is over-regulated to where a citizen becomes bitterly helpless. After that, it will not be long before the population revolts. When a government does not confine itself to the sake of freedom, it implodes.

When a culture aims to supplant the roles of a father, a mother, and the structure of authority, it will lose the very core that created it: the grateful citizen. If a government wants to be your teacher, doctor, parents, pay-grade, entertainment,
satisfaction, it not only wants to be worshipped, it wants to be lusted after. In return, it wants a servant-citizen. An authoritarian government is not interested in partnering with the individual to better society. It would rather be the master over the citizen.

Instead of a healthy family unit, an authoritarian government becomes an unsightly Oedipus-esque manifestation. The fear of overthrow will become its imminent undoing. It will cast aside the “potentially dangerous” in order to stay in power. The ethics that once ordered the society are gone. Upon the outcasts’ return, an authoritarian society will attempt to reintegrate them. Once citizens recognize the hell that has been created in their absence, they pluck out the knowledge that gave them sight before slowly withering away.

A government is only as good as the limits it holds itself to, as well as the consistent structure of justice and protection it supplies to society.

A family is only as good as the stability it generates in order for a member to start their own family.

No one should expect a family member or a citizen to honor an authority structure more than it should. However, honor is a matter of ethics that tests you to endure until it is your time to lead. You have a partial purpose to carry forward what has been entrusted to you, and you are expected to improve upon it for the sake of your responsibility to care for the previous generation. Your ability to attend to those who cared for you will be hindered by your neglect for what came before you.
Be sure to not let what brought you here be destroyed right from under you, or you will go down with it.

Humanity is ultimately self-seeking and self-satisfying. If we were honorably productive, we would not need government. Furthermore, if we were decently docile, we would not need family. The most honorable thing is usually the most challenging task to do well.
By: Rosemary Dewar