It is ironic that the very things that makes us decent and civilized, are the very things that work against us.
As decent human beings, we extend compassion, empathy and the benefit of the doubt to everyone, even those among us who are incapable of doing so themselves. Those who have no understanding of it and no ability to change. Those who view such traits as weaknesses to be exploited. And exploit it, they do.
One bad apple can, and often does, destroy the rest.
I have read how our systems of democracy and socialism work against themselves in much the same manner. We treat individuals who are not part of the system, (the system comprised of those with the collective understanding and mentality of decency, honour and caring), with decency, and they use that to tear the whole structure down.
We mistakenly believe everyone has the same capacity to be decent, and this is just not true.
So we stand in shock and watch as people bilk our institutions, dictators commit genocide, people abuse us and leaders destroy our sense of normalcy.
Or worse, we become participants, the apples spoiled by one.
The common good is to excuse, justify, ignore and ultimately accept another’s bad behaviour, their disregard for social norms, laws and decency, especially one who has rose to great power or has authority over us. We think at any moment that good, that decency, will appear, that it is in that person somewhere. And this is how we get fooled. They give us that moment of normalcy, kindness or praise and we are hooked. And we seldom, if ever witness it again. This is how they spoil the barrel of apples. They have to have enablers.
We fail to see that they do not respond as a normal person would, so our ways of punishment, or redirecting such people, namely through laws, reasoning, therapy and common understanding do not work. They easily disregard such things because they are on a different level, they live in an entirely different reality. The threat of punishment does not work on a person who has no understanding of decency. Their values and priorities are so removed from ours.
The answer of course, is not retaliation, because then we are no longer part of the common good and are now them. I believe the solution is in education. To recognize such individuals and stop or severely limit their ability to wreck havoc in our society before they do. If you know a persons game before you get involved, you can choose not to participate. Without participants, such people are not enabled and cannot cause harm.
Why are we not taught about humans? Why are we left to struggle through life figuring it out for ourselves, with faulty logic and reasoning? Why are we not taught, in our education system, basic human nature and how to get along with others? Why are we not taught about governments, politics, society, money?
Why are we not taught how to think?