Saturday, 8 October 2011

Morals and Morale

Whilst Kohlberg and Piaget have their own distinct theories of moral development, any student of development knows that not everyone progresses at the same pace and given certain circumstances some people do not progress as they could or at all. Thus you can have adults who are still in Piagets' preoperational stage or a teen who has attained Kohlbergs' level of postconventional morality.

The nature/nuture concept comes into play with this branch of development as it does with the others. When you think of nurture you usually associate it with things like parents, peers, contemporary fashions etc......you usually don't think of board games.  

But I'm sure Weber, when he coined the phrase "Bureaucracy" to refer to a dependable and functioning public service never dreamed it would be corrupted to mean cumbersome, officious and stagnant.      

So there is a certain sad irony how true meanings and intents become corrupted and convoluted by the system. It's these little messages taught subliminally from an early age that get in... unquestioned, unchallenged, the ideas being that winning and material accumulation are sole and worthy aspirations. 

In my experience the true champions of our society, the type of people who we really should be teaching our children to endeavour to be like, are usually people who don't have six figure salaries, flashy cars or ritzy houses. They don't get prestigious awards or huge blurbs in journals. They usually work in poorly paid thankless jobs for under funded organisations. They work with the poor, the sick, the needy and forgotten, those people who are grist for the mill of monopolies. They are my heroes.   

(For those of you who can't read the small script on the board, Monopoly was a game created by an American woman named Elizabeth (Lizzie) J. Magie Phillips through which she intended to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land and by association wealth in private monopolies. By the 1970s, the game's early history had been lost).

P.S Just out of interest Anti-Monopoly is a board game made by San Francisco State University Professor Ralph Anspach, in response to Monopoly. Anspach created Anti-Monopoly in part as a response to the "lessons" taught by the mainstream game, which he believed created the impression that monopolies were something desirable. 

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