Life On A B-I7

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Journal Entry - Wed August 30, 2023

Moral Code

I chose the title “Moral Code” for want of anything better, that seems to be what this list is all about. These have become known as Hutchins’ Laws, first widely published in 1947. Hutchins was Chancellor of the University of Chicago from 1929 to 1951. Trained in Philosophy, this appears to be something of a manifesto of his moral code.

  • The Good American tries to stay in good health
  • The Good American controls his/her emotions
  • The Good American Is self-reliant
  • The Good American is reliable
  • The Good American plays fair
  • The Good American does his/her duty
  • The Good American tries to do the right thing
  • The Good American tries to do the right thing in the right way
  • The Good American works with friendly cooperation
  • The Good American is kind
  • The Good American is loyal

These look to me a lot like slogans. Like the infamous “Make America Great Again.” That phrase was first used by Ronald Reagan, then appropriated by Donald Trump. Regardless of that little bit of history, these slogans have power that can be weirdly for both positive and negative purposes. Beware of the person that insists some moral code has been lost and must be reestablished. When that happens you are probably listening to someone that is attempting to control you.

You cannot go back to the past, whatever that is. What you can do is learn from it, hopefully not repeat events that were detrimental while finding a way to create events that are beneficial. This is not always a clear process.

The first thing I did when examining this list was to take the word “American” out of these phrases and substitute the word “person.” That removes at least one bias. It also seems to me you have a man that is taking his inspiration from the Bible. Be that as it may (I have no idea if that is the case here) these are all good ideals to strive for, in any time, and any country. Don’t be blinded. These words can be used for good purposes as well as not good purposes, it depends on the person wielding them.

Personally, I like this list, I even try and do most of these things. But if I were to tell you that you should live by these rules I would be stepping into a place where I am assuming too much authority over you.