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You Can read this in https://www.ethicasocietas.it/, Human & social sciences review

000I have been working for several years in the field of labor law and I am passionate and curious about it and its applications.

My experience made me realize that, in every context, as a first step, we should follow, using both our gaze and our intellect, the true only irremovable set point of our life, which is Ethics.

Ethics goes beyond legal rules, which we constantly ask for and we hope are applied even before their adequate and “correct” systematic and literal interpretation. We, as a society, must be guided by Ethics in our everyday lives. Ethics must happen before trying to apply the principles of positive and written law. This is especially true in the agreements between employer and employee, in the compliance to contracts and other legal acts, such as the respect of what has been ruled by a judge, and above all, the respect that must be given to all parties involved in the previous phases of a trial.

Regardless of its legal value, there can be no justice if an employment contract lacks ethics on either the worker or the employer side. Furthermore, the same can apply to any other kind of contract and relationship.

There can be no justice, balance, reciprocity or fulfilment without ethics. Ethics has not a unique meaning: literature, philosophy and history are filled with attempts to reach a synthesis about it, but, after centuries of debates, we haven’t still reached a consensus. What can be said is that acting in an ethical way implies following the “good” which has its primary postulate in the principle of “Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you”.
We find this ancient principle, mostly forgotten in today’s world, in several formulas and sources, from Jesus to Hesiod and then in Seneca, Plato, Socrates, Thales, Confucius and other illustrious philosophers and writers over the centuries. Over time, this simple sentence has somehow become a golden rule in the Ethics of Reciprocity.

In theory, if we really applied this rule, we would not need legal warnings or laws, police, judges, or written rules to guarantee peace among humans.

However, nowadays, our society seems to have forgotten this sentence and it could be necessary to change the wording to restore the correct association between the use of a word and the object which it refers to. It seems that this era of unbridled liberalism, which has also invested semantics and dialectics, has brought most of human beings towards the perception that there is a “need” to impose ideas, and those ideas are later easily manipulated according to each individual personal convenience to the point of damaging others if necessary. Furthermore, an increasingly large part of the society no longer feels the need to respect social customs, which are considered constraints and boundaries in the everyday life. Today our society can give very different meanings to terms such as law, democracy, faith, politics or freedom, on the basis of the free interpretation given to them by different speakers.

The rampant television talk shows are the genesis of this by definition! Several concurring circumstances are causing the disappearance of ancestral values such as solidarity, family, dignity at work, the duty of work, love, friendship, correctness, loyalty.

Additionally, a nefarious and selfish individualism is also spreading… which paradoxically prevents people from uncovering their true identity: an individualism that prevents humans from knowing themselves!

We are a part of a disintegrated ‘SOCIETAS’ that cannot aim any longer to common ideals to remain united, because most of us no longer feel to be a part of a humanity as a whole.

Selfishness expands in all directions and the knowledge of someone’s own identity does not derive from a healthy moment of meditation, but it is acquired with a subtle system of conceptual “exclusion” by stating the negative as the only way to affirm the positive and by being against, seeing the “other” and the “different”: “I do not know who I am, but I undoubtedly am against that colleague, against that community, against homosexual, immigrants and against any culture and way of thinking and way of living that I cannot perceive as my own.” Likewise, it is difficult to create healthy relationships in such an environment. Thus, the social fabric collapses on itself: humans, citizens and individuals focus their attention on their own profit, disregarding that others close to them live in illness or hunger or that they suffer or do not live in dignity and decency because of poverty, diseases, uneasy conditions sadly reserved to them by fate. Even politics is no longer able to aggregate people as it did in the past.

Today’s politics is made by businessmen in power. Hence, there is an imminent need, that can be no further delayed, to have a serious and real return to humanism and introspection as an intimate search of our own identity, to uncover the constitutive principle of our being, to identify “faith” not only in empty rituals and sacraments, but rather in the ethical principles that must guide our actions in life, such as the pursuit of justice, legality, education, kindness, dedication to work, spirit of sacrifice. In short, we cannot continue to be human beings without ideals.

We must come out of the “caves” again to see a new light, starting from healthier ideas about what it means to live together, in synergy and collaboration.

Ethics, previously than law, must help us remedy the incompleteness of the juridical order, to guarantee the social order and the realization of the common good.

It is Ethics that can give us hope to have justice applied to our life and to have more equality, more social inclusion against poverty and unemployment, more social protection, more fairness in the redistribution of public resources, more dignity for both ourselves and the world, more culture, education and greater accessibility to them by all, more meritocracy everywhere, starting from the tasks assigned to the public managers, more sustainability in the economy, in the environment, in the work.

In conclusion, the first Universal Law of common utility is Ethics, which has equal authority everywhere and for everyone. It guarantees harmony, truth, righteousness and the realization of the Supreme Good to be understood both in a static sense as “objective” and in a dynamic sense as action, attitude and concrete behavior to be undertaken during our existence, in order to contribute to its maximum expression, which is defined by Plato as Kalokagathia , beautiful, good, true.

Dott.ssa Gianna Elena De Filippis
Consulente del Lavoro

Lenola, 30.03.2022


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