Intent Blog

When you Tolerate Licentiousness you Disable People

We will all be familiar with people who are only ever concerned about taking as much as they can for giving as little as possible. On the other hand, we will all know someone who is most often concerned with what they are able to contribute or give, with what sits in their hands that they can do.

What is interesting is that both the person that is here to take and the one that is here to give will be tolerant in certain respects and judgmental in others. However, what they tolerate and judge are mirror opposites. What you typically see in a person who is here to take is that he/she will tolerate licentiousness because acting appropriately is given relatively little significance.

Because the licentiousness of the individual is accepted as a given, the fundamental approach to keeping order is that it must be imposed from outside. This has political implications because licentious people need to be controlled and so we get what I sometimes call the “nanny state”.

On the other hand, what you see in a person who is here to give is an acceptance that one cannot do as one likes, even if it does not affect those immediately around one. People who are concerned with contribution are accountable for their actions. With this kind of individual, the nanny state is not necessary. You can allow such a person to act on their own discretion. You can allow them to own weapons, defend themselves in the street, spank their children, etc. because this sort of person can be trusted to do what is best. You do not need to wrap this person in legislative cotton wool because they are accountable.




It is for this reason that I get concerned when a society starts defending licentiousness. Of course, we do not want to be oppressive but we must be careful not to foster the licentiousness of the individual. This requires that people are held accountable for their licentiousness.

Failing to do so will have very significant consequences. If we do not hold people accountable we will have to impose legislation to keep the order. This makes it harder for citizens to do what is appropriate. A disabled parent will not be trusted to spank her child. A disabled teacher will not be permitted to exercise corporal punishment on the pupil. A disabled employer will not be permitted to dismiss an employee. A disabled citizen will not be allowed to defend himself when attacked.

All of this suggests that the individual is not allowed to hold someone else accountable for their actions. The individual is not accountable nor can they call someone else to account without the intercession of a super-ordinate control function. The system rules. It is super-ordinate to the individual.

So, we should be careful of defending people’s right to be licentious because it is fundamentally disabling. Under the guise of promoting the freedom of the individual, the licentiousness that it advocates necessitates the imposition of state sponsored control. The more licentiousness that is tolerated the more control is required. The view of the individual therefore becomes one of being increasingly bound and disabled.

Etsko Schuitema is a renowned business consultant who has authored numerous books including "Leadership: The Care and Growth Model" and "Intent: The Core of Being Human". He is the founder and leading partner of Schuitema, a business transformation consultancy operating worldwide. His business philosophy promises a progressive and sustainable approach to business that gives hope for a brighter and more harmonious future.

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