When it comes to applying rules of international law and ethics, the U.S. government and its mainstream media operate with stunning hypocrisy, what might be called “moral idiocy,” says Lawrence Davidson.
It's a consequence of an inordinate belief in exceptionalism that result in extreme confirmation bias and projection of one's own shortcomings on perceived adversaries that are similarly asserting their own interests.
Moral Idiocy is not something this writer, creative as he is, has simply made up. It is a real concept in psychology that has been around for over a century. However, in our increasingly relativistic societies, it has fallen into disuse.
Briefly, it means the “Inability to understand moral principles and values and to act in accordance with them, apparently without impairment of the reasoning and intellectual faculties.” The key word here is “understand.” It is not that moral idiots do not know, intellectually, that something called morality exists, but rather they cannot understand its applicability to their lives, particularly their professional lives.
At best they think it is a personal thing that operates between friends or relatives and goes no further – a reduction of values to the narrowest of social spaces. This is paralleled by the absence of such values as guiding principles for one’s actions in the wider world.Moral idiocy, that is, lack of a moral compass, goes hand in hand with liberalism taken to the extreme in ontological and methodological individualism, where "rationality" rules and there are no moral rules other than positive law. In this point of view, it is rational to violate the law to promote one's interest if the likelihood of gain exceeds that of loss. In asymmetric social situation, the more powerful sand to gain, with almost no risk of loss.
There are other terms for moral idiocy relative to lack of empathy — psychopathology and sociopathology. Many social systems are typically structured to promote selection of psychopaths and sociopaths in addition to moral idiots.
America and the Plague of ‘Moral Idiocy’
Lawrence Davidson | retired professor of history at West Chester University in Pennsylvania