Aristotle has told us that the path to virtue lies in the practice of virtue — that we become virtuous individuals by regularly performing virtuous acts. The inverse is true as well: When we cease to perform virtuous acts, whatever virtue we might have possessed drains away from disuse. Decade after decade of abstention from virtuous acts has drained us of nearly all the virtue our grandfathers and theirs would have recognized as quintessentially American. We all but uniformly leave the pursuit of lawbreakers to the uniformed police. The notion that charitable works should be taken out of the State’s demesne and returned to the sole province of individuals and voluntary institutions seems laughable to the overwhelmingly greater number of us. Few of us are even capable of criticizing public littering or rudeness. We’re all much too busy!
That suits the seekers of unbounded power just fine.
Which it would, since they have long sought to redefine virtue in their own corrupt image.