This is intended to be a very short post, since I have no idea how long the WiFi network (of which I am currently a parasite) will remain up.
I would like to present my heartfelt and sincere apologies for my recent indolence and silence, which has prompted some commenters to speculate on the possibility of my actual lack of existence (as opposed to the virtual lack of existence which is of course the birthright of the true Philosopher.) Thank you for your kind and fascinating comments. Some of these appeared during my lengthy absence, and I have only now had the opportunity to publish them. I hope you will forgive the fact that they were in Googlesque limbo for so long.
As some of you may know by now, my place of residence is the United Kingdom. Recently we have witnessed a political corruption scandal involving members of the national parliament. All the major parties were implicated in the scandal, not only the government representatives. Many of my readers will have learned that I have little interest in politics, and even less in economics, so let it suffice to say briefly that the corruption involved MPs expenses claims. There were some outrageous examples, such as one member who put in a claim for the taxpayer to refund the expense of having his moat cleaned (yes, moat - as in castle!)
Some of the culprits argued that the claims they put in, while morally unacceptable, were nonetheless within the rules. Of course these rules had been made by the MPs themselves. The idea behind them is that the MPs should be allowed to claim the expenses for a second home, since their own home may be a long distance away from Parliament.
Anyway, if you want to know more about the facts, you only have to consult some of the recent newspaper stories on the issue, on the relevant websites. The reason I mention it is because what struck me most about the scandal was that the public seemed surprised that politicians should descend to such degrading money-grubbing behaviour. Is that not indeed what the word "politician" means?
People who live in other countries will no doubt marvel at the fact that the British seemed to be so totally unaware of this basic fact of life. Not only that, but the British seem to have very short memories too. There have been corruption scandals aplenty throughout UK history, on a par with those of almost every other country in the world. Could it be that the British are just too trusting of those who have power over them, or do they just enjoy living in a dream world of wishful thinking?
So now we come to the question: If some contemplated course of action is within the rules, does that mean it is always right? And if it is against the rules, does that mean it is always wrong?