The Moral Life and Its Theory in Romania. A Subjective Panorama

The Moral Life and Its Theory in Romania. A Subjective Panorama| Valentin MURESAN

Abstract: An international conference on education, professional development and ethical values is the ideal place to make a panorama, unavoidably subjective, of the main trends in Romanian public and institutional morality, and the way we could influence its evolution.
First, let me design a general framework for my subject. Two researchers (Rossouw and van Vuuren) elaborated a study where they endeavour to offer a scale of moral development of institutional morality in five stages. 1) The first was labelled “immorality phase” (having as defining slogan “Immoral conduct is the most profitable activity” or “The business-men’s goal is profit, not the soul of his employees”). 2) The second was called “reactive stage” (its slogan is: “Let’s create the impression that we have some interest towards ethics; in reality, we don’t need it”). This sort of mentality is accompanied by a plethora of formal ethics codes and ethics committees – never used professionally – as well as by the tendency to substitute the term “ethics” with the more comforting one of “integrity”.3) the third stage is designated as the “compliance phase”. (At this level ethical conduct is assured by giving moral rules and punishments). 4) The following stage is that of “integrity” (the ethical conduct isn’t assured anymore trough regulation, but by creating an institutional climate and guiding-values favourable to morality). 5) The last stage is that of “full integration” (in this case the integration of ethics within organization’s life is organic, its presence being perceptible in organization’s strategies, internal operational fluxes & in relation with stakeholders).
Assuming all risks, I shall extrapolate this institutional model to society at large. I will ask you in which phase of moral maturation the Romanian society of today is? I will say that we are somewhere between the first and the second stage. We indulge in praising our “traditions” without improving them; we do not hesitate to claim that we are the most “pure” people on this planet, but in the same time, some of us horrify Europe by their immoral behaviour; we like to say that morality is an important thing but we do nothing to study and manage it to diminish the moral risks of immoral behavior.

Keywords: editorial, moral life, subjective panorama, theory.