It would appear to be a completely lawless society, but it wasn’t so. At some point Sheriffs came into the picture (these lawmen also needed to be physical at times) and things cooled down a bit. However, even in the worst state of apparent lawlessness, the men who lived in the Wild West had ethics.
For instance, “Never shoot anyone in the back”. If you did that the whole community would shun you. It meant, first that you were a coward and also that you could never be trusted. Even when it was necessary to shoot a known criminal, he had to be given a chance.
Either it had to be a duel or a fair gunfight. This is an example of a strong belief in a society. There were other codes of behavior too such as that a real man would never hit a lady. Anyone who went against these norms would feel the anger of society against him… In the old Mexican community townships in the US, it was not the gun that settled disputes, it was the knife.
In the belief of these community members, the gun was a cowardly weapon that killed your opponent or victim at a distance. Knifing him after close combat was manly and macho and it gave your opponent a ‘fair’ chance. In these communities, in the old days, a young man got peer respect if he could have as many girls as possible but it was also his honorable duty to protect the chastity of his sisters.
It was his duty to ‘knife’ anyone who spoiled their family honor by sleeping with anyone of their unmarried sisters. In such a situation, as it’s easy to imagine, a lot of ‘knifings’ would take place. I’m talking here of a belief of a given society and what they will give to defend that belief; their lives. In certain tribal communities, practitioners of the black art of witchcraft, insist that one should only harm (or kill) people that they are related to such as their children or grand children.
One just doesn’t go out and kill anyone… These are the ‘ethical’ considerations that have to be taken into account even when doing evil! Ethics, ethics, ethics… With the Zanzibar Declaration, some fundamental ideas of the Leadership code of the Arusha Declaration were changed. Rules pertaining to the ownership of wealth by leaders were relaxed but I think it was never emphasized that the other aspects of the leadership code should remain.
At the moment the only big question is, ‘Does one have the money to run an election campaign?’ Do we believe that a Leader should not lie to his people? … Should have (within human limits) an exemplary family life... should not cheat or ‘steal’? …should not give and receive bribes? ...
There is a long list. As a society do we have an ethical belief in what a leader should be? Tume ya Maadili ya Viongozi. Who is a ‘Kiongozi’? Can we be told beforehand, that is before we become ‘Viongozi’, what the ethical implications are? From the way things are in Bongoland at the moment, I’m sure there is a knowledge gap somewhere in this area. If there is a code of ethics for leaders, then please let it be known to one and all. We could use it at election time.