That began to change in Holland in the 1600's and England in the early 1800's. Today we are more different from our ancestors before 1800 than ever imaginable. And we live radically different lives than those outside the industrial commercial world. The reason is that a new moral system came into being with the development and expansion of industrial commerce.
The previous universal operating moral system for millennia was a political-moral system.
We now operate in both an industrial-commercial and a political-moral system.
The political-moral system is a zero sum approach based on balancing power and maintaining the status quo.
The industrial-commercial moral system is a positive sum approach to human problems based on reducing all costs and using innovation.
The moral system that goes with each of these systems in their purest form is straightforward. Machiavelli in the Prince and James Madison in Federalist 10 explain that the goal of the political-moral system is to balance competing power groups in order to maintain the status quo of the society.
In the political-moral system everything that supports the status quo is desirable. It is desirable even if it requires aggressive action such as destroying neighbors or enemies. In itself it is not static but it's goal is to retain the status quo. Unions are the epitome of a political-moral value system. Unions maintain that every person must be equally productive or nonproductive, seniority is the only reward. No rewards should be used to change incentives or increase differences in production. In fact, rules should never be changed. Mediation should always be the norm.
The political-moral system favors packages of laws, like the Ten Commandment's. The father tells the child everything that he cannot do. Secrecy is viewed as necessary. Cunning is a recognized positive attribute. All changes due to technology or innovation are suspect and invite suppression. Ideas that change, new values that appear are political-moral negatives. Europe under the popes from 400 to 1500 was the ideal world.
The industrial-commercial moral system favors managerial values. It believes in rewards for good behavior and education to remedy bad behavior. It strongly rewards differential production and output and skill. It is always encouraging growth, diversity, openness, honesty, technology and is welcoming to change.
We are living in an era where both moral systems are operating and are in constant conflict.
Each of us has a mixture of these moral system.
In time, we will come to see these moral systems as separate. We will understand the need to keep them separate. Political people will be allowed to operate within their values in their government institutions but they will be restricted and limited because they have no relevance in the moral world of industrial commerce.
When we complain that chain businesses put small local stores out of business and create zoning laws to protect the locals we are using a political-moral system. When we consider a highly paid city union bureacrat unfair to charge an eldery pernsioner a high penalty for a trivial mistake we are using industrial-commercial morals.
I have not named these two moral systems. That will come later.