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Ethics are often regarded, when regarded at all, as a separate domain of secondary concern. The implication is that in the ‘real’ world of trade-offs and compromise, morality is remote from how things are actually done and thus is even expendable. But separating ethical considerations from daily concerns and contexts is not only artificial. It is untenable. Attention to ethics, in the tangible sense of their practical application, is never unwarranted. Rather it is unwelcome to particular stakeholders unwilling to sustain scrutiny of their practices. ‘Accounting’ applies to more than economics. Both healthy psychological functioning and a functioning democratic society depend on processes which uphold this recognition. We need to explode the misconception that moral concerns are solely the terrain of human rights advocates. This involves a persistent and insistent challenge to the myth that moral claims are secondary or inapplicable to the world in which we live (a myth promoted by the associated myths of ‘neutrality’ and ‘objectivity’ which deflect attention from the interests they serve and conceal). The capacity to care about others as well as oneself is not a weakness but a hallmark of health, and the absence of this capacity is rightly regarded as a marker of sociopathy.

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