Freedom and power are oftentimes inversely related, similar to the way social norms and moral codes can be inversely related. In times like these, when causes and consequences are continuously overlooked, ignored and denied, inversely related correlations are useful to have on your mental radar.
One common trend from the past few years is that social norms have been raised as a false argument for others to gain more power. Social norms have falsely been presented as if they are moral codes.
Political philosopher and second president of the United States John Adams, who co-wrote the US Declaration of Independence and who greatly influenced the US Constitution, said:
"Be not intimidated … nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice." ~John Adams (1735-1826)
This is one of the more prominent lessons of history. The ideas and arguments of politeness, delicacy and decency are tempting to every human being. Who doesn’t want to have these traits? Looks can be deceiving, which is why it is so useful to distinguish social norms from moral codes.
What is moral can only be found within the individual, what is social can only be found outside of the individual. Social norms are always relative, subject to time and place, whereas moral codes are always absolute and timeless, like myths and Constitutions.