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The Liberal appeal to 'values' and their ethical anguish if they are not enacted.

Image result for mirror with dark backing

Every mirror requires a backing as does everything we see and value

Am I doing the right thing?

Should I be doing that or this?

Ought I go to work?  I will say I am depressed that is a socially acceptable get out

But then....what if...but why not be “irresponsible”?

Ok,  a man/woman has got   got to eat, why not rather take up a life of crime, there are enough
free loaders parasitic on the State... so why not me?

If these questions have answers that are themselves exigent (pressing/demanding) it can only be because, at a still deeper level, I am engaged as having chosen myself as a person of a certain sort: 'respectable' and 'responsible'

So from within that 'respectable' and 'responsible'choice there is an answer of what I ought to do, but outside that choice there is none—

Why should I be respectable, law-abiding?—for it is only because some choice has already been made on my behalf that anything at all can appear as compelling, as making a claim on me.

Only if I am at some level engaged do values (and so justification in terms of them) appear at all.

The more I pull out of engagement toward reflection on and questioning of my situation, the more I am threatened by ethical anguish—“which is the recognition of the ideality of values” (Sartre 1992: 76).

And, as with all anguish, I do not escape this situation by discovering the true order of values but by plunging back into action. If the idea that values are without foundation in being can be understood as a form of nihilism, the existential response to this condition of the modern world is to point out that meaning, value, is not first of all a matter of contemplative theory but a consequence of engagement and commitment.
Thus value judgments can be justified, but only relative to some concrete and specific project.

The “pattern of behavior” of the typical bourgeois defines the meaning of “respectability' and so it is true of some particular bit of behavior that it is either respectable or not. 
WE are not existing in a social, historical, or political vacuum

That any choice we make has a political dimension stems from the fact that existence is always being-with-others. 

I cannot make my identity from whole cloth, it is always going to be a patch work quilt.

I will always understand myself in terms of some way of existing that has been handed down within my tradition. The point is that I must understand myself in terms of something, and these possibilities for understanding come from the historical heritage and the norms that belong to it. 

Heidegger thinks of this historical dimension as a kind of “fate” (Schicksal): not something inevitable that controls my choice but something that, inherited from my historical situation, claims me, holds a  kind of authority for me.

A cleam pair of heels illustrates the lack ethical anguish
Image result for ignoring a beggar

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