There have been a lot of corporate scandals in recent memory. Could it be true that there weren't any Objectivists working in those companies with material knowledge about the crimes or unethical practices, who should have done the right thing (sooner) and blown the whistle to the authorities on the crimes? Or were they there and they didn't take the proper (courageous) action? Enron, bogus mortgages, insider trading, or maybe a less well-known case where your employer is defrauding clients or customers through false statements of some kind. What if your "work place" is the military?
Has anyone been in a position where they were faced with an employer who was conducting clearly illegal or unethical actions, and you became a whistle blower? (It would be interesting to hear from people who knew they should take action but didn't. But that would entail a confession of not living with integrity--unless someone can make a case otherwise.)
Maybe you've been in such a situation but left the company so as not to sanction or participate in the unethical or illegal practices. But if you didn't take positive action to stop the crimes, suspecting your actions would have made a difference, isn't that a choice to not be a whistle blower?
asked Nov 25 '10 at 21:21
The propriety of "whistle blowing" depends on exactly what "blowing the whistle" consists of, and for what alleged crime or impropriety by the person or persons being "whistled" against. So much of what is today considered improper corporate conduct is not, in fact, contrary to any rational standard. The entire edifice of antitrust laws, for example, ought not to exist at all, according to Objectivism. In Atlas Shrugged, we see Hank Rearden doing things that are clearly illegal, and getting caught at it by his destroyers. Furthermore, "blowing the whistle" is described in the question as ranging from merely exercising personal moral choice to reporting the "whistled" party to some kind of governmental authority for criminal prosecution. The propriety of doing that depends critically on exactly what kind of consequence is to be suffered by the target of one's "whistle," and for what.
Trying to answer a question couched in such loose terminology in any further detail than that would (for me, at least) risk sanctioning all the improper connotations of "whistle blowing" along with any cases where the "whistling" is entirely warranted and appropriate.
answered Nov 28 '10 at 14:56
Ideas for Life ♦
Blowing the whistle regarding The Logical Leap is a good subject of study, in vivo.
answered Nov 28 '10 at 23:48
Mindy Newton ♦