Thursday, May 15, 2008

Business Ethics

Business Ethics: It seems to me that there is a contradiction in the term "business ethics." On one hand, "business" implies a certain degree of self-interest while on the other hand, "ethics" calls for a universal recognition of proper behavioral practices. Therefore, business ethics is fundamentally about finding an appropriate balance between the self-interests of business and the universal interests of ethics. Yet how does one come to find this balance? Well, for one thing, locating this delicate balance must come from within the individual. That is, a person in pursuit of business ethics must possess faith in the virtue of justice. Having even a limited understanding of the role that justice plays in the business world will put a man leaps and bounds ahead of his so-called "uninformed" colleagues. In Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2004), the concept of business ethics has become distorted by the postmodern drive for commercialism in the world's industrialized nations (G8). Perkins highlights the issue of giving monetary aid to the Third World in the form of categorical grants and strings-attached loans. To burden the Third World with debt is to control their resources, and thus, control their people.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Native American Bind

The Native American Bind: How have the Native Americans found themselves in a serious bind today? Well, if we look to history, we find that there was not much a choice for these people. Native Americans, on the whole, see themselves as integral parts of the land, not as superior beings who challenge nature through reason, science, and the will to power. Right here, we find our first fundamental tenet of Native American culture which appears to be at odds with the Western (Christian) world. Whereas Christians view the world and everything in it, including plants, animals, and other resources, as existing for man's use; Native Americans attempt to live in harmony with the Earth by not altering it in any significant fashion. An example that speaks greatly to this contradiction is the natural phenomenon in weather known as a drought. When a drought, or lack of water, becomes a problem in the Western world, rivers are dammed, canals are constructed, and aqueducts are laid so as to prevent any sort of recurring water shortages. For Native Americans, a drought is a natural component of the land, and therefore, it should be handled in a harmonious manner. Although Native American methods for managing natural catastrophes tend to be labeled as "primitive," many of the so-called environmental crises in the Western world, like toxic waste, are complete non-issues for Native peoples. Thus, Western man has in fact created a lot of his own problems.