Why should business operate according to ethical practices? One outstanding reason, apart from the fact that it is morally wrong to lie, cheat and misrepresent, is the law of reciprocity. In other words, what you do, comes back to you. If everyone is cheating then more time is spent watching your back than in productivity.
Trusting that a product does what it says it does is based on performance. When they are defective, buyers disappear. When you buy a can of beans, not only can you trust beans are inside but not old or defective. This is the premise of the free market, integrity selling and ultimately perpetuating itself.
Shady business practices however do exist in a twilight world and are not necessarily visible but nevertheless corrode the overall structure. Sometimes the insidious results emerge suddenly like a tsunami after the fact as in the mortgage scandals in the US from the Clinton era. Most of the time government meddling that usually is based on some kind of favoritism, spoils the works.
A link to good article came into my inbox that sets out the ethical implications of cheating and different levels of complicity.
“Jewish law recognizes different levels of complicity in wrongdoing. Depending on what your role is in your clinic, you could be at any of them or none of them…
PERPETRATOR: If you are actually falsifying test results yourself, you are an actual perpetrator of wrongdoing, not merely an accomplice. Falsifying test results that are used for monetary claims is itself a serious transgression…
ENABLER: If you are a critical link in the chain, then you may be considered an enabler of fraud…Enabling wrongdoing is less severe than carrying it out, but it is still a serious ethical breach.
PARTICIPANT/ABETTOR: If you are part of the chain, but someone else could easily take your place, then you are a participant but not an enabler.
CONDONER: Even if you take no direct role in the fraud, you could be considered complicit if you are seen as condoning it.
Working in a corrupt workplace has a depressing and demoralizing effect on a person and is likely to ultimately affect his own moral sensitivity as well.”
Well now, Custody of the Holy Land and Magnificat School of Music, there were supposedly 180 students in 2003* when there were only less than 50, and now 200-210 when you can’t even fill up your concert programs with even half of that. You are getting peace prizes and honorariums for allegedly making peace in the Middle East through music with only a handful of Moslem and Jewish staff or students, a miracle of ‘standing together in peace and serenity’ in a perpetually flooding basement.
The preceding has been the cornerstone of your massive fundraising and self-promotional activities, even to the extent of a worldwide Easter donation to the Holy Land!!! “Collaboration” is an apt term, wisely chosen for protecting mutual interests–trips, scholarships, fame and above all, soldi.
Is there a handbook on business ethics for Catholics, or are clergy exempt from telling the truth? **
* The following must be seen to be believed and read slowly to be savoured. Vatican Radio would take a monk’s word for it, right?
January 11, 2003
Peace Monk – E’ un modo, anche, per vincere la situazione difficile. Quando abbiamo incominciato eravamo 20, io stentavo a trovare degli allievi. Adesso abbiamo 180 ragazzi che vengono a scuola. Purtroppo, quelli dei territori, di Ramallah, di Betlemme, ormai hanno quasi smesso di venire. Alcuni vengono da Gerico, altri da Gerusalemme, più che altro dalle zone intorno a Gerusalemme…
I. – Che tipo di rapporto c’è tra questi studenti ed i loro insegnanti ebrei?
P. – Difficile rispondere, perché mi commuovo. E’ molto bello. Questi insegnanti si affezionano, come tutti gli insegnanti si affezionano ai loro allievi. Non stanno a guardare se sono palestinesi o no. Quindi, si organizzano piccoli concerti, saggi scolastici, concerti più impegnativi … I professori li seguono, alla fine si preparano dei dolci, si festeggia insieme, si fa la fotografia di gruppo, sono orgogliosi gli uni degli altri …
Interviewer. – E’ un piccolo miracolo di pace …
Peace Monk. – Ah, certo, se fosse per loro saremmo in pace da un pezzo!
Armando Pierucci: It is a way, also, in order to overcome the difficult situation. When we have begun we were 20, I found it hard to find students. Now we have 180 young people coming to the school. Unfortunately, those from the territories– Ramallah, Bethlehem–by now they have nearly stopped coming. (PS They have their own good music schools.) Some come from Jericho, others from Jerusalem, but more of them from the areas around Jerusalem.
Interviewer: What sort of relationship is between these students and their Hebrew teachers?
Peace Monk. – Difficult to answer, because I am affected myself. It is most beautiful one. These teachers become involved themselves, as all the teachers become attached to their students. They are not there to check if they are Palestinian or not. Therefore, they organize concerts for the little ones, examinations, concerts… which follow them to the university professors, at the end prepare cakes, celebrate together, make group photographs and are proud of one another
Radio Vatican: It is a small miracle of peace…
Piece Monk: Ah, certainly, if it were for them we would be in peace from a such a piece!
** Perhaps the Catholics in the Holy Land can learn a few things from Buddhist morality.
7th Perfection: Honesty (Sacca):
Just as a star never strays from its fixed orbit, so consists the perfection
of honest truthfulness in not lying under any circumstances, not moving even an inch from the actual and real truth for any trivial advantage whatsoever.