Good people, sometimes in power, are victims of systemic corruption and local warlords. As always, the minor players, who had the deck stacked against them, are the introspective ones; the major criminals are not introspective.
good (wo)men fail to act
Wiesel speaks about the atrocities committed by the Nazi’s in the concentration camps, and his incredulity that barbarism could occur in such a “modern” age. 1939 – 1945
“I remember he asked his father, “Can this be true? This is the twentieth century, not the Middle Ages. Who would allow such crimes to be committed? How could the world remain silent?” And now the boy is turning to me. “Tell me,” he asks, “what have you done with my future, what have you done with your life?” And I tell him that I have tried. That I have tried to keep memory alive, that I have tried to fight those who would forget. Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices. And then I explain to him how naïve we were, that the world did know and remained silent. And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe.”
“Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.”
Yet in 1994, near the end of the twentieth century and 50 years later, approximately 800,000 Tsutsi’s were murdered by the Hutu majority in 100 days.
Many were raped (a crime that has no purpose but to inflict pain).
Today, Sunday April 7th, 2019 is the 25th “anniversary” of the beginning of the end for those poor souls.
– Bless them.
– Forgive us.
One approach to the field of Ethics is to look at
1. THE DEFINITION : Is it in the interests of the common good.
2. THE TEST : Would you take the above defined ethical action even if it involved a sacrifice on your part?
3. THE CHALLENGE :
a) Defining what is in the common good.
b) Hierarchy of different “common goods”
Sometimes it’s best to just take the money on the table…and start afresh. I stumble out of bed and the weight on my shoulders stumbles with me into the washroom.
My family is a 50% shareholder in a 22 year old business. We supplied all of the equity capital and invested all our money in the company. My brother in law who is an analytical chemist would run the company until retirement at age 65. He had 19 years ahead of him.
For his technical know-how and day-to-day operational management, his family was given 50% of the company – lesson number 1.
Despite years of losses, he was paid a salary while I didn’t take out any cash – lesson number 2.
Upon his request, I hired his son to do a job of maintaining the ISO system that was largely developed by my cousin. Mistake number 3.
I invited all family members to board meetings – mistake number 4.
Lessons 5, 6, 7, 8…followed…and still follows.
Now I am faced with the prospect that I am a participant, a protesting one, but a participant nonetheless, in the destruction of value and the loss of jobs.
My partner wants to invoke a liquidation clause in a badly drawn “partnership agreement” by a very expensive law firm. I hope you’re still counting.
This clause states that if he offers to buy me out, I can buy him out at the same value. Failing which, we liquidate the company. This makes no sense now. When it was a much smaller company it may have. I don’t know. For whatever reason, the expensive law firm included it and it sounded reasonable since neither of us knew a damn thing about business failure or rescue, mediation or arbitration.
How the @#$% do you just liquidate a profitable company with no thought for the misery and hardship that will follow?
He wasn’t always this way. Some say he is still a “nice person”. But regarding the issue of the business and myself, he becomes a litigious demon.
We had a very harmonious relationship for the first 5 years, while the company was losing money, and I was providing it.
Then, unfortunately, we started making a profit. And like the discovery of any natural resource in Africa, greed gave way to conflict.
Our relationship changed. He became resentful that I wasn’t working on-site at the company. He felt he was the brains of the company and its most valuable employee. Most technical people do. I’m a doctor. I know.
After listening to his passive aggressive resentment, I left medicine and Canada to relocate to South Africa to help run the business on-site.
After selling my home, handing in my resignation to the hospital I worked at, and undergoing the stress and cost of relocating a young family, I discovered something I hadn’t expected. Within a few months it became clear that my presence on site was a nuisance. He wanted me close, but not too close. My boundary was quickly communicated to me – stick to the Finance department. Don’t poke your nose in operations.
😏. Fuck that.
2008 both of us signed an agreement that each would retire at age 65, with the option to renew directorship by annual contract. Upon turning age 65, he initiated a series of actions intended to remove me as a director.
He is now 68 and seems perfectly happy to destroy the business. On Friday 15th March, I received an email from his lawyer stating that they intend to proceed with liquidating the company. He says the business is his brainchild. It seems he would rather it close than operate without him. He sees the business, not as something separate, but an extension of his ..ego. (Is it my ego that makes me want to keep the business running?)
Anyway. My ego wants a positive outcome for all. So yes. My ego is “better” than yours.