Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On the Good Old Days

In response to Halsey Minor's musings on the decline of corporate ethics, Terry Martin emails:

"I guess Mr. Minor never read Reinhold Niehbuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932). Niehbuhr’s principle thesis is that '… a sharp distinction must be drawn between the moral and social behavior of individuals and of social groups, ...' [p. xi] 'What is lacking among … moralists … is an understanding of the brutal character of the behavior of all human collectives, … the stubborn resistance of group egoism to all moral and inclusive social objectives….' [p. xx]

"According to Niehbuhr, corporations have always had a difficult time being ethical. Minor’s view of history is perhaps a bit romantic."