Whistle Blower and the Allegory of the Cave
The Life Of a Whistle Blower Since the 19Ws, the public value of whistle blowing has been increasingly recognized. Whistle blowing statutes protect from discharge or discrimination an employee who has initiated an investigation of an employers activities or who has otherwise cooperated with a regulatory agency in carrying out an inquiry or the enforcement of regulations, Many states have enacted whistle blower statutes, but these statutes vary veidely in coverage.
Some statutes apply only to public employees, some apply to both public and private employees, and others pply to public contractors. Under the federal False Claims Act, any person with knowledge of false claims or fraud against the institution may bring a lawsuit in his or her own name and in the name of the United States. As long as the information is not publicty disclosed and the government has not already sued the defendant for the fraud, the Whistle blower, Who is called a relator in this action, may bring a False Claims Act. case.
The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a United States federal law that protects whistleblowers who report agency misconduct. The agency violates the Whistleblower Protection Act if agency authorities rake (or threaten to take) retaliatory personnel action against any employee or applicant because of disclosure of information by that employee or applicant (‘Whistle Blower Protection Act”). The Allegory of the Cave” by Plato represents an extended metaphor that is to contrast the way in which we perceive and believe in what is reality. rhe thesis behind Plato’s allegory is the basic opinion that all we perceive are imperfect “reflections” of the ultimate forms, which subsequently represent truth and eality, The complex meanings that can be perceived from the “cave” can be seen in the beginning With the presence Of the prisoners Who are chained in the darkness of the cave. The prisoners are bound to the floor and unable to turn their heads to see what goes on behind them. Eric Schlosser is pinpointing to his readers that we are the prisoners to fast food.
In his book, Fast Food Nation, he stared that “brand loyal” customers “may begin as early as the age of two” (Schlosser 43). As a tast food eater, we are chained in the darkness Of the ave and we do not want to accept the reality of how negative fast food has on us. To the back of the prisoners, lie the puppeteers who are casting the shadows on the uuall, which the prisoners perceive as reality. The puppeteers are the marketing team of the fast food industry. They utilize many different marketing strategies ro reel in customers.
For example, the puppeteers targets children as their marketing strategy, The kids would nag and whine to their parents TO go get that Happy Meal from McDonald’s because of that toy. These kids continue to be risoners of fast food, lifetime purchasers of McDonald’s. As Socrates described the cave and the situation of the prisoners, he conveys the point that the prisoners would be fundamentally mistaken as to What is reality. Because we know that the puppeteers behind them are using objects to liken the shadow.
We all know that McDonald’s is not good for our health, but those that have kids continue to go to McDonald’s at least once every now and then because their child nagged about wanting to go there Fast Food Nation could definitely be analyzed in the context of Plato’s “The Allegory ofrhe Cave”, In the movie, Michael Clayton, a law firm brings in its “fixer* by the name Of Michael to remedy the situation after a lawyer, Arthur, has a breakdown while representing a chemical company that he knows is guilty in a multi-billion dollar class action suit.
Arthur has been representing this pesticide companyfor over a period of time and has evidence that rhe company is guilty but does not blow the whistle on them. This can he seen as Arthur being a prisoner inside the cave, He was the law firm’s puppet and had to keep the truth from surfacing during this class action law suit. The law firm can be seen as a puppeteer according to Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave”. When Michael found Arthur, Arthur said, “I’m drenched in afterbirth, IVe-I’ve breached the chrysalis, I’ve been reborn” (Gilroy).
This can he analyzed as Arthur leaving the “cave” and coming back to show rhe truth about the case, After some time on the surface, however, the freed prisoner would acclimate. And this is exactly What Arthur did when he was at his mental breaking point. He decided to leave the “cave” and be a whistle blower. Arthur wanted to expose the truth of the crimes that the pesticide company has ommitted. John Kopchinski filed a “qui tam” lawsuit in 2003 against Pfizers tactics in selling the pain drug BexTra, sparking federal and state probes that led to an agreement on September 2. 009, for Pfizer to pay $2. 3 billion in civil and criminal penalties and plead guilty to a felony charge for promoting dextra and twelve other drugs for unapprmced uses and doses. In the army, he was told to protect people at all costs but at Pfizer he was expected to increase profits at all costs. Pfizer is seen as the puppeteer forcing its prisoners to sell ro make profit for the company Fuen if it meant that lives were being gambled with, Kopchinski was expected to sell dextra as much as possible.
When Kopchinski realized that Pfizer is breaking the law, he decided to become whistle blower. He was dismissed by Pfizer after raising concerns with the company about the unapproved uses and doses of the pharmaceutical drug. When Pfizer agreed to pay the penalties, Kopchinski earned more than $51_5 million as a result. Kopchinski’s lead attorney, Erika Kelton, shed light on the penalry agreement, “Large rewards are justified because of whar whistle blowers must endure. ften for many years, after complaints vvithin the company go unheeded” (Berkrot).
Particularly in pharmaceutical companies, it. is no secret that it is an industry that can blackball former employees. It seems like the reward is important because it encourages people to step forward and to recognize that their contribution are huge. ‘The Allegory of the Cave” does nor solely represent our own misconceptions of reality, but also Plato’s vision of what a leader should be. Whistle blowing could be seen as the person stepping up to be a leader. Eric Schlosser showed his eaders that the fast food industry has their customers as their prisoners in their cave.
Being a loyal customer since the age of two years old is very impressive and tragic at the same time Arthur trom the movie, Michael Clayton, was released from the law firm’s “cave” and stepped up to be a leader by exposing the pesticide company is guilty in the class action law suit. John Kopchinski also exemplifies leadership by blowing the whistle on Pfizer and had to go through six years of harassment The allego’y represents a complex model as to which we are to travel through our lives and understanding. on realizing forms of goodness in morals, one assumes the responsibility Of a qualified leader, and this presents the basis for Plato’s arguments for what constitutes just leadership and a just society. Works Cited Berkror, Bill. “Pfizer Whistleblowers Ordeal Reaps Big Rewards,” Reuters. 02 Sep 2009. Web 27 Nov. 2012. Gilroy, Tony, dir. Michael Clayton. 2007. Film. 29 Nov. 2012. Schlosser. Eric. Fast Food Nation. New York: Perennial. 2004. Print. United States of Arnerica. United States of Special Counsel Whistleblower Protection Act. 2012. web. 27 Nov. 2012.