The Guilded Sweatshop (cont.)

"I regret that a couple of whistleblowers with whom I shared (my project) were insulted, or at least put off, by my explanation of their whistleblowing as "narcissism moralized." As far as I can tell, narcissism moralized is the leading motive of Socrates, St. Augustine and Gandhi, among others. In my book, that's good company to be in."18

"Organizations are not just undemocratic. Organizations are the enemy of individual morality. Individuals who depend on these organizations for their livelihoods may become democrats in their communities in their off hours, but there will always be something false and partial about it. Large organizations, private and public alike, don't just control the political agenda. They are the political world that matters most to people's lives, that part of politics that controls your career, your paycheck, your health insurance, your mortgage, your retirement and your family's economic security."19

"Marjorie Gooden put it this way: "After Mom got fired from the (government agency) for being a whistleblower, I think she went a little crazy. Mom thought the car that ran her off the road was from her agency. But you know, after a while, I realized that they did want to kill her. Not really, but they wanted to make it as if she had never existed, that everything she said had never happened. That's a type of murder, too." It's the worst kind, according to Orwell in 1984: to have the record of one's life shoved down the memory hole, as though one had never existed." 20

"(Working), being about work, is, by its very nature, about violence-to the spirit as well as to the body. It is about ulcers as well as accidents, about shouting matches as well as fistfights, about nervous breakdowns as well as kicking the dog around. It is, above all (or beneath all), about daily humiliations. To survive the day is triumph enough for the walking wounded among the great many of us."21

"The most profound complaint, aside from non-recognition and the nature of the job, is 'being spied on.' There's the foreman at the plant, the supervisor listening at Ma Bell's, the checker who gives the bus driver a hard time, the 'passenger' who gives the (flight attendant) the gimlet eye….The indignation of those being watched is no longer offered in muted tones. Despite the occasional laugh, voices rise. Such humiliations, like fools, are suffered less gladly than before."22

18-20 -- "Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power," C. Fred Alford
21-22 --
"Working," Studs Terkel, Pantheon Books/Random House, 1972-1974.

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