Ethics Essay

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jonkiki
Words 2204
Pages 9
Section I. Introduction
Ethical dilemmas in public administration are commonplace. Whenever there are people, money, and power, there is an opportunity for corruption amongst public administrators. One of my favorite movie scenes comes from Tom Cruise’s The Last Samurai, circa preindustrial Japan. A modern western corporation is vying for the regimes favor through a seedy relationship with the emperor’s chief of staff, Omura. The corporation presents the regime with an opportunity to build cross-country railroad systems and supply advanced technologies to the Japanese monarchic. The 1800’s traditional, agricultural centered populace is wary and suspicious of the western industrial corporation emissaries causing public conflict and discord. There is a war between the traditional samurai and the monarchs’ army because of the imposing changes. The technologically advanced army, using machine guns and cannons, slaughters the sword carrying samurai in battle. In the final scene only one samurai remains. Wounded and limping, he comes before Emperor Meiji to expose the truth behind the “sweat deal” with the western corporation. He informs the emperor that his trusted aide was secretly paid money to lie and sway approval for the corporation’s goals. Emperor Mejia angrily glares at Omura. The following passage occurs:
Logan (2003) writes in the script as follows:
Emperor Meiji: For what wealth have you caused great conflict and strife to my people. Omura, you have done quite enough.
Omura: Everything I have done, I have done for my country.
Emperor Meiji: Then you will not mind when I seize your family's assets and present them as my gift to the people.
Omura: [furious] you disgrace me!
Emperor Meiji: If your shame is too unbearable, I offer you this sword!

As Japanese tradition goes, Omura was given the option to fall on his sword or live in shame the remainder…...

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