|Brian Ramnarine outside his 2014 trial|
As a primary theory that relates to my argument, defining Individualism (or The Economic Theory) can help observers of this scandal better identify the issue at hand. The theory states that, "everyone has the right to pursue his[/her] own interests and should do so, but no one has a right to make other people’s choices about their pursuits for them" (Salazar Week 2). Seemingly fair enough, Individualism essentially deploys the 'Golden Rule' we all know and love. Brian certainly disobeys the economic theory because he intends to take money from people without giving them the 'right' to the real art they deserve to own based on their valid purchase. He also cheats the original artists, because with every fake sale, revenue towards John (Figure One) is lost. This act in general is rather distasteful, and the multitude of value at which it is occurring shows how scandalous Brian's actions really are.
|Casting metal in a Queens foundry|
Moving to another important theory, one finds themselves face to face with John Mill and the ideology of Utilitarianism which states that, "we ought to bring about happiness and pleasure in all beings capable of feeling it (and do so impartially)" (Salazar Week 3). Applying this to business theory means maximizing the happiness within the company as well as in the customers and subsidiaries on the outside of the business. The company in this case would be John, if it wasn't for the fraudulence of Brian. But in the case the Brian was a man of the public eye, he shouldn't want to cheat people out of their money and art, and maximize his own happiness by gaining huge profits like $11 million.
A third and defining theory that applies to the GSK bribery scandal is that of Kantianism (or Kant's Theory). The main principles of this theory include acting rationally, allowing others to react rationally, "respecting individual needs and differences", and being "motivated by Good Will" (Salazar Week 3). Fraudulence is by no means rational because it puts multiple parties at risk with big consequences. Others can't react simply because they think they are receiving the real product, or art in this case. In terms of needs and differences, many people paying for this art or having in shown in museums need the original painting for the sake of their own jobs, multiple needs must be met. Brian was most likely not motivated be Good Will, moreso a personal gain. A section of Kant Theory that is very popular as of current is The Formula of Humanity which states that we should "'act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means' (Kant, MM 429)" (Salazar Week 3). Brian focused on the money rather than the beauty and joy of displaying art publicly for the eye to see. His fraudulence disobeyed the formula of humanity by depriving many with the end, or the ability to view the original art.
|Ramnarine's immitation of Jasper John's |
iconic 1960 metal sculpture of a flag painting
Janos, Adam. "Queens Foundry Owner Pleads Guilty in Jasper Johns Forgery Trial."Metropolis RSS. Wall Street Journal, 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.
Mullin, Sheppard. "United States: Aint Nothing Like The Real Thing: Despite Forgery Scandals, The Fine Art Market Is Booming." Aint Nothing Like The Real Thing: Despite Forgery Scandals, The Fine Art Market Is Booming. Mondaq, 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.