Lockheed Martin’s Double Standard

A recently dismissed whistle-blower lawsuit highlights the double standard of those who derive privileges from government aggression.

In 2006, Sylvester Davis accused his former employer, military contractor Lockheed Martin, of following “unsafe and fraudulent practices in developing flight control software for the F-35 joint strike fighter,” according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Siding with Lockheed, a U.S. district judge dismissed the suit on grounds that Davis could not provide adequate enough evidence to support his claims.

Under federal law, anyone who reveals knowledge of improperly performed or unfulfilled work done for the government can receive a portion of the money recouped by a judgement or lawsuit settlement.

Regardless of how credible Davis’ claim might be, Lockheed’s stance on the allegations reveals an important point about the nature of government-granted privilege.

Authority is a one-way street. As evidence of this, are Lockheed’s corporate managers so demanding of evidence from and judgemental of F-35 pilots who fire on agrarian Afghani farmers accused of being terrorists? I think not, which goes to the strategy for achieving a libertarian society.

Governments have many forms of intervention into the market, some involving blatant wealth confiscation in the form of subsidies and monopoly protections. Elsewhere the state’s managers direct counterbalancing policy crutches, like welfare, so as to gin up support for existing self-inflicting policies.

The priority of libertarians should be first to knock down structural interventions so that the government’s half-hearted measures to help those in need are no longer in such demand. Kevin Carson described it “as removing the shackles before removing the crutches (e.g., eliminating corporate welfare before welfare to the poor)” in his “Organization Theory: An Individualist Anarchist Perspective”.

Image credit: Darwin Bell, with a Creative Commons license

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