The Ethics of Dissent

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TheEthics of Dissent

ChapterSummary of Rosemary’s Book: TheEthics of Dissent

TheEthicsof Dissentexpounds on the foundation of guerilla government in the UnitedStates of America and how it has spread in the world. The termguerilla government refers to the actions of public servants who aredissatisfied with the way government programs and organizations arerun, some of these individuals choose to be whistleblowers whileothers establish power connections below the public radar. Guerillagovernments can be founded by public servants, whose goal is tocorrect the evils of the state and to settle old scores such as beingsidelined in job promotion and greed for power. Accordingly, theessay summarizes the first three chapters of the Ethicsof Dissentby Rosemary O’Leary.


Rosemarydefines the term guerilla as an individual who engages in warfarewith the government as an independent unit. The author gives ascenario where an employee perceived to be an epitome of change inthe public agency is fired for exposing the rot in a governmentorganization. Eric Jacobson is demoted, and he tries to seek helpfrom the government whose bureaucratic procedures ensure the decisionto fire him is maintained. Eric, like many other disgruntledemployees of government agencies, seeks the help of a Guerillamovement to expose the wrongheaded waters policies in theadministration agencies (O`Leary, 2013). The author propounds thatguerilla movements are comprised of previous public servants who aredismissed because of their quest to reveal the rot in publicinstitutions. These people come together to foster credibility inpublic organization and political systems controlled by cartelsaround the globe.

Rosemarysheds light on the guerilla movements in big government agencies suchas national aeronautics and space administration in the United Statesof America. These movements are composed of like-minded individualswhose goal is to change the bureaucracy in the governmentinstitutions and create room for diversity of views. The author shedsmore light on the foundation of bureaucratic politics, which involvepolicy entrepreneurs in the government and influential people innon-governmental organizations. Rosemary asserts that in somescenarios, guerilla governments are driven by parochial views oftheir leaders who discreetly modify the existing operationalguidelines in critical public and private agencies. This chapterhighlights the importance of established political ties among publicservants, which help them to gain protection and support in matterssuch as the developmentof national policies. The book asserts that guerilla movements unveilthe forces behind the implementation of policies suited for thewealthy individuals in the government at the expense of publicinterest.

GuerillaGovernment and the Nevada Wetlands

Inthis chapter, the author talks about guerilla government and theNevada wetlands. George Bush the former president of the UnitedStates of America approved a controversial water irrigation policy,which gave the department of interior authority to purchase waterrights originally designated for the government bureau tasked withthe management of irrigation projects. The bill was supported by anetwork of guerrillagroups who were working behind the scenes. The sponsors of the billcomprised of big wigs drawn from environmental groups, influentialpersonalities in the chambers of commerce, and diverse conservationgroups. The author presents a real life scenario of how guerillagovernments work and pursue approval of policies that suit publicinterests. The top honchos in the government were against theaforementioned bill, and they employed both official and unofficialways to coerces public servants to vote against the motion, guerillamovements come handy in such scenarios and ensure that the interestsof the public are upheld.

Rosemaryinvestigated the four main guerrillamovements that took part in the Nevada case and found out that theorganizations had similar reasons behind their course of actions. Themotive of the powerful elite in the government was to exploit thepublic by bestowing the responsibility of water management to a fewpeople with selfish interests. Rosemary highlights about the hurdlesfaced by these movements in advancing their agenda. The governmentused force making it difficult for the guerilla movements to operatediscreetly and a result, the groups engaged in vigorous educationprograms to expose the truth state of affairs to the residents of thewetlands and thus, gaining the trust of the people. Like-mindedleaders also aligned themselves with these groups in orders to fightfor the common good of all people in America. This chapter expoundson the Avenues exploited by guerilla movements to expose the rot inthe government agencies entrusted with public resources.

GuerillaGovernment in the EPA’S Seattle Regional Office

Theauthor expounds on the guerilla government in the United States ofAmerica propagated by President Ronald Reagan. Ronald believed thatthe state was interfering too much with private enterprises and thus,he handpicked technocrats and policy makers aligned with his line ofthought. The author explains that personal beliefs engraved inpowerful leaders resulted in the birth of guerrillamovements supported by state institutions. The guerilla governmentadversely affected the operations of the environmental protectionagency in Seattle the technocrats picked by the president undertookprivate trips and projects financed through public funds. Guerillamovements sponsor their activities by having individuals ingovernment-runinstitutions who use public resources to execute private projects.People such as Spencer who formed part of the guerilla governmentduring Reagan’s regime had the power to go round the bureaucraticprocesses that governed decisions making in state agencies.

Theauthor explicates on the operations of the guerilla governments inthe United States of America. Individuals in the movements haveabsolute power to demote or transfer any public servant who presentsan obstacle to the realization of their set goals. Spencer usesall the powers bestowed on him to make alliances with other agenciesworking collaboratively with environmental protection agency tochampion the objectives of the powerful elite in the state. Theguerilla movement suffers a blow when a new administrator isappointed at the Seattle environmental protection agency. The newmanagement employs an open process of implementing policies whereeveryone acts according to the guidelines stipulated by theconstitution of America. The new dawn in the environmental protectionagency lasts only for three years. The guerilla movement reigns overthe agency once again by appointing Robbie Russell as the head ofenvironmental protection agency.

Inconclusion, the first three chapters of the book Ethicsin the Dissentexpound on the foundation of the guerilla movements in the UnitedStates of America. The author sheds lights on the operations of thesemovements and the political and interagency connections present inguerilla operations.


O`Leary,R. (2013).&nbspTheethics of dissent: Managing guerrilla government.CQ Press.