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4 Notes On Corruption

Updated: Mar 11

Businesswomen during a meeting in a green-lighted city.

Hereby a few notes I made when I was asked a few questions on the topic of corruption, after a re-share I've done of this article. Feel free to read the original article before reading this one. Thanks and enjoy.

1. Corruption can best be reduced by punishing the corrupt and rewarding the just. Those who abuse their greater power and violate the law due to corruption should be punished like any other ordinary citizen, for the law of the state applies to all of its residents without exception. In addition, the dangers of corruption should be taught in schools to make public education more effective in raising the next generations of democratic citizens. Avoid educating them on corruption and morality, and you will indirectly nurture a growing immoral citizenry. They might have little clue on what respect is, as well.

As George Orwell said in his book, “1984”, “Ignorance is strength”, and indeed, without awareness of corruption, we as citizens can accidentally give more power to corrupt figures of authority by underestimating the severity of corruption.

2. Corruption, even if it serves the figure of authority by giving them more power, eventually hurts the social system as a whole by creating a dangerous imbalance of power that could endanger the stability of the democratic regime.

For example, Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Prime Minister of Israel, is likely to go to prison in a few years due to his corrupt deeds. Even though he is probably the most popular politician in Israel, at least among a large portion of the citizens, it is still debated by some whether or not he was an effective Prime Minister, which is why the Israeli population is very politically divided. Yes, Netanyahu is appreciated and is even nicknamed by his followers as "King Bibi", but his corrupt deeds might probably mark the end of his political career, and if he wasn't that corrupt, perhaps he would have governed for a longer time than he already has.

A note from 2023: I was right.

3. Since corruption is a societal issue, the ethics should be based on societal proportions as well, or at least to the specific social construct we are talking about. Thus, a corrupt person is usually immoral in accordance to the law that is applied to their actions, based on which country they are a part of. Those who violate the law of the country they are either a part of or were in during the law's violation, should be punished in accordance to said law. It would therefore be illogical to punish someone for breaking a law that would've been only broken in another country, and not in the country he/she's currently residing in.

This is why different moralities are dictated by the sovereignty of each country. According to that logic, a crime made in North Korea would not be considered a crime in any other democratic country, but as long as the crime is made in NK, the violator has no choice but to carry the consequence of their grave mistake.

4. When it comes to local culture and its influence on others on the topic of corruption, I think it depends on the culture itself, because every local culture is different in both its nature and the level of intervention on the individual's life. Long gone are the days when locality had a significant influence on the individual, as most people nowadays spend their time in disconnection from their neighbors and generally from the people in their local vicinity.

Because of this modern disconnection from locality, I don't think it has much influence on teaching nor warning about corruption. The exception would probably be the more traditional communities that have yet to submit to the isolating power of technology.

What we can conclude from all of this is the following: corruption, even if rewarding at first, can be dangerous to societies once it not only spreads but also strengthens in power. Therefore, figures of authority should not be tempted so easily to corrupting deeds that could hurt either them or the populace they lead/represent.

It might begin with a nice cigar from a family friend, but could end, eventually, in dire consequences such as poverty, the loss of democracy, legitimacy of white-collar crimes and so forth.

In addition, corruption also shows us that the fact that we have a great deal of freedom, does not entail the result that we should live life to its complete extent. In other words, the fact that you have the freedom and ability to do something, a corrupt deed in this case, does not mean that you should just due to your current extent of capability. Such is the short-sightedness of both lavishing hedonism and the drunkenness that could be given by having authority over others.

I shall end the article with the following insight: the logic behind this article does not apply exclusively to people of greater power, such as politicians, but also to anyone who has the slightest bit of authority over at least one or two people. This is why, even in a position of minor authority, it is important to use wisdom and to be prepared for the consequences of one's actions. By doing so, one can avoid scandals and shame.

There is not only the moral threat of corruption, but also an additional threat to one's personal reputation and how one will be remembered. This makes the notion of corruption a lot more important to reconsider.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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