4 Notes On Corruption

Hereby a few notes I made when 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, in my opinion, should be best reduced by punishing the corrupt and rewarding the just. Those who due to their corruption abuse their power and even violate the law, should be punished like any other ordinary citizen, for the law of the state applies to any of its residents with no exception. In addition, the dangers of corruption should be taught at school, to make public education more effective in the process of rising the next generations of democratic citizens. As Orwell said in his book, “1984”, “Ignorance is power”, and indeed, without the awareness to corruption, we as citizens can accidently give more power to the corrupt figure of authority by

underestimating the severity of corruption.

2. Corruption, even if 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. An example I can give is of Benjamin Netanyahu, the current PM of Israel who is likely to find himself in prison in a few years due to his corrupt deeds. Even though he is probably the most adored politician in Israel, at least by a large portion of the citizens, it is still debateable, by some, whether or not he was an effective PM, hence 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’ve governed a longer time than he already has.

3. Since the corruption at hand is societal, the ethics should be based on societal proportions as well, or at least to the specific social construct we’re talking about. Thus, a corrupt person is usually immoral in accordance to the law that is applied on their actions, based on which country they are a part of. Returning to the first answer — 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. Hence 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, that 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 extant. 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 extant of capability. Such is the short-seeing 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 doesn't apply exclusively to people of greater power, such as politicians, but also to anyone who has the slightest bit of authority over at least 1 or 2 people, and hence why, even in a position of minor authority, wisdom is needed to be gathered and used while occupying oneself with the authority's issues. You do not need to wait for reminders; be prepared for the consequences of your actions before committing said actions, and you have the opportunity to avoid scandals and shaming. Thus there is not only the moral threat of corruption, but an additional one on your personal reputation and on how you would be remembered as, making the notion of corruption a lot more important to re-consider.


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© 2019 Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosopher