Monday, 30 June 2014

CORRUPTION IN DIFFERENT TIMES



Today, one of the most important questions which has come to my mind is – How is it that corruption came to the fore?? Well as we have seen in the age of Neanderthals (the primitive humans) people live amicably without any expectations. Whatever they had, they remain contented. People peacefully lived in bands constituting about 15-20 people. There were no state structures and no proper definition of territoriality in those times.
So, what eventually happened with the formation of political structures and with the coming up of nation states that led in staggering increase of people’s avarice. Let’s unfold the pages of history a little to delve deeper into the topic.
In a patrimonial regime (which every society has gone through), ruler, his family members and officials (who were merely the patron of the ruler) were accountable to none and committed acts of omission and commission but they made sure to keep their subjects happy so as not to instigate them for rebellion against the ruled. Corruption under such circumstances was limited even in the absence of accountability since societies in general remain prosperous.
Whereas in a competitive regime, where competition for power is ensued; institutions of accountability are either ineffective or are missing. Distribution of power is unbalanced in favour of certain social or ethnic groups. Where political change has occurred through revolution, revolution leaders gained legitimacy through their charisma and were less concerned with building institutions of accountability. They were simply concerned with completely taking over of state power from the previous rulers. Corruption in this phase exploded. Thus, a culture of privilege reigned, making unequal treatment the accepted norm in society and corruption as a system got institutionalized.
As per my observation, I found that there is a difference between corruption in a developing and a developed society.
For this, the answer lies in the third kind of regime- wherein people demand professional and accountable institutions to look into the atrocities committed by those in power. This calls for a LIBERAL DEMOCRACY as in USA. In such developed countries we will see only individual cases of infringement rather than a nexus. Such as the one committed by the former Director, Goldman Sachs Rajat Gupta and the likes.
So, how can we attain a liberal democracy, which is to say, how can we fight against corruption?
§  Try and build the kind of government that is both accountable and fair
§  Corrupt countries should emulate models of clean countries like the Scandinavian kind of model of OMBUDSMAN
§  International assistance is crucial to push for adoption of some institutional weapons that anti corruption coalition can use
§  More transparency in legislation and taking into account all the stakeholders
§  Compulsory disclosure of wealth by the politicians, civil servants and other public officials
§  Create incentives for politicians to “GO CLEAN”  (especially during elections) by constant monitoring by public and disclosure
§  An active cooperation by government and active participation by civil society institutions in implementing measures can create a healthy environment.
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