WHAT IS CORRUPTION — THE GROUND REALITY & HITHERTO DELIBERATELY & INTENTIONALLY IGNORED FACETS OF THE DEADLIEST DISEASE CALLED CORRUPTION.
Consider one of the most popular of these definitions, namely, “Corruption is the abuse of power by a public official for private gain”. No doubt the abuse of public offices for private gain is paradigmatic of corruption. But when a Bettor bribes a boxer to “throw” a fight this is corruption for private gain, but it need not involve any public office holder, as the roles of boxer and bettor are usually not public offices.One response to this is to distinguish public corruption from private corruption, and to argue that the above definition is a definition only of public corruption. But if ordinary citizens lie when they give testimony in court, it is corruption, it is corruption of the criminal justice system. However, it does not involve abuse of a public office by a public official. And when police fabricate evidence, this is corruption of a public office.In the light of the failure of such analytical style definitions it is tempting to try to sidestep the problem of providing a theoretical account of the concept of corruption by simply identifying corruption with specific legal and/or moral offences.
However, attempts to identify corruption with specific legal/moral offences are unlikely to succeed. Perhaps the most plausible candidate is bribery. Bribery is regarded by some as the quintessential form of corruption. But what of nepotism?. Surely it is also a paradigmatic form of corruption, and one that is conceptually distinct from bribery. The person who accepts a bribe is understood as being required to provide a benefit to the briber, otherwise it is not a bribe, but the person who is the beneficiary of an act of nepotism is not necessarily understood as being required to return the favour.
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In fact, corruption is exemplified by a very wide and diverse array of phenomena of which bribery is only one kind, and nepotism another. Paradigm cases of corruption include the following. The commissioner of taxation channels public monies into his personal bank account, thereby corrupting the public financial system. A political party secures a majority vote by arranging for ballot boxes to be stuffed with false voting papers, thereby corrupting the electoral process. A police officer fabricates evidence in order to secure convictions/acquittals, thereby corrupting the judicial process. A number of doctors close ranks and refuse to testify against a colleague who they know has been negligent in relation to an unsuccessful surgical operation leading to loss of life, institutional accountability procedures are thereby undermined. A sports trainer provides the athletes he trains with banned substances in order to enhance their performance, thereby subverting the institutional rules laid down to ensure fair competition. It is self-evident that none of these corrupt actions are instances of bribery.
There is at least one further salient strategy for demarcating the boundaries of corrupt acts. Implicit in much of the literature on corruption is the view that corruption is essentially a legal offence, and essentially a legal offence in the economic sphere. Accordingly, one could seek to identify corruption with economic crimes, such as bribery, fraud, and insider trading. To some extent this kind of view reflects the dominance of economically focused material in the corpus of academic literature on corruption. It also reflects the preponderance of proposed economic solutions to the problem of corruption. After all, if corruption is essentially an economic phenomenon, is it not plausible that the remedies for corruption will be economic ones?
Corruption is not necessarily economic in character. An academic who plagiarises the work of others is not committing an economic crime or misdemeanour and she might be committing plagiarism simply in order to increase her academic status. There might not be any financial benefit sought or gained. Academics are more strongly motivated by status, rather than by wealth.
A police officer who fabricates evidence against a person he believes to be guilty of pedophilia is not committing an economic crime and he might do so because he believes the accused to be guilty, and does not want him to go unpunished. A Police Officer and Public Prosecutor hand in glove in trial courts to favour the accused is always associated with bribery. Economics is not necessarily involved as an element of the officer’s crime or as a motivation. When police do wrong they are motivated by financial reward, rather than by a misplaced sense of justice.
A person in authority motivated by sadistic pleasure who abuses his/her power by meting out cruel and unjust treatment to those subject to his/her authority, is not engaging in an economic crime and he/she is not motivated by economic considerations. Many of those who occupy positions of authority are motivated by a desire to exercise power for its own sake, rather than by a desire for financial reward.
We can conclude that the various currently influential definitions of corruption, and the recent attempts to circumscribe corruption by listing paradigmatic offences, have failed. They failed in large part because the class of corrupt actions comprises an extremely diverse array of types of moral and legal offences.
Some progress has been made. At the very least, we have identified corruption as fundamentally a moral, as opposed to legal, phenomenon. Acts can be corrupt even though they are, and even ought to be legal. Moreover, it is evident that not all acts of immorality are acts of corruption; corruption is only one species of immorality.
However The Worst Is Political Corruption. The Day Political Corruption Is Eliminated It Is For Sure The Errant & Corrupt Police Officers, Babus’ And Others Would Get Reined In And The Deadliest Of All Diseases That Plagues Humans & Society i.e. Corruption Will Stand Eradicated.
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