THE MYTH OF CLEAN GOVERNMENT

“If only we could get a clean candidate, we could have a government without corruption.”

Please, show me an example of an un-corrupt government. Anywhere, anytime in the history of the world. From the first known government (Egypt? China?) to today. Any form of government, even a town council. Because as far as I know, there is no such thing.

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I finished re-reading “Imperium,” a fictionalized biography of Cicero. It whacked me with a reality check on government corruption and I realized (again) that Americans don’t “get” real corruption.

In Rome, those guys understood corruption. They were serious about their corruption. We are just dilettantes compared to them! More on this later.

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Never in this world, has there ever been a government free of corruption. It is the nature of government to be subject to … uh … um … what shall I call it? Oh, okay. Got it.

Pressure.

What do you mean by that?

Well, let’s see. Money. That’s a classic. Locally, we favor nepotism, a type of corruption whose popularity never wanes. Otherwise known as doing favors. Hey, they just need jobs, you know? It’s not a big deal, is it?

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Find me a small town where the government isn’t composed of entrenched old families, their friends, friends of family, cousins of the friends of the families, their brothers and sisters in-and-out-of-laws.

What about constituents? You know, when we tell our pols what we want them to do or else we’ll throw them out. The stuff you and I want and demand, the stuff we think our government owes us because we are the people who elected them.

“What?” you say? “Isn’t that what government is all about?”

Right you are! A little question for you.

Does the fact that we want it mean it is moral? Just? Righteous? Legal? Fair? If you believe that, I have a bridge you can buy cheap.

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We want what we want. We don’t really care if it is for “the greater good.” We want what we want. We want it now. We deserve it. We voted for you and you are supposed to make it happen.

Pols who deliver the goods get re-elected. That’s the way it works. That’s the way it has always worked and always will. If you don’t think the electoral process itself is a form of corruption, you are missing the point.

It doesn’t matter who is applying the pressure — or why. The process of gaining and retaining power guarantees corruption.

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Personally, I would like my officials to do something good while they hold office. Preferably without getting caught, killed, impeached, indicted, imprisoned or exposed. Cynical? Moi?

I propose a movement for better corruption to require corrupt politicians to use their power — however ill-gained — to pass laws that make the world better. In my opinion. Because my opinion is the only opinion which counts.



Categories: Bureacracy, Daily Prompt, Ethics and Philosophy, Government, History, Humor, Photography, Politics

Tags: , , , , , , ,

38 replies

  1. Better corruption is what we buy in this country. Two parties both working to blame the other. Deals get done privately. Throw in a morality or nature crisis, we forget last weeks problems. Attack the moral character of these immoral acting people and ads come out from “third person” attacking the attacker. Who says money can’t buy you love? It works for all the major party candidates.

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  2. It’s about the only thing I don’t like about old age: you lose your illusions. ‘The times they are a-changing’, we thought. But it didn’t turn out to be for the better.

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  3. I always thought I might have a more positive opinion of nepotism if I actually knew anyone who held some important job…

    I need to start looking at what candidates are into my kind of corruption…

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  4. My opinion matters too! Sometimes… To me… And maybe one or two others who hold the same opinion!

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  5. Preach it, sister! I totally agree with everything you said.

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  6. I am so sick and tired of politics lately, I don’t even know where to begin. So much bullshit (excuse my language but I just didn’t find another word) going on.

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  7. I like your proposal, “Better Corruption,” it seems simple but, there are too many hands in the pie and we, the people… well, we often seem to be “just” taxpayers.

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    • I figure if we’re gonna get corruption, it might as well be the kind that accomplishes something. Instead of merely lining the pockets of corrupt officials and their cronies, let’s also do some good. Why not? Waiting for “clean government” is like waiting for nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I live in a little country that you don’t even probably notice when passing through, but we have a so-called direct democracy. I don’t believe it is corruption free, but it seems to work and although mum-in-law always said “they do what they want to in any case”.

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    • The fewer layers of government that exist, the lower the corruption level … but never is it corruption free. It is, by definition, corrupt even if it’s just giving jobs to friends and family or special rates to favored clients. Historically, Switzerland is anything but corruption free.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Switzerland is not corruption free, but no country is, that is not what I wanted to say. We are far from perfect, but up to now it is the only country where I have a clear picture of who is who.

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        • Smallness helps. At least you know who is doing what. Although to be fair, this is pretty small town and I still don’t know who is REALLY in power. It’s amazing how full of secrets a small town can be. Probably small countries, too. But then again … the world is full of secrets and I am probably much happier not knowing any of them.

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  9. They all seem to be corrupt. Great post and pictures. . . very thoughtful and topical.
    By the way, you’ve been chosen as one of today’s nine blogs in That’s So Jacob’s Ninth Month Blog Challenge! I challenge you to find nine blogs you find interesting and give them a comment to brighten their day…well, eight other blogs and mine 🙂 Copy this message in your comment and enjoy your new blog friends!

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    • Thank you, though I absolutely cannot do one more blog per day than I already do. I am over the top with connections. If the day were 10 hours longer, or I could give up sleep, writing, taking pictures, eating, having a conversation with real live people who aren’t on the Internet? Only then could I do any more. No matter what anyone says, there IS a limit and I’ve hit it. I wish I could do more, but I can’t. In the name of staying sane, I’m not going to try. But I do thank you very much for the honor.

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  10. Marilyn, I hear your plaintive cry in the wilderness. Where are all the statesmen/women? ( I think they are blowing in the wind?)
    Leslie

    Like

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