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Anil Rajvanshi

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Debate: Is corruption a moral or a legal issue?

Too often the corruption debate and discussions all over the world are focused on how somebody broke a law. By that definition Mahatma Gandhi was the most corrupt man since he periodically broke British laws!

By dictionary definition corruption relates to doing things which are not ethical.

Hence how should the corruption be defined and fought for greater good?


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    Oct 25 2012: OK there seems to be a good debate on what corruption is. How do we control it? Any thoughts and ideas?

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      Oct 25 2012: Hello Anil,
      I believe corruption is both a moral and legal issue which thrives in isolation. So, I believe that to uncover and reveal corruption is the beginning of change. The next step, is for our global society to send a very strong message that corruption will not be tolerated in our world. I believe that our advanced communication systems are very helpful in uncovering many of the underlying elements of corruption, and part of the task is drawing people around the world together to send the message that it is not acceptable.

      In the past few years, we've seen the uncovering of corruption in politics, business and churches, and there probably is a lot more to uncover. The good thing is that we are beginning to know more about corruption in many aspects of our life experiences. We cannot do anything about corruption until it is known, and we have begun:>)
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        Nov 3 2012: Colleen, I wonder if there is a difference between a sense of morality one would have when dealing with people on a local scale, compared to globally?

        Your comment made me think that one answer to Anil's question might be a simple relationship of large scale and remoteness, as opposed to small scale and closeness. In other words, people are less likely to behave in a corrupt way when fully aware that the local community will get to know about it - and more likely to be corrupt when dealing with an enforced facelessness of someone halfway across the world.

        If that's true, what might it say about globalisation generally? Has corruption increased in line with it?

        I know that my brother in law (who is from a remote island in the South Pacific), has a keenly honed sense of morality because he's grown up with very strong local ties. If he put a foot wrong, then everybody in his community got to know about it and he would be shamed into putting things right. Their local laws have thus grown organically alongside local characteristics.
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          Nov 5 2012: Dear Allan,
          You ask good questions!

          I think we know that there are many different levels of both corruption and morality, depending on the circumstances? It seems that large scale remoteness/small scale closeness are subjective, with many different levels as well?

          Personally, I think/feel that corruption has decreased, and will continue to decrease because of our communication systems. As I said, I believe isolation to be part of the reason that corruption and lack of morals can exist.

          I live in a small community where everyone knows everyone else, and there was corruption in the town government, as there was in many small communities in this area. So, perhaps it depends on the people in the community, more than the actual size?

          When the regional planning commission was formed years ago, representatives started getting together to address many issues, including corruption in our town governments. Prior to that, we were isolated with the idea that corruption was acceptable....those in power simply repeated the mantra....this is how it's always been....if you don't like it...get the hell out of town!

          Just as corruption and morality have many different levels, Isolation has many levels as well...does it not? We can isolate ourselves, even if we live in a populated area, we can be isolated by another person, or group of people, etc.

          I think of the woman who was brought to the shelter years ago, who had been tied to a bed and repeatedly tortured and raped for 3 days. She lived on a very populated main street in the city. Apparently, she was in and out of consciousness, and when conscious, she screamed for help. People walking past and living in the area apparently thought her screaming was from a video game or tv. In this situation, the corrupt person with lack of morals who was keeping her prisoner was isolating her. The people hearing the screams were isolating themselves AND her, even though they were all "together" in a community.
    • Oct 29 2012: The question is, how do we outgrow framework which enables corruption to emerge? Design or build a new one. There are many projects and movements that aim to do so. P2P Foundation, Moneyless Society, The Venus Project, Resource-Based Communities, The Zeitgeist Movement, to name a few. The main aim is to decentralize power by any means possible. Today we have a system that is slowly centralizing power (banks, government) and leading to the eventuality of a corrupted system.

      “One can not change an existing system by fighting it; one must create a new system that makes the old system obsolete.” ~Buckminster Fuller~

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