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Robert Winner

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Is corruption limited to individuals or can a system be corrupt?

SCOTUS is hearing a argument that defines corruption. At stake is campaign financing.

The question is at the base of the McCrutcheon V FEC and the Constitutionality of the American Anti-corruption Act.

The argument centers around lobbies making big "donations" for the right to have access to law makers and influence the decision making.

This decision is very important and could potentially change the way elections are run and the way the government operates.

So is corruption limited to individuals or can a system be corrupt?

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    Dec 29 2013: Systems are composed of Individuals. Various individuals can be corrupt which can make the system seem corrupt, or the system (/rules) can force people to be corrupt to protect their interests. However this question greatly depends on your definition of 'Corrupt'.
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      Dec 29 2013: Bernard....you're back! I agree...systems are composed of individuals....individuals can corrupt, which can make the system seem corrupt:>)
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        Dec 30 2013: Ha! Nice to see you again Colleen Steen. :D
        I have just been rather busy recently.
        This interesting question rather reminds me of the Line from Philip Zimbardo's Talk (The Psychology of Evil - http://www.ted.com/talks/philip_zimbardo_on_the_psychology_of_evil.html) : 'the system creates the situation which can influence the person'. Might have got that slightly wrong. :P
        However it raises an interesting, mainly semantic, question regarding this issue. Because systems are created and made up of people, and yet the system can change individuals...
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          Jan 5 2014: Bernard,
          It seems like that quote can go either way?

          "The system creates the situation which can influence the person", AND, each person helps create situations which can influence the systems?

          Systems ARE made up of people, and enough people influencing the system in one way or the other can create change.

          An example of this is Ted Stevens - R representative in the U.S. Senate for 40 years. He was finally convicted of 7 felony charges, and in 2008 "narrowly lost" to the opponent.

          It appears that he was re-elected over and over again, and might have been AGAIN, because he STILL apparently had supporters, demonstrated by the fact that he "narrowly lost" the vote. He had 7 felony convictions! How much information do people have to have to understand that he was not honestly serving ALL of his constituents??? At least ENOUGH individuals looked at the facts, and he was not re-elected. Enough people voting, had the ability to change that situation.

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