THE BATTLE AGAINST CORRUPTION – HOW MANY
DIVISIONS DO WE HAVE?
Pilant’s Business Ethics Blog
The fight against corruption is an American problem, an Indian problem and a worldwide problem. Their fight is our fight, our fight is theirs. Corruption takes different forms in the two countries. In America it is more a matter of corrupting legislators and buying influence, subverting regulators and rewriting the rules behind closed doors. In India, it may in some cases, be more public and related often to the official duties of various officials. However, there have been national scandals on a humongous scale.
We in the United States should pay more attention to developments in India. That nations economic and diplomatic power are on a steep rise and I strongly suspect their long term goals are more peaceful than their neighbor to the East.
Here is my colleague in blogging, Manoje Nath. He is often witty and very often profound. Here is a selection from his latest post –
Democracy attributes good sense and judgment to its citizenry at large and it is supposed to exercise its control over the day to day functioning of the government through public opinion,(as if there is a body of opinion, fully formed, ubiquitous and all knowing, which once alerted to wrongdoing, will come down like a ton of bricks and ensure immediate remedial measures. ) That, alas! is not true. Generally speaking people are ignorant and indifferent, people are resistant to mobilization and sustained activism. Wrapped in their own petty little concerns and anxieties they are easily satisfied with cosmetic changes. As a worst case they get used to everything – just about everything. This is where the charismatic leader comes in.
And from a little further down –
The ambiguity in the public attitude towards ill-gotten money is the result of our peculiar situation. Our economy is half white and half black, half over-ground and half underground. We condemn black money but deal in it, nevertheless. Under our very eyes, criminals and gangsters acquire wealth, then political power, then more wealth and with it acceptability and social esteem. Political banditry as a mode of creation of surplus value has long been accepted as a legitimate vocation. To displace the awareness of these contradictions, we have devised various overt and covert strategies to acknowledge and accommodate the criminality with in our midst. Lawyers, chartered accountants, investment advisors, honestly work for the legitimization of dishonest earnings by politicians, government officials, corporate CEOs, etc. Dirty money courses through our formal and informal financial system in different ways, with different consequences. We do not seek to know hard enough about the offshore funds being routed in our economy for fear of discovering their actual provenance. We are so enamoured, even over awed with power and manipulation that we tend to ignore what David Bell calls “the economic fulcrum underneath”.