The Stench of Corruption

Corruption is often very large in scope and difficult to pin down on one specific area. However, it’s not hard to get a whiff of it once our government/economic systems have corrupted each other. How many of the following items do you feel strike home?

  • Unscrupulous: As soon as large campaign contributors get their lackeys into office, they rein in their strings to steer the legal and tax systems towards their own special benefit and away from any social responsibility.
  • Aggressive: Savage wars and political pogroms are waged on whole populations in order to distract us from faulty leadership and/or extract the resources from under foreign soil. For the same reasons, exploitative economic policies also pressure mass dislocation of the citizenry, sprouting slums and sprawl – nationalizing the costs while privatizing the profits.
  • Devious: Looming crises are ignored by academia and the mass media, which do nothing but cheer-lead and deflect for their corporate backers while stifling any kind of dissent or creativity.
  • Intrusive: The government stops regulating the public life of industry and instead turns its attention towards the private lives of the people.
  • Inept: Everything produced is prone to quickly break down, consume our energy, become outdated, and/or cause us harm or destroy the environment.
  • Unconscious: Spiritually, we couldn’t feel more alienated from each other, our fate, and ourselves. We live in a state of unhappy consciousness and lack the depth, sophistication, self-ownership, training, energy and, most importantly, free time needed to sort it all out.

The effects of corruption are both disastrous and long-term. By its very nature corruption never exists in isolation and very rarely happens as an isolated event, and so it remains one of the most elusive, complicated riddles to untangle, However, its consequences are much more obvious and immediate, for when property and power are allowed to wrap around each other, the eventual effect is to roll the economy off the deep end and wipe out any middle ground – and the middle class with it. Once corruption takes over, the chasm between rich and poor, honest and honored, pawns and kings, practical and promoted, pricey and pure crap grows wider each day; and we end up with the downtrodden at one end facing unsatisfying lives while the disconnected rich (including corporate entities) continue to both prosper and recklessly destroy at the other end. But now, because of the huge and growing gap, it’s impossible for any of us to step back and grasp the whole picture – or change it – and the beast we call corruption grows beyond everyone’s control.

Before we get too deep into how corruption operates, let’s step back and try to figure out what a corrupted institution looks like. Even if we understand that there’s something very wrong with the picture, it’s hard for us to say anything specific about it if the picture is too big and messy. However, when we take the simplified pure-form model from above and modify it so that it integrates overlapping (corrupted) wealth/power boundaries, we get a clearer picture of what we’re dealing with.



Still, this is not yet a clear enough picture for us to work from, so we’re going to have to break it down a little more. It’s time to ask ourselves: How does corruption look when we move even closer to it?

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