Is corruption linked to systems of Government?
Posted on April 30th, 2015

R Chandrasoma

The great debate raging in our country is about corruption and its (supposed) genesis in the abuse of power by autocratic leaders who find high-level thieves and cheats their best friends in their quest for unlimited personal power – and social dominance for their kith and kin, The assumption here is that a political (or constitutional) system that allows the emergence of such anti–democratic leaders must be blamed for  the social distress that ensues. Thus a ‘JR-style Presidency’ is thought to be a prime cause for social mischief of diverse kinds. Chief among these is the evil of corruption that infects both the body-politic and social institutions at all levels of society. The underlying notion is that corruption is a sign of political malfunctioning and its correction lies in the basic reform of politics and governance. This assumption is not acceptable to most social theorists and experts in the psychology of delinquancy. The tendency to overbear others – to lie and cheat in the common struggle to survive – is a built in feature of the human condition and the suggestion that it is a ‘political problem’ that is ‘erased’ by good governance is untenable. Here we quote from the writings of Prof. Andrew Spalding – an expert on corruption in human societies : “Corruption is a problem identified across cultures, across times, across government systems  – Corruption is a universal problem.… There’s no ‘silver bullet’ to it. But we can address it, and we can reduce it in exactly the same way that we have succeeded in reducing other forms of crime”.

It is clear, then, that corruption is defeated by social and moral reforms that address the inherent foibles of our species. Thus humans are prone to violence as part of the evolutionary tool-kit for survival. This violence is now greatly reduced in all civilized societies and it has come about not through legislation or police action but by the natural evolution of social norms through advances in science and civilization. The notion that societies can be ‘improved’ by the enactment of the right kind of legislation is a species of folly that we can do without. There is an important ‘coda’ to the argument given above – that no amount of ‘yahapalanaya’ will suffice if the ‘political actors’ are lacking in moral worth. The chief ‘batsman’ (and woman) in the current ‘good governance movement’ are notoriously ungoverned in their passions – a paradox that needs resolution before all else.

 

4 Responses to “Is corruption linked to systems of Government?”

  1. LANKAPUTHRA Says:

    Chandrasoma, Who pays you kappn for dis-information? Why JRJ and SL constitution? what about the US constitution? what about the French Constitution? Yes, one needs Every power to deaft an invincible enemy; which MR did like a great chess player. Every one knows how your kappan givers, CBK, Ranil and Sirisena President came to power. It is by Stuffing the ballot boxes by this PUNK, the election Commissioner. What you are attempting to do is to defocus the issue to corruption. Whole MR family is corrupt! Basil is in jail. And you imagine average Sri Lankan is stupid? Far from it This punk Deshapriya, stopped the computer and modified the results. That is how this illegal government came to power. Your attempt to DISCREDIT JRJ, founder of the Republic and the great constitution and not even mentioning MR and Family. I can and average Sri Lankan can see what DUMB CLOWN YOU ARE, CHANDRASOMA. Go ask some Kappan from OBAMA he got 50 million to distribute. TAMILS FOR OBAMA, has even more than 50 million.

  2. Independent Says:

    Sri Lanka was much better than Thailand and Malaysia 10 years ago. Now much worse. Why ?

    Corruption is the NO 1 enemy, not LTTE. Why ? Even LTTE can bribe the president.

  3. Nimal Says:

    Very well written about the true situation in the country at present. One who hasn’t been to the country for over a decade can’t make comments about a person who wrote the truth. Spot on Chardrasoma.Perhaps Chandrasoma visits or have some dealings in the island, just as we patriots do?

  4. LANKAPUTHRA Says:

    Nimal, tell me what is the truth? Can you have a election when the election commissioner is a OBAMIST? The Economist article states that government supporters must go to house to house the educate the average person stating that MR was corrupt, where by focus is taken out of stopping the computer and changing the result. Look like Chandrasoma has supporters. Nimal did any one tell you that all your truth happens out side SL, in Los Angeles, California, USA. RANIL has an office there so is CBK. OBAMA gave 50 million US Dollars to start their offices. The only way to resolve this dead lock is by people over throwing illegal government and rerun the election, with the election department changed to the old system. No politician is free form corruption. Best example is Champika Ranawake. Where did he get the money to settle the devoice case with his ex-wife? Sampure Power Station Coal Deal with the Tamil Nadu company. This is why Independent is stating corruption of MR administration and that was the prime factor. Who monitors all this and issues directions? This man lives in Point Pedro. You find out the name. He has over eight PhD’s form various countries. And he is not a SL citizen.

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