Governing is a Corruptive Enterprise

12 02 2009
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Would Limiting Time in Government Limit Corruption?
Authored by William Robert Barber

Although the applicability to my forthcoming declaration is in scope world-wide, I am only utilizing the governments within the USA as an example; I do NOT believe that governing, withstanding the form is possible without corruption. When I speak of corruption I mean in the full sense and meaning of that dirty-filthy word; examples of my meaning of corruption would certainly encompass the synonyms dishonesty, bribery, and fraud. The governments of the USA have numerous historical instances of defaming indictments, allegations, and outright convictions of the elected, appointed, and the non-elected; governing is obviously a corruptive practice. For any who may doubt my declaration there is a voluminous library of historical documentation of governmental corruption; this documentation is noted in all of the major languages and cultures, such evidence will surely dismiss any thoughts to the contrary.

Corruption is so intrinsic to governing one could not overstep or exaggerate the significant contribution of corruption to the act of governing; indeed, corruption is symbiotic to the art and science of governing. By means overt and covert breaking the law is the natural nature of those in power. No matter the historical benchmark, the political party, or the statesperson’s administration, government is riveted with examples of duplicity, deceitfulness, untruthfulness, treachery and trickery.

That being said and understood one would think that the workings of governing would be scrutinized regularly, audited by unaligned third parties, absolute-mandated ante and post legislative transparency would be the precedent, and term limits would be the law of the land. But wait, my point has been made; corruption has taken on its own life and is running government as it suites the corruptors.

The natural nature of power is corruptive; those in power will, in time, enable directly or indirectly the advancement of corruption. All eyes and ears should be drawn toward this natural state of government; as long as human beings are running the show corruption will be a component of governing. Because the ones governing are humans, with all the frailties inclusive, one must proportionate one’s expectations of virtuous governing with the behavioral dysfunction of those who are governing. Thus, lifetime politicians have more opportunity to enact deeper and everlasting negatives while governing; limiting their time in office naturally limits corruption. The same is true for the appointed.

Let’s take the case of Mr. Daschle, a former law-maker of the Senate, he like the many who have held power close in hand; decided to skate over the thin ice of an obligation and not pay his rightful tax obligation to the IRS. Of course he is sorry. Sorry that he got caught that is; imagine his Democratic colleges have dismissed his crime as a simple understandable mistake, of course for the common citizen evasion of one’s tax is a crime. The fact that one does not understand the law or was not aware of the law pertaining to that particular infraction is not excusable in a court of law. Now Daschle has for many years pasted judgment on the very laws he violated. Of course for reason apparent he is an exception to the rule over the common. That is until public opinion enacted by the NY Times (a liberal sensitive publication) suggested that Timothy Geithner was one tax cheater enough in the Obama administration. So withstanding the Presidents assurance to the people that Mr. Daschle’s tax issue was a harmless oversight he nevertheless allowed one of his key cabinet picks to withdraw. Hooray!

Because the natural state of government and governing is corruptive; a free and skeptical press is essential to a righteous nation; if the press is rendered mute, irrelevant, or enchanted by the sway of a particular politician’s charisma, the system of implied check and balance, the entire structure of an open pluralistic society suffers.

Bureaucracy is the safeguard of corruption; that is why we have so much of it. Ambiguity befriends and enjoins with those legislators who seek befuddlement as a tool to wear out the individual inquiry of why there is no governmental transparency. This is the tactic of lawyers and accountants as they apply their trade upon the laypersons; for hundreds of years the Catholic Church utilized the same tactic of befuddlement on the faithful by holding services in Latin and requiring, by penalty of death that all bibles be in Latin and held only in the providence of priest.

Of course the corruption that is the most evil and damaging is the corruption applied within the rule of statutory laws, this sort of corruption is aligned with the exploitive corruption so often practiced by attorneys wherein a lawsuit is filed on the notion that for the defendant the cost of pursuing justice is too expensive. Therefore the rightful settle the lawsuit for pecuniary reasons not because they are guilty. This sort of within the rule of law corruption is feasible because legislators (most of whom are attorneys) pass the laws that permit this corruptive action to be commonplace; lawsuits are a business tactic; they are no longer the mainstay means to adjudicate wrongfulness.

My belief is that government and governing although necessary is inherently a corruptive enterprise. Therefore, as citizens we must address this reality and not assume or presume any other belief; and surely, we cannot believe, on its face, without evidence, the words of any politician or government agent.

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