JimWes Thinks

September 21, 2010

KLEPTOCRACY RISING

Filed under: Corruption, government, Honor, Integrity, kleptocracy, politics — jimwes @ 3:49 am

The greatest enemy of Democratic government in the world today is Kleptocratic government.  Kleptocracy is a worldwide phenomena and a worldwide threat to Democracy.  

Today we are witnessing a growing tendency toward abstinence from accountability…the refusal to recognize that one is accountable to any higher authority.  This is the seed of Kleptocracy, planted by the irresponsible – the unaccountable, fertilized by human greed and watered by a flow of untruth, that grows as the roots of corruption reach deeply into the fertile soil of human culture producing the fungus of corruption that rapidly covers all it touches with the invisible slime of unbridled evil. It can stealthily displace any and all political ideology or form of government.

Kleptocracy comes to power neither by force, nor by ballot.  It simply grows like a fungus corrupting more and more persons until it takes control.  Almost everyone then becomes corrupted as corruption becomes a way of life, payoffs become salary supplements, collusion spreads because everybody’s doing it and gradually the entire country, or at least its business and governmental leadership and its public service becomes corrupted.

The great poet Alexander Pope described this process aptly when he said of vice and corruption:

Vice and Corruption

“Seen too oft,

familiar with her face,

          we first endure,

               then pity,

             then embrace.

Kleptocracy is “government by thieves.”  There is nothing new about it.  Kleptocracy may in fact be the world’s oldest form of government.  It simply consists of the institutionalization of one person’s or one elite group’s greed for resources and power in the form of the apparatus of the state.  Most monarchies deteriorated over time into Kleptocracies.  Most great empires were driven by Kleptocracy’s inspiration. 

The plunders taken by conquering armies in times of war and the hated tributes extorted by tax collectors in times of peace…all in the name of government…permeate the pages of the history of our so-called civilization.  Karl Marx saw the Capitalists as the most horrible of Kleptocrats exploiting natural and human resources driven by greed.  But his own disciples did exactly the same…even as they praised his name.

We have seen the domino effect of the people’s disgust with Kleptocracy among the former Soviet states. But the disillusionment expressed by many former communists has not so much been with ideology but with the corruption which discredited the utopian promises and their promisors.

It became apparent to the world in the last decade of the 20th Century that Kleptocracy had actually displaced Communism in a number of countries.

Beware!…it can displace Democracy just as stealthily.

The big challenge to democratic  governance today is how to protect itself  from Kleptofungus, perhaps now dormant, but still permeating a society which has become accustomed to it.  Often throughout history one Kleptocracy has been overthrown by disgusted citizens only to be replaced by another under another brand name…then by another and another for years.

Kleptofungus is invisible.  It grows anywhere there are human beings. In its early stages it is unnoticed.  At midgrowth it begins to get hold of every possible activity.  In its later stages it reproduces with geometric progression so that it quickly takes complete control before it can be stopped.

The third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson said

The time to guard against corruption and tyranny is

before they  shall have gotten hold of us.”  

We are now seeing the late stage of the growth of Kleptofungus throughout many countries of the world today – the geometrically progressive stage.  It has already gotten hold of us, especially in the world’s major cities…and in quite a few countries.

Once in control Kleptocratic power tends to become more and more centralized in one person or group which holds the franchise on all forms of corruption.  Lower level concessionaires become the economic slaves of the rulers passing them ever larger amounts of graft which must be financed by squeezing tighter those below.  The  Kleptoconstrictors continually apply more and more pressure until the lowest levels rebel in desperation or are saved by an outside force.

We have much to learn from the real life illustrations of the astounding vitality of Kleptocratic menace which are reported daily in the media.  History is filled with case studies of kleptofungal growth and domination.  We need a scientist who can invent an effective Kleptofungicide!

Sadly, science never seems to solve human problems.  The solution to Kleptofungal growth lies within us.  We can prevent Kleptocracy.  We can control corruption in government.  But we can do this only by changing people…seeing that they accept their duty to be accountable…that they restore honor as a goal in human behavior, integrity as a prerequisite to respect and admiration  and doing our best to decontaminate the culture around us.

Integrity and honorability constitute the real Kleptofungicide

By recognizing the importance of integrity and honorability we cannot eradicate corruption from our planet, but we can control it, prevent much of it, discover most of it and take more effective and immediate measures to punish those responsible for it.

But if we are to win over corruption we must determine to whom we ourselves are accountable. If we are to defeat corruption we must first recognize that we are accountable to our Creator, our family, our nation, other persons and our own selves, then, and only then, we will have the right and duty to insist upon accountability by others.

To accountability we must add integrity, to integrity we must add honesty, to honesty we must add ethical conduct and to ethical conduct we must add credibility through truthfulness and transparency. Then we will merit honor…and we must not let honor fade away.

Integrity and honorability can overcome Kleptocracy’s  corrupt and dishonorable threat to Democracy

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