Sunday, October 07, 2012

Why Some Countries are corrupt

StrategyPage has a dicsussion on the Shiite/Sunni divide in Iraq, but has this observation on corruption that explains why third world politicians tend to steal everything in sight:
The problem in Iraq is that the forces of darkness are more pervasive and persistent than the forces of light. This accounts for a continued reliance on family and tribe for essential services (security, justice and survival in general). Thus government officials are expected to steal all they can and share it with family and tribe, as these are the only people you can rely on in the end. In short there is no "civic spirit" (or "civil society") that Westerners take for granted.

Rubin points out that supporting the clan first is one reason for the Middle East's problems:

The key element for this article is this: when solidarity along group lines takes priority and the line is that all of “us” must unite against the “other” no matter what truth, logic, or justice dictates, then that means serious trouble.
Related item item: The headline of today's Manila Bulletin:

Dynasties Defended

Public Service Not Based On Name But Qualifications – Palace
These dynastic families are known to have spawned elitist 500 public officials in high government levels, including presidents and vice presidents, senators and congressmen, and in local governments. As shown by a recent survey by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, about two-thirds of members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives come from political dynasties. And it said that “the members of political families will tend to legislative in favor of their own interests to the detriment of the majority.
So we never have such problems in America, do we... except for the Romney, Clinton, Bush and Kennedy clans...

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