Corruption is a term used to describe the process of abuse of public power for personal gain. The very word “corruption” comes from the Latin “corrumpere” – corruption, and “corruptio” – decomposition, bribery, venality, damage.
What is CORRUPTION – definition in simple words. The concept of corruption.
Simple, clear answer: Corruption is the process by which an official, endowed with state power, uses it for personal enrichment. Such persons may include almost all civil servants who are capable of influencing the resolution of any situation in one way or another. So, it could be:
- Officials at all levels;
- Representatives of supervisory and law enforcement agencies;
- Representatives of medicine and education.
In common understanding, the term corruption includes bribery, extortion, fraud, abuse of power, embezzlement, and money laundering.
Causes of corruption.
There are a huge number of reasons for the existence and prosperity of corruption, and it is quite difficult to give absolutely all aspects of the emergence of this phenomenon. Nevertheless, the main reasons are always on the surface.
- Personal greed. Greed leads to an unlimited desire for money or power, regardless of moral principles. In fact, this is an innate human impulse – to own a large number of goods.
- Low level of personal ethical responsibility due to lack of proper education and upbringing.
- Lack of a sense of duty to serve, and unity with the society that the civil servant serves. In this case, personal selfishness exceeds the needs of the majority.
- The low wages that are often paid to most employees in the public sector push some people into corrupt practices.
- Low opportunities for self-realization. Due to the lack of opportunities to work at will, some people deliberately go to work in government agencies, hoping to make money on corruption schemes. Quite often, these people give bribes to get such “warm” positions.
- Lack of strict and quick punishments. This means that even if someone is caught red-handed, law enforcement and the judiciary are slow to punish. Another problem is too lenient punishments. For example, a corrupt official may not be imprisoned, but transferred to a less prestigious position. Such indulgences allow corruption to flourish, as there is no real punishment for the crime.
- The absence of an institution of bad reputation. This means that a person who has been convicted of corruption should receive a black mark of bad reputation, and self-respecting people should avoid him and not do business with him. Naturally, such a person should not be allowed to work as a government official.
- Lack of unity in society. This factor is critical because it affects the situation with corruption in general. Society must be united in the desire to defeat corruption. And there should not be situations when a person publicly criticizes corruption, while he secretly gives bribes to officials. If the public unites in the fight against corruption in such a way that no one offers bribes, then corrupt officials will have no choice but to work, honestly.
- Lack of transparency and access to information. The basis for corrupt actions is the concealment of information about transactions, tenders, and the property of officials. Under such conditions, hidden oligarchic monopolies arise.
- Lack of independent anti-corruption organizations.
- Lack of competent and independent courts.
- Lack of accountability from government officials. This means that society does not know what this or that official is doing.
Types and forms of corruption.
Since the concept of corruption is very global and affects many areas of human life, it is divided into several types or forms, which depend on the degree of influence. So, the main forms of corruption are:
- Individual (non-systematic, domestic) corruption;
- Petty corruption;
- Political (big, grandiose) corruption.
What is individual corruption?
This is the least dangerous type of corruption, which is very rare and is not able to influence the general processes in society.
What is petty corruption?
Small-scale, bureaucratic or petty corruption is the day-to-day corruption that occurs when public officials meet with the public. Petty corruption is bribery in connection with the application of existing laws, rules, and regulations in such a way that everything looks supposedly legal, but with the introduction of workarounds. As a rule, this form of corruption is associated with small amounts, since it is based on solving the simplest issues. These include bribery in hospitals, schools, local licensing authorities, police, and tax authorities.
What is Political (big, grandiose) corruption?
Political corruption is any transaction between private and public sector entities whereby public assets illegally become private assets. Political corruption is often used as a synonym for “big” or high-level corruption. It differs from bureaucratic or petty corruption because it is associated with politicians making important decisions. Political corruption is the most detrimental to a country, as politicians who have the power to make and enforce laws use that power to maintain their power, status, and wealth. Political corruption not only leads to misallocation of resources, but also corrupts the principle of government. The government becomes kleptocratic.
Goals, principles, and manifestations of corruption.
As you can already understand from the definition of the term, corruption has only one single goal: personal enrichment, concentration, and retention of power. Such actions of officials lead to global changes in the country.
The problem and consequences of corruption.
- First of all, I would like to note that in countries where corruption flourishes, there is no good service. For quality and timely service, you have to pay extra money.
- Lack of independent and fair justice. Corruption in the judiciary leads to unfair decisions. In such a system, the one who brings more money to the judge will be right. Due to corruption in the police system, the investigation process has been going on for decades. This allows criminals to move freely and even commit more crimes.
- As a result of corrupt activities in the education system, the country produces insufficiently qualified workers. This creates a need for professionals who are simply not available.
- Poor health and hygiene: In countries with high corruption, there are more health problems among people.
- Bad roads, old communications, neglect of security measures – all this is the result of corrupt actions of officials that leads to accidents.
As a result, I would like to note that corruption is indeed the most important problem that cannot be overcome without the active participation of the whole society. After all, the situation in the country depends on how each citizen treats and reacts to manifestations of corruption. Ideally, each person is obliged to suppress any manifestations of bribery, by all available and, most importantly, legal methods.