Corruption and the Government

Have you ever asked yourself what exactly makes a corrupt country? And how do we know which one is more corrupt than the other? Can we even compare them? The World Bank has designed a system that is in place to analyze the governance competency of the different countries of the world. There are six factors that are considered and one of them is corruption. That makes this political and economic phenomenon wary important to understand if we are to examine how effective a government is in what it has to do.

What is corruption?

post3aWe are all aware of the term, but do we know what exactly it means? Every country has a system of laws in place to protect their citizens in to give them an equal opportunity to succeed in life and their business endeavors. That is most of the countries in the world do this for their citizens.

Other nations of the world that are organized in this way often refuse to trade with countries that do not share their ideological views or ideas. Mainly because similar ideological views entail a similar way of acting in economic transactions and political collaborations.

Sometimes even though a county can declare to have a certain set of rules the ruling class in the said country do not abide by them. That is when we can start talking about a corrupt state, what it entails basically is that the political structure ignores the law and does whatever it seems to think to be the right thing to do. Also, people with the right means can pay the government officials to do certain things for them and to give them additional benefits in their endeavors.

Why Is it Bad?

post3bThe worst thing about corruption is in the fact that it allows some people to make a monopoly on production or trade in the state where corrupt officials function. That also means that public property can be misused and traded with in accordance with the needs of individuals and not the sate as a whole and all its citizens.

Besides those potential foreign investors cannot approach the market because they can easily be pushed out by the corrupt elite or their business can be undermined by the institutions of the state in place to protect from such things. Corruption is a more complex term for a sort of political and economic nepotism that can only help a small number of people in the long run.

The other issue that is at hand is the fact that corruption is most common in countries that are transitioning from one mode of governance to another, or in countries that have high levels of social distress or even war.

Whatever the reason high levels of corruption in any country do not represent a good state of affairs and countries that do display such symptoms are usually ignored by the international community because potential investors do not want to see their money go to wasted because of corrupt individuals in the government.

The Social State vs. The Liberal State

We are all aware of the fact that there is so much political difference between the countries of the world that sometimes they all seem too far apart to make any communication. International institutions exist precisely to help us with such problems and to resolve the tensions between the opposing worldviews. But there are also many similar aspects to political governance that make countries collaborate and work together towards a single goal. That will be the topic of this article. We will look at two political and economic systems that have shaped the modern discussion about the state and the role it should have in the future for governing people.

What are exactly the differences between the two models? And how is this manifested in the countries that have implemented the different ideologies?

Social State or the Parent State

post2aThis form of governance goes back all the way to the enlightenment and the revolutions that came in the midst of those new ideas being born. Socialism, even though it is often associated with communism has actually developed separately as a political perspective. Even Karl Marx wrote about socialism as a stepping stone towards what he envisioned as the global worker’s revolution.

The form of governance is based on the principle that the state should be as a parent to their citizens. What does that mean? The state should not control the market or any other aspect of public life but it should have a say in it. That also means that the main focus of the socialist politician is to ensure funds for socially important aspects of the state.

That is, the state should make free health care and education possible for all its citizens and it should also make sure that there are no socially endangered individuals. Generally, the state cares for its citizens even though it can sometimes cost the country too much money. Governing bodies should balance those things out over time.

Liberalism and the Free Market

post2bAs a complete opposite to communism and to some extent to socialism is what we often term as neo-liberal capitalism. The biggest difference is in the level of influence the state displays over any of its bodies. The state is redundant in social affairs and this is left to the NGO sector.

The state in the idealized version of this governing system should not interfere in the market and therefore should not interfere in social issues unless it is mandatory for ensuring the stability. This system presupposes that bureaucracy is the only thing we need for a successful country.

The market is free as is society, and by this, I mean that elements from society cam mix with each other freely and without any influence from “above”. That way new and exiting forms can come to life, and trade will not stop because it is based on natural reactions between the market and consumers.

Conclusion

Most modern countries try and find a way to balance out the two mentioned ideas of governance and to make the best possible amalgam of them so it is functional for their own country.