Corruption

Corruption is a western concept and is not applicable to traditional societies, where corruption does not have such a negative meaning. Many traditional societies with a “gift culture” have a different understanding of civil responsibilities and etiquette. The social structure and political traditions of many countries are based on the beneficial exchange of rewards for services rendered, and cannot survive in it’s absence. Do you agree with any part of this claim?

Are all gifts legal? What can person feel receiving a gift? “It’s a simple question”- you will say, as we usually fell pleasure and gratitude. But let’s tackle this question from the other side. Can a gift culture according to social and political traditions of some countries be considered to be corruption? There are many reasons to assume that it can.

There is much speculation about the issue, especially concerning Eastern countries, where traditions are based on the beneficial exchange of rewards for services rendered. There are traditions in some countries to give presents for special occasions and it can’t have negative meaning. In Japan, for example, when you come to somebody’s home you are expected to bring a present. In Eastern Europe people usually show their gratitude by presenting something special, and it seems to be very natural. If a person does you a favour what is wrong if I do the same for him? But as a matter of a fact gift-giving occurs in personal relationship as well as in institutional. It is quite normal, some leaders say, to accept presents and if you refuse, you can offend people who have been choosing it so carefully and want to show respect and appreciation with this act. Corruption is not an applicable term for it. Many philosophers, in fact, have regarded the physical world as inevitably corrupt. A present accepted doesn’t mean that you are obliged to do something in your turn, it’s just a way of successful and positive interaction between individuals and some cultures and cannot survive in its absence. It is said that civil responsibilities do not suffer at all from this etiquette. But are this statements really objective or do they have a different aim indeed?

All of us understand that there is really quite a vivid margin between “a gift for a favour” and corruption. A political party secures a majority vote by arranging for ballot boxes to be stuffed with false voting papers, thereby corrupting the electoral process. A police officer fabricates evidence in order to secure convictions, thereby corrupting the judicial process. A sports trainer provides the athletes he trains with banned substances in order to enhance their performance, thereby subverting the institutional rules laid down to ensure fair competition. Students can buy a college entry, exam results, marking doctoral and master’s theses. All these can be done because of “a gift”, but frankly speaking the actual definition of these actions is “ bribery”. The person who accepts a bribe is understood as being required to provide a benefit to the briber, and …
Posted by: Precious Logue

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