Saturday, November 12, 2011

Corruption of mind

Every second is a step into the future.  Each step you make, hopefully, is a secure step.  We all seek security and security of soul, mind and body are challenged daily.  In one scope, each child we have is a step into the future.  What are we doing globally.

 “Today youth constitutes not only a sizable population but also a very high percentage of the literate and educated group in most of the developing countries”[1]  Corruption has many elements and the mental element must take place before any other.  In terms of psychology the rational we encounter is one where, “People perpetuating corrupt acts engage in “rationalizing tactics”—describing their actions in such a way that they do not appear to be unethical at all.”[2]  This rationalization allows people to comprehend their actions as normal.  Furthermore, unethical behaviour can be understood as cultural relativism.

Cultural relativism explains certain actions that are okay for some but not for others.  For example female genital cutting is practiced, in some societies human sacrifices were also performed and were accepted.  Each of those examples can be defended as cultural actions based on beliefs.  Within that belief is a mental understanding and acceptance that is learned.  As we progress further into the realm of corruption we can equate cultural relativism to the decision of those that get involved in corruption.  Linking that understanding to corruption, “People who have engaged in corrupt acts excuse their actions to themselves, by viewing their crimes as non-criminal, justified, or part of a situation which they do not control.”[3]

To frame the act of corruption is to say that people engage in it because they are doing what they feel is deserved to themselves.  In some mental calculation the corrupt acts are thought of a justifiable and in fact necessary to achieve a desired outcome that will eventually benefit the whole of society.  This is the same mental process that went through the minds of people who engaged in human sacrifices.

Today the issue of corruption has come to the very top of world news.  People that live in countries where political leaders are being ousted have labeled corruption as a main point of concern.  Tunisia and Egypt have already replaced their leaders and other countries are trying to do the same.  At the core of these revolutions rests the hope for a just society where the youth can foresee a positive future.  There are a number of issues that work in tandem for which the people are rallying against, corruption is one such issue.  
As we have looked at both economic and political corruption there are two methods to combat corruption and that is with education and strong governance.  “Without transparency, accountability and the rule of law, corruption flourishes.”[4]    As we see the many countries around the world fall due to corruption it must be noted that education and governance do not flourish overnight. 
“Post-conflict development needs to reduce corruption, facilitate effective governance and promote environmentally sound, socially equitable, economically robust sustainable development that requires re-evaluation of the appropriateness of the existing policies, strategies, legal and regulatory frameworks and institutional arrangements, and adjust accordingly.”[5]

“In Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Algeria and Yemen, the violent demonstrations are largely driven by the stifled generation of the Arab baby boom: 100 million young people 15 to 29 years old who make up 30 per cent of the Middle East's population.  Their hopes and ambitions have been frustrated by corruption, high unemployment, lack of political freedom, soaring costs of living and growing income inequality – and their leaders have been unable and unwilling to invest in solutions to these problems.”[6]

From the above quotes we learn that the people have lost hope of a better future if things do not change.  “Education is the key component to reconstruction in post-ethnic conflict settings. It is a country’s “single most important social, economic and political resource. Schools educate youth for future employment, socialize children to ensure integration and active involvement in their communities, prepare them for productive participation as a citizen in their country and transmit those values and beliefs deemed to be important by their society”[7]
In order to have societies where violence is rare we need to support youth empowerment “inclusion in development by expanding the capacities of and opportunities for youth groups to initiate and participate in community and local development initiatives.”[8]

[1] Gale, Faye and Stephanie Fahey (editors).  Youth In Transition.  UNESCO, Bangkok. 2005. Pg., 13
[2] Anand, Vikas, Blake E. Ashforth and Mahendra Joshi.  Business as usual: The acceptance and perpetuation of corruption in organizations.  Academy of Management Executive, 2005, Vol. 19, No. 4.  Pg., 10.
[3] Anand, Vikas, Blake E. Ashforth and Mahendra Joshi.  Business as usual: The acceptance and perpetuation of corruption in organizations.  Academy of Management Executive, 2005, Vol. 19, No. 4.  Pg., 10.
[4] Ghani, Seema.  An Accountable State with Strong Civil Society.  Development Outreach, World Bank Vol. 11 No. 2, Oct 2009.    Pg., 43.
[5] Edited by Ghimire, Safal, Bishnu Raj Upreti, Sagar Raj Sharma and kailash Nath Pyakuryal. The Remake of a State: Post-Conflict challenges and State Building in Nepal. NCCR North-South, Human and Natural Resources Studies Centre, Katmandu University. 2010. pg. 131.
[6] Ghafour, Hamida.  Enough! Why thousands of young Arabs have taken to the streets in protest.  The Globe And Mail, Jan. 28, 2011.
[7] Coles, Emily, "The Importance of Education Systems in Post-Conflict Settings: The Case of Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH)" (2011).
Honors Projects. Paper 10.
[8] Barron, Patrick.  Community Driven Development in Post-Conflict and Conflict-affected Areara.  2011 World Development Report.  March 2011.  Pg. 8.

No comments:

Post a Comment