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Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Is Corruption in India *the problem* ?

I have been pondering on the hot topic of debate these days. Thanks to Kejriwal,A and Hazare,A who have brought it to the limelight. I am not a student of political theory nor a qualified political theorist. This is an amateur and perhaps layman view of the state of affairs as I see it.

The political purpose of a nation, primarily is to define its geopolitical boundaries and therefore "own" land. The land endorsed by the nation is thereafter leased to individuals who are the primary citizens. Others who are permitted to dwell within these land perimeters are residents who may be guests or refugees or citizens themselves. For this, each citizen pays a conglomerate of governing bodies (read: municipality, local government diplomats, state government, central government, government authorized regulatory bodies) for the privilege of being allowed to dwell in the land. 

As there are truly no other rights other than the permission to dwell, a constitution and legal code is drafted to control every living activity [communication, exchange of goods, cooperative tasking, commuting... ] of the residents. This is merely one of the instruments of regulation. As these rights are entirely secondary to the primary right of dwelling in a nation, their enforcement and regulation is purely on theoretical, humanitarian/moral grounds and an attempt to ensure that the security of the residents is guaranteed so long as they *pay* for this service.

Governments are therefore, in-effect "Real Estate as a Service." No one other than this government owns "land", but merely has a lease that lasts for a finite period of time. This is the very premise that is attacked by subversive or underworld or underground (non-governmental or anti-governmental) organizations or units who attempt to take ownership of land.

Therefore, the primary machinery for the Government in offering security to ensure these "promised" rights to the residents is the Military. All other Civilian bodies are "value-additions" and not requisites.

As this is the primary source of revenue (and all else is secondary), the root of subversive governance or the underworld or organized crime (as it is sometime referred to) is primarily linked to controlling the ownership of "land" and secondly the right to reside securely without sustaining injury.

Likewise, the underworld also operates by controlling ownership of land, residence within the land (even without the approval of governing bodies), security and business of the residents. Subverting the government they also collect their crudely organized *taxes* from the residents with the promise of guaranteeing the above.

The Government makes a *promise* of guaranteeing the above-listed rights in return for Taxes that are supposedly structured. The Underworld makes a *promise* of guaranteeing the same rights. Between the Government and the (supposedly unstructured) Underworld, there is a race to control territory. This is a battle that has raged for centuries and will continue. If the Underworld prevails, then whatever is named governance fails, and becomes less & less structured.

Whenever the underworld gains the upper-hand, they further subvert the governing bodies by replacing key personnel or diplomats or officials with their own people. These people start melding or merging the fund-flow to the underworld and the government, often favoring whoever put them in-charge. It automatically follows that government officials properly appointed try to favor the government, while subversives favor the unofficial controllers of rights [or underworld.]

Whenever the subversives become part of the government or officials of governing bodies favor the underworld in return for either basic security and safety and rights to residence (which the governing body fails to control) they create a underground economy becoming intermediaries who pay high-value low-volume transactions to the real controllers of the rights. If the real controllers of the rights are not the governmental officials, this amount they pay (in few transactions) needs to be routed from different channels. Hence they create a system to collect it in return for providing "their services" as government officials or subverts to the public.

Governmental bodies usually exert power over most small officials. Hence the tax is not completely removed. This ends up with citizens paying two different fees for the same services. The first being the tax of the governmental body. The second often referred to as the "bribe" to the subversive body.

Once the subversives take control of more "land" and consequently the land offering them other resources, they slowly grow into high-net-worth-individuals (HNIs). This slowly pushes them up the ladder to begin controlling large resources and becoming impossible for the government to get rid of them. They finally end up becoming part of the government or getting linked to high-ranking officials within the government. They too have maintenance costs for their deals that are underground (as we might term them.)

At one point, the old monarchy or dynasty is recreated following unequal distribution of wealth. Inherited wealth becomes legally permitted and laws to prevent large land ownerships (land-ceilings) become ineffective or are sometimes erased through legal process. The entire political landscape is riddled with people related to each other, either by blood or as business partners in an underground/government-subverting ventures. Slowly the political ambitions of the entire machinery controlling the "land" of a nation is guided by this select few, who due to high-net-worth become very powerful.

This problem cannot be eliminated by communism or nationalism or hypothetical benevolent dictatorships or military regimes or any such alternatives. This is because all of the listed ones including communism or nationalism also have economic systems where tangible low-value high-volume transactions through currency are limited by exercising additional powers of the government. If the government has already been taken over by subversives, all such measures, including solutions like the Lok Pal will end up as a farce.

Fundamentally, the premise of governance on the basis of morality is not soundly based on the core biological goals of evolution ("survival of the fittest.") Hence organizations like the UN or the Geneva Convention or NATO or the Non-Aligned Movement are examples of major failures in attempting to enforce cooperative solutions across multiple nation-state boundaries.

Can human beings develop true empathy? Can human beings truly rid themselves of instinctive actions and base their actions only on logic? Is morality logical? These questions have already been answered in the negative. Plato's dialogues were the start, while philosophical treatises like Tractatus build a strong basis that philosophy too is built on mathematical principles.

Summarizing my thoughts and structure, democracy - or representative democracy is a farce. Human beings when put in high-density residences with limited resource availability are incapable of escaping their instinct in majority. While "hope" alone floats, scientifically it is unsound to support rebellions to create morality driven governance models. Thousands of leaders have failed in such attempts and have always left no successors as they were the exceptional few who could beat the instincts, but not the majority.

If you think corruption is a problem, you are looking at the wrong issue. The whole world is suffering from a malady of population-explosion induced disregard for morality/humanitarianism. This malady is growing. It has been historically demonstrated that a general decrease in world population has always led to better governance and socio-economic and political enforcement of such values. This is a bitter answer and hard to believe.

The worst part is that, unless induced by a natural or man-made disaster that drastically decreases world population (of humans especially,) any other benevolent attempt to reduce population and population-density will be blocked by the subversive governing officials/individuals who also include politicians. Pushing my solution further, if you want change, we need world-war-3. It is a very dangerous risk that may even put the survival of our species in dire straits, but is perhaps the cheapest risk we can take to rid ourselves of the primary maladies of bad-governance and corruption.

My earlier opinions were that the world was filled with complex problems with no solutions as the problems became too inder-dependent and entangled. Now I realize that the fundamental woes of humanity are being decided biologically by evolution which, by promoting survival of the fittest, promotes the haves against the "have not"s.

Population of the world is the more critical problem, and India being the second most populous is facing the woes sooner than the rest of the world. Corruption is not a malady, but a mere side-effect of several sociopolitical and tribal traits that humans have inherited over thousands of years. Comparisons with 'China' on their present success rate can easily be disillusioned by illustrating the collapse of the erstwhile Soviet Union. No major nation-state has survived to be large enough in terms of population, area and population-density. We could easily conclude that China's growth as it is being exhibited to the rest of the world is akin to the growth of the USSR with the people behind the iron curtain. This is clear demonstration of putting the nation/government/'land'-regulator ahead of the individual. Despite the fact that this is a sad state of affairs, the number of those who have benefited by these discrepancies is high enough to even conclude that corruption works positively in an economy.

I apologize to greater thinkers like Amartya Sen who have postulated the opposite. I have strong reasons to believe my views reflect the sombre reality of today.