Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Corruption and Definitions

Sometimes I'm amazed at how resilient governments tend to be despite a lack of commonly accepted definitions of how much is supposed to work. In American Democracy, are national representatives supposed to be maximally selfish for their states, or are they supposed to generally represent national interests? Statesmen or representatives? Are politicians role models or civil servants? Despite these questions not having much in the way of answers and a lack of philosophical-type thinking in DC, the state, by and large, continues in its purpose. My working definition of political corruption, "intentional deviation from either an explicit or widely accepted implicit understanding of one's duties towards the people", depends at least partly on having a good public conception of these duties - when the conception is vague, we might clearly identify some kinds of acts as being suboptimal or harmful for society's interests, but we can't use the term corruption as widely. Having read a decent amount about efforts towards reform in Communist states, I've seen that differences in perception of these duties can lead to things being seen as corrupt in on system that are business-as-usual in another, and in many cases the public's judgement on these matters being harmful/beneficial may differ. Despite very little philosophical-type thinking and some small portions of society generally being upset about something, and even given a fairly rotten core, on some level society generally keeps going.. I sometimes wonder what a government run by philosophically-thinking statesmen, elected or not, would look like...

This entry, like so many others, was considerably sharper before I started to write it :) (part of it is, I think, that too long passed between my chewing over this today and blogging it..)


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