I propose to redefine corruption as “a social pathogen which accounts for the incapacity of a society to sustain its members from straying into unwarranted or unsocial conduct”. This just me, what do you suggest?
Last night a very close of mine Daniel Juma invited me to some dinner organized by the Director of the Global Peace Service Alliance Mr. David Caprara and we got into a heated debate on what exactly do we term as corruption?
Many of us now, suddenly, see corruption as a social evil, an economic impediment or a moral deviance, which debases the credibility of a society. Popular sources define corruption as “an impairment of integrity, virtue or moral” and “an inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means” (like bribery, embezzlement, graft etc). This idiosyncratic understanding of corruption often falls prey to, what is infamously known as, the fallacy of composition. I propose to redefine corruption as “a social pathogen which accounts for the incapacity of a society to sustain its members from straying into unwarranted or unsocial conduct. At some point I agreed with Juma when he said that some people like police officers are under paid and just like any other person they got needs too thus the urge of asking for some bribe.Right?
All this while, my efforts to understand corruption and attempts to find solutions remained micro and confined to my spheres of influence. My study led me to frame a few ideas that can probably help improve the incentive systems in our society and in the process assuage the costs imposed by corrupt practices. Introducing transparency ratings and credits, benchmarking best practices, anti-corruption and vigilance studies at all levels of education, interfacing through information technology, professionalism in civil services and institutional interaction are some ideas, which would help market mechanisms reduce corrupt practices. Just maybe, if the above works out in our beloved Kenya.
I know it shall be very difficult to bring all the items of corruption in the definition of corruption because the people busy in this line are bringing and inventing new items and are showing their expertise in those lines. We started from small bribes, but now the circle of corruption is very wide and it has become difficult to bring all those items in the circle of corruption.