by. Raimondo Graziano
Corruption in our American society has grown to irreconcilable heights, it touches nearly every aspect of the fabric of our nation. From business to politics and in private disputes among average citizens, corruption is tearing the integrity of the country apart. Now, corruption is something that is simply apart of our world, it is a part of human nature that festers and enlarges when the morality of society disintegrates. If the people understand that they may be able to get away with something, and that in the process they may find something to gain for themselves or their families, you can rest assured that lacking the moral integrity and the social pressure to not commit such actions, they will do so gladly.
Our society is one where we laud the morally grey business executive, where we praise the socially bankrupt career politician – of whatever political persuasion so long as they advance their agenda respective to their limited base of support – we seek to emulate the monied figures of influence riddling the cultural and social landscape who are devoid of any sense of duty to country or ones people.
In short – we have allowed the financiers, politicians, celebrities, corporatists, and barons of industry to be our models of inspiration and in doing so have given a nod to their salacious and questionable means of attaining their influence, simply because we too hope to be just like them. This has lead to the corrupt landscape we find ourselves in today. Corruption bleeds from the middle and out. Those at the heights of the publics attention are not solely to blame, partly blame rests at the feet of the masses for implicitly endorsing their behaviour. For instance, our own definitions as to what constitutes corruption and the lacking of a unified standard for such contributes to the issue.
While direct bribery is one thing, reprehensible as it is, it can be found in all industries, what of a wealthy individual building a library or a public grounds out of the “kindness of their hearts” and then off that basis there children being accepted into prestigious universities, or perhaps they are given lucrative housing contracts? There are numerous iterations of this. This not only speaks to sheer corruption at the heart of our society but to equity and equality. In regards to equity, the tools for all peoples to do what it is some may do are not there for all – we should stand on firm equitable footing. We speak a great deal of how in this country all people have the same tools to achieve prosperity when it is blatantly not so. When people are firmly standing on the same ground truly equipped with the same tools then we speak of equality. Equality is the practice of fairness.
There needs to be stricter means for providing this. That way when a wealthy individual provides the capital to build a foundation or library, their children are held to the standard as those of the children of low wage individuals. Corruption can be curbed when a society enacts policies that promote equity, then onward to those that enforce equality so we can build a meritocratic society based on fairness and not wealth and power. Wealth and power does not have to be synonymous with corruption. It is the society that we have endorsed through our action and lack thereof that has breed this pestilential tumor on our democracy and our world.