Friday, February 15, 2013

Corruption and the Corrupt Among Us

NOTE: This blog post is based on a lesson learned in a recent experience with corruption and where I was morally culpable and effectively complicit by remaining silent about it. In the end, the corrupt exposed themselves while falsely accusing me of exposing them and falsely accusing me of harassing them. Neither of which I did. While the impact of this was small in the scheme of things, I believe it was an important lesson for me to learn and to share with others.

We have a serious problem today with corruption that permeates every single part of our society. The only real difference between the corruption engaged in by the “little” guy and the corruption engaged in by the wealthy elite is the impact it has on numbers of people.

The “little” guy who engages in corruption will have a negative impact on a small group of individuals or a social group. Many social activist and charitable groups are targeted by elements like this. They think they can take advantage of the good intentions of the group to further personal agendas often involving fraud not only against the targets of the fraud but against participants of the social group who make the mistake of participating, based on misrepresented good intentions . The personal financial gain of the corrupt individual instigating such campaigns is usually the ultimate goal.

How many charitable agencies have been defrauded out of their incomes in recent years? Many in Canada. The British Columbia SPCA were robbed in precisely this way by one of their own, their accountant.

How many well known social activists are targeted by smear campaigns and lies by those in their own circles? Many as well. Kevin Annett is one such example.

The atheistic communities have also been targeted by corrupt elements like this in recent years. Elements whose only agenda is to fabricate false dramas upon which they can build personal careers on the backs of and financially exploit the generosity of these communities. To accomplish this much disruption and numerous smear campaigns have occurred at their hands against individuals who have merit and have won the respect of these communities through both their actions and their words.

Then there are those who are less well known and where the corrupt individuals engaging in their disruptions are less experienced but using the same bullying and harassment strategies in an effort to destroy the reputations of innocent people.

Note I have no problem with these strategies being used to destroy the corrupt who have demonstrated their corruption and it’s provable. The issue here is that they’re being used against those who are fighting corruption and are innocent. A tangled web of deceit is weaved to cover up these corrupt activities and others are drawn in to conceal making them complicit.

On a larger scale, but with the same psychology of corruption at play, are the bankers who manipulate our global economies and governments to further their personal financial gain. This is done while demanding the implementation of policies which are ensuring the destruction of our economy and social and financial oppression of the populace who are effectively being robbed to further this end. They also use the same strategies to destroy the reputations of those who stand up to them or threaten their profit driven projects in any way.

Corruption is corruption and it’s end is always the same no matter what the means. There is personal gain for someone, somewhere in the mix at the expense of others. And this corruption is firmly founded on the morally bankrupt principle that the “ends justifies the means.”

Our world has become so corrupt that not even our governments, police and other state institutions that are supposed to be there to protect the citizen and work on our behalf can be trusted to do their jobs.

That’s not to say that everyone is corrupt amongst the rich and the poor (and everyone in between) nor would it be right to say that entire governments and their agencies are corrupt. Not in my opinion anyway.

I don’t believe that’s the case. In my opinion, there are those amongst the wealthy elite who do operate on ethical values and principles much like many of us “little” people and there are those both in government and state agencies like police and intelligence agencies who take their jobs seriously; operate on ethical values and principles and are genuinely attempting to serve and protect the citizens who pay their salaries.

We just don’t hear about these people and it’s often these people who are the one’s that get targeted, bullied and harassed out of their jobs and communities by the corrupt who are being lauded to the skies and receiving merit badges, awards and other honours for the privilege of having been bought or influenced by the right corrupt side.

On top of it all, when it comes to corruption, many of us remain silent in the face of it. Why do we do that? There are a lot of reasons for that, some personal, some social. Whatever our reasons the end result is that we become complicit in the corruption and enable it to continue if we don’t take a stand against it.

The Blue Code of police officers ensured that Christopher Dorner, a whistleblower, was persecuted out of his job and ultimately murdered by his own colleagues. At least I consider it murder. No doubt that some will find that debatable. I do not.

The numerous government cover ups of unethical and often illegal criminal activity that have been exposed after years and years are also testimony to this fact that even those innocent of any actual crime are not coming forward to expose these crimes.

It’s not surprising that Whistleblowers are finding that they are not receiving any protections when they blow the whistle on corruption because it’s the corrupt who have the power, money, and resources to ensure that they are persecuted irrespective of any legal rights they may or may not have.

Even at the lowest levels of corruption like that which occurs in the small groups in society, the benefit of doubt appears to go to the liars who continuously revise their stories, misrepresent and mischaracterize events/evidence in a self-serving manner, smear using demagogic propaganda techniques like guilt by association, recruiting “enemies” as well as bullying and harassment techniques like threats and intimidations.

So, how do we, the regular “little” people who have ethical standards and values break this cycle of corruption?

We have to take a stand everywhere we see it. At the lowest levels, in our personal interactions and at the highest levels in the corporations and institutions that are supposed to serve us.

That’s the only way we’ll put an end to it. It’s too pervasive and integrated into our culture for us to do it any other way.

We also have to start demanding valid evidence, evaluate it critically and not accept anyone’s word just based on reputation or friendship or age or whatever. We can always come up with rationalizations and excuses for remaining complicit in corruption. This will expose the liars who are attempting to cover up their corruption.

And we really need to stop putting ourselves in situations where we are complicit.