Transparency 20: The origin and the instruments of Corruption
European citizens are attending these days a shameful spectacle. While public finances in many countries are bankrupt, despite having repeatedly denied, is staging an attempt to solve the problems on numerous occasions tolerating or part of corrupt networks, by those who now seek to solve.
Despite all this theater, situations persist and worsen. In this blog we will try to analyze how they originate, are structured and operate the frames that have led to the current catastrophe that has ruined millions of families, businesses and led to millions of people unemployed or condemned to a life that does not corresponds to equal opportunities every citizen, family and business should have.
The origin: Achieving and use of power
Situations like the present have been repeated throughout history. For example in the government of Caius Marius in Rome.
During his government in the year 667 from the foundation of Rome, the coin was distorted to the point that passed for those gold coins, copper, gold painted. The origin of this economic disaster was none other than public spending, unbalanced in relation to income, using public works and public employment, especially on military, as an excuse.
These imbalances inevitably occur whenever a group gets to the power lawfully or unlawfully and, once installed in it, confuses its objectives with the public good involving the economy in this plot.
The confusion between legal or illegal political objectives and management of the public economy always produces situations like the present. Therefore we can conclude that the origin of the current situation is in achieving and use of power.
Nietzsche warned in “Thus spook Zarathustra”: “and especially want the lever of power: a lot of money”
Instruments and their interrelation
The second point to consider are the instruments used for the procurement and use of power. Two instruments that are sometimes intertwined and confused but we can distinguish conceptually: Networks of corruption and criminal groups. In many cases the criminal group is used to gain power and once reached becomes corruption network.
Criminal groups have rigid hierarchies, are composed of professionals and its purpose is commit crimes (sometimes taking power has the character of target for these groups) and reap the rewards of crime (sometimes control certain sectors of the economy are the fruits of the crime).
A network of corruption, however, is made up of individuals with cross presence in the institutions does not have defined hierarchy and is organized around illicit activities for profit (sometimes the granting of planning permission, commercialization products concessions of public services constitute such illicit activities)
Both organizations share the same internal structure: a criminal group, a political-civil servant group and a financial group.
The group commits criminal offenses (obtaining contracts, permits, transfer of services) and collects its fruits; the civil servant political group inspires (creation of restrictive legislation or creating internal regulations) and protects the commission of crimes (lobbies) and financial group returns the economic fruits of crime licit economic circuits.
Political organizations, criminal organizations and networks of corruption and internal groups should be related and intermixed since in the illegal business, to infiltrate political and administrative structures of states, commit crimes from public office and benefit from illicit business, collaboration is necessary.
Essentially it’s structures and mechanisms similar to intelligence operations that act on three levels with fictional and real characters who act at the same time confuse who tries to resolve the situation.
The eradication of the problem
Once installed they are very difficult to eradicate because sometimes not affect a single state and especially in Europe where local, state, regional and European administrations are intertwined and where billionaires budgets are managed, there are real spider webs of public companies, associations and institutions where the exchange of people between public institutions and between public institutions, associations and private companies occurs (see Transparency 12: Between the Ministry of Health and Industry on “The revolving door” or “revolving door”) only a few judiciary and independent audits of the political executive and legislative power can eradicate the problem even just by preventing new crimes.
In future blogs we will present specific cases, some already reported on Transparency and others present in other media in recent weeks, to illustrate this article.