Is a world without corruption possible?

No matter, what corruption case is now occupying the public debate, the important thing is that it never goes away. What role does corruption play in the functioning of modern states? How can we combat it?


Corruption outrages us because it devours public resources that come directly from citizens’ taxes. But no matter how angry we are, no matter how much the laws persecute it, there is always a new case of corruption. A 2018 study by the European Green Party estimated that corruption causes economic damage worth 904 billion euros in the European Union. To put it in context: it is money that almost triples the defence effort of the entire EU.

In the Arte documentary, “Corruption, a necessary evil?” They wonder why corruption never goes away. Is it possible that it is a necessary lubricant to correct the inefficiency of the public sector? Historian Jens Ivo Engels argues that without clienteles it would not have been possible to create modern states, because it fostered loyalty between patron and supplier. With the French Revolution and the creation of the civil service in modern states, around 1800, corruption should have disappeared. There were already public workers whose salaries should not, therefore, be tempted by corrupt practices. But it was not like that. Because?


Corruption, against slavery

Surprisingly, corruption ended slavery in the United States. The mythical Abraham Lincoln did not have a majority in the House of Representatives, so he bribed some political rivals to vote in favour. Could we think, then, that a certain degree of corruption is necessary? Of course not. An IMF study already warned in 2002 that the more corrupt a society is, the worse things are for its citizens. Fewer children are born, there are more dropouts from studies, public services are worse… What’s more, according to research from the universities of Newcastle and Copenhagen, the level of corruption has a direct impact on the mental health of citizens.


How to defend yourself against corruption

The question is simple: how can society combat corruption? If you don’t know where it comes from, how is it produced, and doesn’t anyone want to be called corrupt? How do you combat an evil so normalized that it is often not even seen? To measure corruption, there is the Corruption Perception Index. Spain is currently rated as the thirty-fifth least corrupt economy, tied with Botswana, Cape Verde. The path to a country clean of corruption is marked by Estonia, with great involvement of citizens.

If you want to learn more about the history of corruption, how it works and how it can be fought, you can watch “Corruption, a necessary evil?” in Arte channel.

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  1. Carles MarsalCarles Marsal says:

    Bon article

    • Jordi CollJordi Coll says:

      Moltes gràcies, Carles, i a tu també, gràcies, pel teu comentari!!!

      2 months ago
  2. Joan Santacruz CarlúsJoan Santacruz Carlús says:

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