Corruption issues are introduced whenever anyone does or says anything that will gain for themselves any advantage and which is not completely in accordance with a fair assessment of the best outcome. This may be as simple as telling the boss that "things are going well" when they are not. The reason this is corrupt is that it increases the liklihood of being rewarded at the same time as reducing the probability of fixing the issues. That combination of self-gain and poor decision making is corruption.

There are numerous occassions every day for every single individual to be completely honest - or to gain by being "a little dishonest". "White lies" are the foundation of entrenched, high level corruption. This applies whether it is under enormous economic or emotional stress - or simply because it seemed easy at the time. The following map shows how widespread is perceived high levels of corruption.


The responsibility for corruption issues lies with everyone who participates and everyone who does not take action to stop it. There is no doubt that every one of us needs to read the Niemoller quote and consider its applicability to the treatment of corruption. Corruption is a dangerous evil that crawls increasingly across all forms of government and corruption issues must be confronted at every opportunity. The effective way to prevent its domination is through a combination of ordinary individuals standing up and denouncing it in all of its forms - and through effective implementation of the separation of powers.

YOU have a responsibility! If you are serious about improving society, you have an ENORMOUS RESPONSIBILITY in terms of reducing corruption and the terrifying results of it. If you are not yet aware of the effects, you need to read widely about totalitarian states and the effects of them on their citizens.

Your responsibility is to address the issue each and every occassion that you observe behaviour which promotes self-interest over societal interest. Is this easy? No! Is it important? Yes! Are you prepared to take the right action? YOUR decision.

Separation of Powers

What is the separation of powers and how does it work? The term has specific meanings in certain political contexts. For example, in representative democracies, it refers to the separation of the judicial, leislative and administrative powers. While such a separation is important, the concept is FAR MORE important and covers a much wider range of powers. For example, the separation of powers also involves various levels of government and various geographic areas. It covers much mundane matters as the level of authority for expenditure of funds and the level of authority in relation to arrests and imprisonments.

How does the separation of powers reduce corruption? Consider the Acton quote. The effect of the separation of powers is to reduce the power of the few and increase the power of the many. In this way, there may be corruption but not absolute corruption!

Opposition to Separation of Powers

Nothing remains a political issue if there is not a significant valid argument against the initial proposal. The argument against increased separation of powers is that it reduces efficiency. There can be no doubt that this is the case - although the extent of it varies considerably. The challenge will remain with us all for ever - but possibly putting the question in the format "Which is more important efficiency or freedom?" is the one to getting the best outcome.


These are important additional challenges for those who are new to politics. The challenge of corruption issues and the extent to which you will support the separation of powers is a key challenge. You may wish to take the opportunity to learn as you progress through the Politics How To and Succeed in Politics sections.

Alternatively, you may wish to continue to challenge your thinking on key issues - or, at least, contemplate some different views. If so, please join the future updates through the RSS feed or by opting-in for email updates.

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