[OPE-L] Wolfowitz's world

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Tue Apr 24 2007 - 17:00:21 EDT

Matthias Heitman of NOVO http://www.novo-magazin.de/ fame has another
radical take on the Wolfowitz affair:

"The best way to avoid corruption is to develop strong opinions, convictions
and principles that go beyond individual, purely material and short-term
interests. If we did that as a society, we would still have to deal with
corrupt individuals, but it would not lead us to believe that corruption is
a general human trait. It would also help us to distinguish political
critique from allegations of corruption and nepotism, and to distinguish
individual failure from social problems. Social values and visions lay the
basis for social interaction and action. They emphasise the positive
characteristics and capacities of people to move society forward. Paul Noack
[Professor Emeritus in Education at the University of Munchen, not to be
confused with the developer of Ardie motorcycles] says that corruption in
the Third World is caused by the lack of functioning democratic control
mechanisms. The same goes for our societies, too. Combating corruption -
which means real cases of corruption, but also our obsession with corruption
and the 'corruption mindset' - should be a political task, not an empty
ethical therapy programme."

Total article: http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/3105/

The point however is that Wolfowitz (or any other leading neocon) has as
strong opinions and social vision as any, but that doesn't prevent them from
being corrupt!

So what we need is a less superficial analysis of corruption and
corruptibility, i.e. an analysis of the conditions under which corruption
pays off, and the conditions under which corruption is unavoidable; and
likewise the conditions (structures, forms of association, rules, values)
which promote honesty and integrity.

The World Bank cannot very well avoid corruption, if its very organisational
structure invites corruption. Wolfowitz's approach to attacking corruption
is to say "if you are corrupt, I won't loan you any money" (negative
reinforcement) but this is a simplistic approach to the problem, because it
doesn't eliminate the corruption, and it doesn't reward honesty and
integrity. It just becomes an excuse for stopping projects that the neocons
don't like anyway.


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