The human race has always been accredited with being the most bright and ambitious of living things. One of the defining characteristics of the human civilization is our ambition and drive to excel in all of our endeavors.
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As a result of this, human beings often do whatever they can to achieve their goals and objectives using the resources that are at their disposal. This need to further their success is of great importance to their social, economic and political welfare. However, there are obstacles that tend to threaten the process through which these ambitions can be realized.
They include competition, bureaucracies, and in some cases, cultural differences. Consequently, people are sometimes inclined engage in morally unacceptable behaviors or going against the set rules and laws in order to gain an upper hand over other people who are aiming for the same resources. Corruption is one of the concepts that man has adapted to and it has taken its toll in the human society as his desire and greed for material wealth and power increase.
By definition, corruption refers to the use of available resources or designated power for purposes other than the intended ones or for personal gains. It is a very relative concept because it comes in different forms depending on the situation or action taken.
In the current society, this vice has rapidly penetrated the social, political and economic realms and is causing pain and suffering to everyone whom it affects. Corruption comes in various forms and is exhibited at various levels of the society, as such, political analysts and other experts have divided corruption into the various forms that it comes in.
Perhaps the most rampant and damaging form of corruption is political corruption which refers to a dysfunction in a political system whereby government or political officials and employees use their ranks or the resources allocated to them for personal gains. While all manners of corruption are inherently damaging to the society, this particular form of corruption poses the most significant threat since it is the political bodies in our country that are charged with guiding the nation to prosperity and success.
Currently, every nation has some evidence of corruption within its various sectors and institutions. The various forms of corruption have in the recent past manifested themselves at a very alarming rate. Some of these forms of corruption include bribery which refers to a situation where someone is given money or other material things to do something that he is already getting paid to do or a situation where incentives are offered so that a person can go against the set laws or regulations.
Another form of corruption is nepotism which involves the favoring of friends or relatives in regards to getting jobs, promotions or salary increment irrespective of their qualifications. This type of corruption is predominant in almost every country in the world and occurs mostly in family owned businesses or where a particular group of people wants to maintain leadership or control regulations of a particular business or policies.
Another form of corruption that is carried out by people in positions of relative power is the embezzlement of funds. This involves the theft of institutional funds allocated to serve a particular purpose. Embezzlement also includes misappropriation of money and property given to a particular department or sector mainly for personal gains.
A more violent form of corruption which may be exercised by people of relative power is extortion which refers to the use of threats in order to get something from other people. This kind of corruption it also described as the illegal use of state force directed at inflicting harm to others. It is most common with the police force and military agencies.
In order to understand corruption we must look into the possible causes, its effect on the society and at least some of the ways that can be used to curb or prevent it from happening. The most common cause of corruption is presence of low salaries in the economy. As needs increase, the amount of salary may not fully suffice and the people result to using their official capacity to try and get more money or resources to up their social status or even satisfy their greed for material wealth.
In addition to this, there are a lot of loop holes in the regulatory systems which allow people to indulge themselves with this vice. On the same note, the presence of cliques (friendship) and cultural ties have created room for nepotism in all sectors. Poor management and allocation of funds have led to an increase in embezzlement especially in developing countries.
It is a well know fact that corruption leads to the damaging of the very fabric of society. Corruption undermines the value of democracy and the effectiveness of rules, regulation, laws and policies that govern an institution or nation.
As a result, it leads to unequal distribution of political and economical power within the affected society. In addition to this it also causes social and political instabilities leading to war and tribal/cultural clashes. Economically, corruption inhibits development through unfair distribution of resources and funds.
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Additionally, it leads to an increase in prices levels brought about by poor price legislation. In social and environmental basis, corruption causes the destruction of natural resources which is brought about by over exploitation of resources, over industrialization which increases pollution. This comes about as a result of bribery which contributes highly to the breaking of protocols and policies put to prevent this from happening.
Whereas corruption seems to be an indestructible vice that is here to stay, this is not the case and there are measures that can be taken to control it from increasing and even reduce its presence in the society. Such measures include the establishment of anticorruption agencies which fight against these vices.
In addition to this, the government should dwell on formulating new and stricter laws that govern the various forms of corruption and pose heavy penalties to those who are guilty of such crimes. There should also be a select committee in every organization that demand at least quarterly accountability of funds accrued towards a particular purpose.
The best preventive measure however should be man’s desire to change the current situation. Everyone has the potential to make a change and as such, people should say no to corruption on a personal level and assist the authorities in fighting this vice if there is hope to make a difference and eventually curb this menace.
It can be irrefutably stated that corruption is by far the worse problem that nations and societies are facing in our contemporary world. It should be noted that the social, economic, political and environmental benefits that may arise from the abolishment of corruption are far much greater than the greed and desire for power and wealth expressed by selected individual. It is therefore prudent that the global community come together in the fight to eradicate corruption for a healthy and prosperous future for all.