The main aim of this paper is to explore the subject of corruption. In the first part of the paper, we will focus on the definition of corruption and the types of corruption which exist in the world. Next, we will analyse whether corruption can be stopped in the following four perspectives: Classical, Radical, Conservative, and Modern Liberalism. In each perspective, we will determine its meaning, the reason why corruption exists in that perspective, and find out whether corruption can be tackled from that perspective. In the final part, of the paper, we will use modern liberalism to demonstrate that corruption will appear as well as its consequences in Hong Kong Capitalism and how competitive market of Hong Kong leads to corruption. We start with a definition of corruption and its different categories.
There are some answers to the question of interpretation of corruption. Corruption refers to misconduct on the side of a dominant person or authority through means that are immoral, illegal, or contrary to moral customs. Corruption usually comes from patronage and its connection is with bribery. Examples of corruption acts include extortion, bribery, embezzlement, fraud, influence peddling, nepotism, and cronyism. There are several types of corruption; the first one is organized corruption. This is whereby corruption has become a complete and integrated view of the social, economic, and political system. This means that systematic corruption is a circumstance in which the main institutions and procedures of the country are routinely used by unscrupulous groups and individuals leaving the other people no other way to handling the corrupt officials. Sporadic corruption is the vice versa of systematic corruption. Its existence is inconsistent and, therefore, it does not constitute a threat to the instruments of power or the economy (Harris, 2003).
Political or grand corruption refers to any operation between public and private sectors` actors through which there is an illegal change of communal goods into private-regarding payoffs. It is grand corruption as it involves political decision makers of a country and it occurs at the high ranks of the political systems. Political corruption occurs, when the legal bases against which corrupt acts are normally judged and evaluated are weak. The consequence of political corruption is misallocation of resources and perverts the decision making process. There is also petty corruption, which refers to the everyday corruption that exists at the implementation end of politics, where the public meets the public officials. It is corruption of bribery in link with the implementation of current laws, rules, and regulations and it involves modest sums of money. We now focus on the different perspectives of corruption starting with the Classical liberalism perspective.
Classical liberalism is a political philosophy that values the sovereignty of people including the freedom of speech, religion, assembly, press, and markets together with the limited government. Classical liberalism is a political philosophy that argues for an affiliation between the state and civil society. A civil society consists of all the voluntary and natural relationships in a society while the government oversees society and tries to make sure that it maintains the civil and orderly environment. Classical liberalism advocates that a civil society should be self-governing and believe that people have ordinary rights, which are different from the government. In addition, classical liberalism advocates that part of what constitutes a civil society is the capability of its members to assist each other. Why does corruption exist in Classical liberalism?
Classical liberalism involves promoting the market, voluntary association, limited government, and democracy. Classical liberalism is a believer in people who are doing well to each other and more so, people should love doing well. This means that, in classical liberalism, there is the granting of power to people and as much, the liberals are hopeful that a civil society will do the right thing although there are chances of having some vicious people. This happens mostly to people in positions of power. Corruption will exist in classical liberalism, because people have been granted power and there is the limited government. With time, people in positions of power will start misusing the power and this opens the door to corruption. From its definition corruption involves bribery and people, who are not in any positions of power will start bribing their way to getting access to national resources and hence corruption.
The handling of corruption in classical liberalism is necessary, as the presence of corruption will erode the whole ideology of liberalism. When people in positions of power start abusing the power the rest of the people in the civil society will have to take the easiest way in getting access to resources, which will be through corruption. In classical liberalism, both the government and civil society are liable to each other, especially in terms of corruption. They both need to be strong enough in order to maintain an environment that is corruption free. Corruption in classical liberalism strains the associations of people in the society and eventually the gap between the rich and poor will grow. In this context, it is essential that corruption in classical liberalism be handled to avoid poor relationships between people in the civil society.
The next perspective in which we can discuss corruption is the radical perspective. The term â€œradicalâ€ refers to a person, who favours extreme or fundamental change in the current institutions or social, political, or economic conditions. The radical perspective is whereby people support original political, economic, and social reforms by direct and often unbending methods. Radical people often advocate for a change through means that are uncompromising and straightforward. Despite all these attributes of radical perspective corruption, still exists. Some uncompromising methods that the radicals employ while dealing with the social, economic, and political issues give rise to corruption. In the current world, most people are resistant to change, and if any person intends to advocate for change in any aspect then he needs to use flexible methods (Deepak, 2008).
Corruption will exist in the radical perspective, because people are not ready to change. People will opt to stick to the original ways of doing things. In this case, where the environment favours an extreme change in the current institutions, people will choose the easiest way of doing things and this will mean corruption. The methods, in which the radicals deem best for bringing change in the society, are normally rigid and do not accommodate the ideologies of most people. This means that people, who do not want to accept these changes, will come up with alternative ways in which they can get their things in the economic, social, and political aspect. The short cuts in use will involve bribery, which is a significant element of corruption. The begging question is: why corruption in the conservative perspective should be stopped or tackled?
The fact, that people in the radical aspect will chose the alternative way of handling things, means that there are high chances of corruption. The stopping of corruption in radical perspective will ensure the implementation of the right changes in the society and people will not have to be corrupt. In most cases, the ideas fronted by the radicals are straightforward ideologies and their implementation will mean a better society for everyone. The moment corruption finds its way in the radical society doing away with it, will be a harder battle and it will be an obstacle to any meaningful change. It is, therefore, noteworthy that corruption is handled in the radical perspective to pave the way for change in the society (Moore & Smith, 2007).
In definition, conservative perspective refers to the ideology of a society favouring traditional values and views and in most cases tending to oppose change. The conservatisms tend to cling and maintain their existing views, institutions, or conditions. In other terms, it is a society that resists change and would rather they carry on with the traditional way of doing things. Why would corruption exist in the conservative perspective?
The current world is a dynamic one with things changing rapidly. In the social, economic, and political aspects, there has been notable change in everything around it. These changes come with both positive and negative effects and it is, therefore, necessary that we adopt these changes. Conservative people are resistant to change and tend to support the original ideologies of doing things. When people adapt to ways of doing things, there is a tendency of corruption cropping up as they find better ways of doing things. For instance, if a person knows that he has to pay somebody to get an item then this is corruption as in an ideal society there should be no bribery to acquire something. Corruption will exist in this perspective, because they oppose change even if it is for the best. The conservative society relies so much on the traditional ways of doing things that they deem change as an obstacle to their undertakings. It is, therefore, evident that corruption will exist in the conservative society, because of their resistance to change and adaptation to the traditional views and ideologies (Seppo, 2003).
Corruption in the conservative society should be tackled so, that there is no erosion of the traditional views and ideologies that they uphold. Corruption will be detrimental to the traditional views that they favour, as people will not be using the right means of doing things. Corruption refers to evil behaviour that comes with the greed of wanting to get things in an easier way or not wanting to pay the price of obtaining something. Conservative people tend to do things by the book and the presence of corruption will wear this trait away, leaving other people suffering. For people to stick to the traditional ideologies, means that they have value and changing them will not be beneficial. Allowing corruption in such a society will mean compromising with their values as a society, and this is an indication that the traditional views do not have any value.
The last perspective we consider is the modern liberalism. Liberalism exists, where people have the liberty to exercise their rights, and in modern liberalism, we are talking about these freedoms, but with the government involvement, free trade, and cared to grave welfare. In modern liberalism, there is the ideology that the government needs to provide welfare that will make the poor be free. Modern liberalism has some revisions and extensions to the classical liberalism understanding of liberty and its connection to authority. Modern liberalism calls for democratization of citizenship, which involves equal political and civil rights, especially in connection to unprotected women, men, and racial minorities. To attain these modern liberals call for an increase in state participation, in the provision of these liberties. This will be by increasing civil liberties, equal rights, and greater transparency of the governmental decisions (Center for Social Research & Education, 2005).
Corruption exists in the modern liberalism perspective, because of various reasons. The foremost reason is the power that the state will award to people in its attempt to ensure that everybody enjoys his or her freedom. In modern liberalism, the government participates in ensuring that both the poor and the rich gain from the resources of the nation. Thus, it will be necessary that some people receive positions of power to help the state in ensuring equity in all aspects. Corruption will come about, when few people in power abuse their power and in the end oppress the poor in a society. In a corrupt environment, the poor people suffer, because they do not have money to bribe those in power in order to get favours. Modern liberalism will give rise to some people getting favours and this will lead to competition and bribery as every person attempts to get their rights. These favouritisms of some people will bring corruption, as people will use their money to gain these favours from the people in power.
Just like in the above perspectives, corruption needs to be stopped in the modern liberal world so that everybody can enjoy their rights and freedoms. Modern liberalism favours the promotion of rights and freedoms, especially with the help of the state. Stopping corruption will mean that the state will be able to undertake its duty without any hindrances. Corruption, in the modern liberalism, means that only some people will benefit from this governmentâ€™s initiative to ensure equal rights and freedoms. The poor will not benefit in a corrupt environment, as they will not have any money to bribe in getting the state services and goods. Stopping corruption will be of substantial help in enabling the state to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor and ensuring that people in the society are equal in terms of rights and freedoms.
Hong Kong practices capitalism in its operations. Capitalism refers to an economic system that means production, and distribution is corporately or privately owned, and the growth is equal to the accumulation, and reinvestment of profits obtained in a free market. This is similar to modern liberalism, where the goods and services in the market need to serve the needs of every person in the society. This environment gives corruption a platform to grow, as people will want to gain more than others in the free market do. More so many people will not want to work and depend on the produce from others, because it is a free market. Looking at the recent news from Hong Kong, it faces some severe issues, because of corruption. For instance, Hong Kong is recording a diminishing manufacturing that can exacerbate income inequality accompanied with high paying jobs for professionals and restaurant jobs. Hong Kong is facing financial crisis because of corruption and continued lack of democracy. There is also competitive market in Hong Kong and this profoundly contributes to corruption as people fight for resources in the market. Few people are willing to work towards production of goods while the number of consumers keeps growing. This high number of consumers in the market will lead to corruption, as they will want to get more than others do.
In conclusion, the corruption behaviour is something that is evident in different nations. What varies in the presence of corruption is the ways in which these corrupt actions take place. There are various natures of corruptions, and different environments give rise to each type of corruption. In the end, corruption is evil behaviour, and it needs not be entertained in the society as it erodes the values of the society. Corruption increases inequality among citizens of a nation, and the states need to stop the existence of corruption.