This paper explains about the importance of human life, essence of humanity
and the corruption which can be economic, social or political how it can oppose the
essence of human life, its dignity and greatly how it is against the well being of
civilization by destroying moral and ethical order of the individuals as well as
social, in general.
By starting the cutch attitude about this corrupted life, we will try to explain
briefly the traditional factors still has root on the current political and social
developments. Because the Church has the right to be a teacher for mankind, a
teacher of the truth of faith: the truth not only of dogmas but also of the morals
whose source lies in human nature itself and in the Gospel1. The word of the
Gospel, in fact, is not only to be heard but is also to be observed and put into
practice (cf. Mathew, 7:24; Luke, 6:46-47; John, 14:21,23-24). Consistency in
behaviour shows what one truly believes and is not limited only to things strictly
church-related or spiritual but involves men and women in the entirety of their life
experience and in the context of all their responsibilities. However worldly these
responsibilities may be, their subject remains man, that is, the human being whom
God calls, by means of the Church, to participate in his gift of salvation.
Men and women must respond to the gift of salvation not with a partial,
abstract or merely verbal acceptance, but with the whole of their lives — in every
relationship that defines life — so as not to neglect anything, leaving it in a profane
and worldly realm where it is irrelevant or foreign to salvation. For this reason the
Church's social doctrine is not a privilege for her, nor a digression, a convenience or
interference: it is her right to proclaim the Gospel in the context of society, to
Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Declaration Dignitatis Humanae, 14: AAS 58 (1966), 940;
John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, 27, 64, 110: AAS 85 (1993), 1154-1155, 1183-1184,
make the liberating word of the Gospel resound in the complex worlds of
production, labour, business, finance, trade, politics, law, culture, social
communications, where men and women live.
The Church's set of guidelines concerning socio-economic questions does not
constitute a final theory or a complete body of doctrine relative to the production
of goods, ownership of the means of production, and distribution of finished
products. Neither does it contain specific political programs. Both of these fall
within the province of philosophers and politicians. But as a human activity, work
must correspond to the dignity of man (RN 32; MM 18, 92). It comes immediately
from a person, who places his stamp upon the raw material and makes it conform
to his will (GS 67), thereby ennobling it (LE 9). Through his work, man not only
transforms nature but perfects it (QA 135; MM 82, 149, 255). The worker realizes
himself as a man and in a certain sense "becomes more human" (LE 9). All of this
shows why it is necessary for the social order to permit the worker to perfect
himself, not to degrade him and diminish his dignity (LE 9).
Because shocking use and domination to each other can lead to corruption
that feeds on itself. People involved in the petty corruption become increasingly
involved in more and larger amounts. Corruption has many victims. Public
corruption offenses affect all citizens directly and personally, particularly those at
the lower end of the income level. Building inspectors paid small amounts of
money to approve careless work results in dangerous construction, substandard
electrical wiring, and inferior building materials, usually in the poorest areas of
Judges and lawyers who line their pockets result in criminals set free to
victimize citizens. Taxpayers pay for corruption. When officials are bribed to award
construction contracts the cost of the bribe goes into the cost of the construction
often with interest. In a corrupt system, good people avoid public service. Honest
contractors refuse to bid on government contracts; honest lawyers refuse to
become prosecutors or judges; honest citizens avoid participating in politics either
as voters or candidates. Corruption has been highly detrimental for development.
Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon said at the occasion of International
Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December 2009 that it the world's vulnerable
who suffer "first and worst" by corruption such as the theft of public
money or foreign aid for private gain. The result, he says, is fewer
resources to fund the building of infrastructure such as schools, hospitals
and roads. Mr. Ban notes, however, that corruption "is not some vast
impersonal force" but "the result of personal decisions, most often
motivated by greed." Pointing out that "the UN Convention against
Corruption is the world's strongest legal instrument to build integrity and
fight corruption", he also called on businesses to adopt anti-corruption
measures in line with the Convention.2
For Maritain, the best political order is one which recognizes the sovereignty
of God. He rejects, therefore, not only fascism and communism, but all secular
humanisms. He objects that such views — particularly fascism and communism —
are not only secular religions, but dehumanizing and, while he was a defender of
American-style democracy, he is clearly not interested in combining his attachment
to Christianity with capitalism. A God Centered humanism, Maritain would argue,
has its philosophical foundation in the recognition of the nature of the human
person as a spiritual and material being — a being that has a relation to God — and
morality and social and political institutions must therefore reflect this.
Maritain envisages a political society under the rule of law — and he
distinguishes four types of law: the eternal, the natural, the ‗common law of
civilization’ and the positive. Maritain's moral and political philosophy lies within
what may be called the Aristotelian-Thomistic natural law tradition. Maritain held,
however, that Aristotelian ethics, by itself, was inadequate because it lacked
knowledge of humanity's ultimate end. The Thomistic view — that there is a law in
human nature that is derivative of (though knowable separately from) a divine or
eternal law and that humanity's ‗end‘ goes beyond anything attainable in this life —
was, Maritain thought, a significant advance on what Aristotle had provided. The
Political Philosophy of Jacques Maritain3 in Man and the State asserts:
9 December : International Anti-Corruption Day. (World Wide) (2009).
Jacques Maritain was a moral man living in a very immoral world, (1882-1973) in France Human
nature never advances, only awareness in our mutual collective flaws can be considered as
―It should be made rather in the name of ethical and spiritual
values and of the primary social value of human personality
holding fast to the principle that the rational life of man is
ordered to the accomplishment of true freedom of autonomy.‖
[…] "If one day can build a society in world politics, this is due to
media freedom. And with the means of freedom that the people
of earth will be brought to a common will to live together "--Jacques Maritain, 19th century, industrial world educated French
Modern political Philosopher was a person seeking morality and
Common Good for corrupted Europe).
But what does this freedom mean in terms of the politics within the social
order? Also from Man and the State, political emancipation founded on the
authentic notion of the common good, has for Maritain a communal and
personalist component. It would be nonsense to talk of the common good of
the temporal order that you separate it from the people who contribute
thereto. Political emancipation founded on the authentic notion of authority
has the role of the State as being one “especially concerned with the
maintenance of law, the promotion of the common welfare and public order,
and the administration of public affairs. Far from using its power and authority
to absorb the body politic, it stands at the service of the whole political
society.” If it is true that the purpose of public authority is to use its power to
promote the essentially human purposes of the common good, who’s law is
progress. Politics void of our spiritual nature denies our inherent autonomy. The only law that is
valid comes from God, and not decided by men. When pluralism destroys that truth, our duty is to
obey our Christian Father. He wasFrench philosopher and political thinker, was one of the principal
exponents of Thomism in the twentieth century and an influential interpreter of the thought of St
Thomas Aquinas. The Review of Politics. "Maritain Centenary." Vol. 44, No. 4, October, 1982.
J. Maritain Centenary." Vol. 44, No. 4, October, 1982.
The next aspect examines the political emancipation founded on the
recognition of a religious principle. The basic truth of Christian faith is that man
is made for God and eternal life. Maritain maintains that: “The Kingdom of God
constitutes the ultimate end prepared for by the movement of all history and in
which it concludes, toward which converge, on the other hand, the history of
the Church and the spiritual world.”
“Today if, we could access to the corrupted Ethiopian public
money, by noble class used by the so-called world bank of Swiss
(Swiss bank), we could cover many sectors of poverty in Ethiopia.”
In this message, we would like to articulate our people , especially public
curriers reading of our current situation not in our own words, but as discerned
and articulated no less by citizens of our country, members of civil society as such.
The biggest culprit and major cause of our nation‘s poverty and hunger is graft and
corruption which has invaded all public and private institutions. This type of
Corruption is abuse and misuse of public or private office to unlawfully enrich
oneself and those close to him, or induce others to do the same. It is not only an
economic and social problem but by and large a moral issue and a moral
The term corruption can be used in a wide variety of contexts, each having
different meanings. It is derived from the Latin term corruptio, meaning seduction
from loyalty, diseased, corrupt condition and is generally associated with moral
decadence. The concise Oxford Dictionary defines corruption as evil, morally
depraved or willing to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain. In
terms of social science, according to the Collins Dictionary of Sociology (1995),
Said One Ethiopian during conference time in Rome ( 2008),
corruption is, ―the abandonment of expected standards of behaviour by those in
authority for the sake of unsanctioned personal advantage‖. (Siergiejew, 2003).
The World Bank, an anti-corruption agency, define corruption in more simple
terms as the abuse of public office for private gain. The World Bank proceeds to
categories corruption into several
categories; Bribery, Theft, Patronage and
Influence Peddling. Considering the above categories, one would assume that
corruption per se is easy to define and categorise. However, in reality, corruption
can manifest itself in many different forms within the aforementioned categories.
Depending on the observer‘s ethical and moral background, an action may or may
not be labeled as corrupt.
In China for instance, building relationships with business partners is
extremely important and it would be customary for Chinese businessmen to
exchange personal gifts or services. The Chinese place significant importance in the
concept of (Guanxi) and would not associate such a gesture with corruption. This
concept is central in Chinese society and describes the basic dynamic in the
complex nature of personalised networks of influence and social relationships. It is
possible that an observer from outside of China would mistake this gesture as
corruption. In particular, if the gift is being given to a person in authority, the
motives might be seen as dubious.
A persons perception of corruption depends almost entirely on their cultural,
ethical and moral values. In many cultures, Religion provides the underlying
framework behind our ethical, moral and cultural beliefs. In fact, religion and
morality have been closely intertwined since the beginning of western thought. The
Greeks focused on the concept of homer, ―a body of texts transmitted first orally
and then written down in the seventh century BCE‖ (Stanford Encyclopedia of
Morality and religion are connected in the Hebrew Bible primarily by the
category of God's command. God issues a series of commands. Firstly, ―Let there
be light‖. Then, after the creation of animals, God gives a second kind of
command, ―Be fruitful and multiply‖. In the second chapter there is a third kind of
command. God tells Adam that he is free to eat from any tree in the garden, but
he must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When Adam and
Eve disobey God, they are expelled from the garden. ―God is setting up a kind of
covenant by which humans will be blessed if they obey the commands God gives
them‖. (Ibid,).
As we can see, corruption is a highly subjective matter that depends on a
person‘s ethical, moral, cultural and religious beliefs. Both the extent of corruption
and people‘s perception of it varies greatly across the world. However, despite the
many dentitions for corruption and it‘s subjective nature researchers agrees that
corruption is damaging democracy and economic progress.
Corruption has a considerable effect on our lives because it is all around us.
The emphasis on making money is so great , the emphasis on getting rich, no
matter how, is so tremendous, that it influences virtually every aspect of our
society. – (Lawrence Ritter).
Corruption has received an enormous amount of attention in recent years. In
particular, academics and researchers have analysed the topic in detail.
Organisations such as the World Bank are very concerned about corruption and the
effect it is having on countries throughout the world. Thankfully, the social science
of corruption and it‘s effects are better known now than 200 years ago. During this
period, the world has changed dramatically and as a result, corruption now poses a
far more serious threat. The main reasons for the elevated importance of
corruption are inequality and international trade.
Over the past 200 years, the world has experienced a dramatic change. Around
1800, that the average life expectancy was less than 40 years for the vast majority
of the world. As countries began to develop and prosper, their health systems
improved accordingly. The present day reality can be seen in many fields of
investments; developed and emerging economies have a life expectancy between 65
and 85, whereas the poorest countries in the world (largely African countries) have
only improved marginally. In fact, the differences in between the rich and the poor
has only widened. It is this disparity that provides corruption with a solid foundation
on which to thrive. With this in mind, It is important to consider both globalisation
and international trade. Both have caused an increase in Foreign Direct Investment
(FDI) in developing countries. This is a natural progression as developed markets
become saturated, trade barriers decrease and risks associated with international
trade decreases. As FDI is a critical driving factor behind the emergence of
developing countries, it is seen as a positive force in development.
disproportionate wealth has presented a serious problem in relation to corruption.
Due to the disparity between income levels, foreign investors are particularly
susceptible to corruption. Developing countries often
have administrative
procedures for international companies entering the host market. The developing
country establishes these procedures to ensure that the multinational companies
meet a set of standards so that the host county is not negatively affected.
However, this presents authorities in power with a moral hazard as they can
demand additional payments to ensure a successful application. Given the
discrepancies in income level, a large demand by the host country official is
perceived as an relatively small amount by the multinational company. The
company is likely to pay the bribe in the knowledge that market power is secured
and that the cost of the bribe can be recouped through higher market prices.
Ultimately, the public suffer through higher costs and less efficient systems.
Considering corruption from an international business perspective, it can be
viewed as a risk associated with gaining entry into a foreign market. Business
investment decisions are based almost entirely on planning and risk. Companies use
various models for assessing the risk associated with gaining entry into a foreign
One of the basic models is Porter‘s Forces, as it describes the competitive
forces within the host country. Corruption can be considered part of government
and legal barriers that are included in ―threat of entry‖ (Grant, 1998). Deep rooted
corruption goes further to affect every aspect of Porter‘s Forces; Threat of New
Entrants, Bargaining Power of Suppliers, Bargaining Power of Buyers, Threat of
Substitutes and Industry Rivalry (Siergiejew, 2003). As Porter‘s Forces is an
indicator of market competitiveness, corruption directly affects a country‘s ability
to attract FDI (Mauro, 1995).
Furthermore, for a single company that wants to expand internationally,
corruption is a barrier that also affects entry mode in addition to investment
decision. Smarzynska and Wei (2002) showed that a company‘s choice of entry
mode is proportional to the level of corruption and the companies technological
sophistication. When a specific threshold of corruption is reached, the company
decides not to enter the market.
The impact of corruption on FDI was first performed by Paolo Mauro in 1995.
His research analysed a sample of 67 countries and found that corruption
negatively affects the ratio of investment to GDP in both developed and developing
countries. However, he found that corruption was less evident in wealthy
countries. As the majority of developing countries are depending on FDI as a
primary driver of future growth, significant efforts need to be made to reduce
corruption in developing countries.
Multinational companies often justify payoffs as a method of avoiding greater
harm. Others argue that corruption helps overcome bureaucratic inefficiencies and
helps maintain allocation efficiency. Although these companies believe they need
to pay the bribe, they know that they would be better off if nobody paid bribes.
It is possible to apply game theory to corruption in a similar manner to the
―prisoners dilemma‖. The multinational company has two options; to partake in
corrupt activities or to report the corruption to local authorities (Siergiejew, 2003).
Game theory would suggest that the multinational company will partake in
corruption if they cannot determine whether or not competitors are also partaking
in it. Furthermore, these companies know that they would be better off if no party
participated in corruption. Everyone would benefit in the long run b y reduced
transaction costs and increased transparency. However, such is the secretive
nature of corruption that companies tend to be focused on the short term in
corrupt markets.
Whenever a person accepts a political appointment or wins election to an
office, he or she must take an oath to uphold the public trust. While this may
sound noble on paper, enforcement of this oath can prove problematic. Very few
political candidates successfully reach office without making a few promises along
the way. Many of these campaign promises are harmless, such as sponsoring a bill
or lobbying for more funding for schools. Other promises, however, may come
closer to crossing an ethical line, such as hiring relatives or awarding government
contracts to influential contributors.
Political corruption has been a fact of life for thousands of years, beginning
with the first attempts at a democratic form of government in ancient Greece and
Rome. Almost all of these countries' political representatives were from the
wealthier class, which inevitably led to a division between the influential haves
and the virtually powerless have-nots. The seeds of political corruption were
planted as soon as the senators and other political leaders realized that power and
wealth could be equals. Political corruption often begins with favoritism towards
those with wealth and influence.
In the modern sense of the term, political corruption is a cancer on the
integrity of a governmental body. Very few public officials begin their careers with
the intention of becoming corrupt, but some succumb to a sinister form of peer
pressure over time. Being placed in a position of significant political power can be
overwhelming, and the temptation to bend or break rules for a perceived 'greater
good' is always present.
Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that
affects all countries. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows
economic development and contributes to governmental instability. Corruption
attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes,
perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason
for existing is the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted because
foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country
often find it impossible to overcome the "start-up costs" required because of
Morality is a term that spans many meanings. It is shaped by our cultural,
moral, ethical and religious backgrounds. Despite religious diversity throughout the
world, morality at its core is shared by all of human kind. Religious scriptures and
ancient philosophy echo similar beliefs; that we should ―love our neighbor‖ and
―take care of others less fortunate‖.
Corruption is also a subjective term, of which our perception is dependent on
culture, religion and morals. The World Bank defines it as ―the abuse of public office
for private gain”. Despite it‘s subjectiveness and varying dentitions, corruption ―of
all kinds undermines trust: it inhibits social and economic development and
undermines fair competition”. Given globalization and the increase in international
trade between countries of disproportionate wealth, corruption is posing a far more
serious threat than previously before. Developing countries are highly dependent on
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for economic growth. The increased income disparity
between investor and host creates a solid platform for corruption to thrive.
Ultimately, corruption adds inefficiency into a system and increases the risk
for investors. Consequently, market prices are higher due to increased risk and
increased transaction costs. Deep rooted corruption causes companies to rely on
paying bribes as their main source of competitive advantage. This is opposed to
innovating, taking risks and becoming more efficient. Being morally corrupt is the
lowest form of existence as the they take advantage of the weak and most
vulnerable in society through the pursuit of personal gain. By applying stake- holder
theory, morally corrupt people have total disregard for the well being of people,
and have no concern for the future well being of society. We have to learn from
the past errors.
To see from corruption-free Ethiopia where accountability and transparency
are ensured in all sectors of the economy; public services are provided as per
systems put in place; business transactions are undertaken based on regulations
and standards governing the market; and corruption does not affect the equitable
distribution of resources among society. A proposal of realization of fighting
corruption in all sectors, endorse good governance and integrity in public affairs.
This is the only measurement which guarantees democracy and equal rights and
opportunities of the development of Ethiopia.
Endless wish for the Common good of all Ethiopians and from corruption free
development for Ethiopia, without forgetting as it is the list corrupted and highly
corruption fighting developing nation in current Africa!
God Bless Ethiopia and Ethiopian!
Abba Hagos Woldu
[email protected]