Saturday, January 21, 2012

Uprooting corruption is not just a matter of 'ousting the corrupt'

Below is a classic response to an equally classic type of commentary that emanates from the very core of dysfunctional thinking that infests Pinoy society. My response is classic benign0 and classic Get Real Philippines harking back to our original core message -- that Filipinos are, at the end of the day, a people who are culturally-disadvantaged in the context of their aspirations to succeed in a world defined by Western and Confucian standards of success.

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@MindVSHeart re what you said here:
I’ll tell you how to lessen corruption. First, oust the corrupt. So they may understand that when they steal money, they go to jail. This will discipline them. Second, make a system that will make it more difficult for them to steal.

I don't think so. That is the simplistic tagline that's been repeated ad infinitum across more campaign rhetoric than can be counted. People pitch the notion of rooting out corruption by "ousting the corrupt" because it is an easy concept for lazy minds to grasp. Unfortunately this sort of sloganeering makes a fatal assumption: that corruption necessarily originates only from the top. Wrong.

The big-time corruption amongst high-ranking government officials we see and read about on newspapers like the Inquirer and "news" programs like Bandila are mere symptoms -- more appropriately reflections -- of the society over which these officials rule. But look around you. You can see a vastly greater number of instances of petty criminality, corruption, and thievery among ordinary Pinoys -- in the banal way they nonchalantly jump queues, abuse handouts, put one over their neighbours, pollute, litter, and spoil their surroundings, ignore basic rules, etc. How then can you expect to "oust the corrupt" when the bedrock of corruption lies in the very grassroots of the society itself.

Tsk tsk.

You're one of the sorts of people in which lie the very reason that corruption will never be uprooted in the Philippines -- because people like you externalise the issue rather than internalise it. You see the problem as being caused by someone else rather than one that is evident in your immediate surroundings -- even within your own family.

Tough luck nga naman talaga to Pinoys. So long as Pinoys do not recognise the fundamental dysfunction that is deeply ingrained in the underbelly of their psyche, they will forever be subject to those "corrupt officials" that they self-righteously call to "oust" for the next 100 years.

Deal with it.


  1. So you're saying that ending corruption must start with ourselves?

  2. Joshua: You got it!

  3. The fundamental problem with Filipinos is there is no sense that there is a link between actions and consequences. That's why Filipinos individually and corporately will continue to fail.

  4. If you put "these" pinoys in Singapore, do you think corruption will prosper? Definitely not. Leadership, one of them is government, plays a huge role in developing a culture.

    If you think you've figured it out, think again. Don't be too lazy to grasp the concept.

  5. over 20 years spent in KSA and see pinoys following the law to the letter..why? and why is it when they go home to the philippines, they can't even follow the simple rule of using the pedestrian lane...why?

  6. Because in the KSA, you go to jail or get a flogging with one wrong move. Here in the Philippines, you do one wrong move, you do another then another because you don't get punished for that. In America, Filipinos are constantly on their toes because they can go to jail for every complain that they get. THat's how effective their judicial branch is. Filipinos instead look for the impossible and blame it on a "dysfunctional culture". So clueless.


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