Commercial Arguments against Corruption

An issue discussed repeatedly in commercial circles is the dilemma between the ethical arguments against corruption, and the commercial arguments in favour of ‘efficient grease’. This dilemma is particularly felt when facing bureaucratic bottlenecks in countries like India (the ‘when in Rome’ argument). The latest edition of the Economist carries an interesting piece, arguing that the commercial arguments in favour of corruption are fallacious, and that bribery or corruption makes little ethical or commercial sense. Makes an interesting read. The article is available here.

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  • The article in the Economist is a good read. It analyses the evil (!) of corruption as obtaining on a global basis. But it is seen to mainly focus on the economic viability or otherwise of corrupt practices; and purely from a commercial point of view.

    In another recently published article (@ its author has faulted the power of ‘discretion’ vested in any authority to be the root cause for the said melody.

    No doubt, the 'discretionary power' of any authority – whether he be a statutory or quasi-statutory authority, not to mention others, such as quasi judicial, is a cause for the ever increasingly felt evil of corruption.

    However, that cannot be regarded or conclusively said to be the only cause; much less the root cause.

    Going to the very root of the matter, one cannot fail to realize that it is every ‘power’ whether it is executive, administrative, or quasi judicial which an authority is vested with under any statute or rules or regulations, which has a statutory force, is, in its own way but in no small measure, responsible for the evil foisted on the society by the vested interests, and is perpetrated or being perpetuated to infinity.

    The other factor or cause for the dreaded, rather increasingly threatening, evil is the widely observed ‘ignorance of law’ – be it genuine or feigned or otherwise. That it is not but so may be found discussed in the article :
    ignorance of law – is no excuse, or is it bliss?

    As underlined in that article, there is no gainsaying that, – behind every action or inaction, – on the part of anyone, especially one who has a vested interest, however remote or otherwise that be, – which is prima facie illegal, or irregular in the eyes / context of the governing law, or which pinpoints to a blatant non-compliance with or violation of law, – there is bound to be a corrupt mindset or corrupt practice. (To rhyme with the old saying – behind every successful man, there is a woman).


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