13th August 2011
Are you serious about removing corruption? Then follow the POSITIVE solution
Basically corruption can be attacked in one of two ways:
a) By ensuring that good people join politics – 'rulers' who do not demand bribes (positive solution)
b) By preventing already corrupt 'rulers' from receiving bribes (negative solution).
I've noticed that a lot of otherwise highly competent people advocate the NEGATIVE solution. But that is not actually a solution. It simply deals with the symptoms, and does not deal with the causes – the underlying MENTAL disease that afflicts the corrupt 'rulers'.
NEGATIVE SOLUTIONS HAVE VERY LIMITED EFFECT
Let me discuss the negative solutions first. What are these solutions?
1. Stop 'criminals' from becoming 'rulers' (the Quraishi solution)
2. Stop corrupt 'ruler' from receiving corrupt offers from international firms (the Transparency International solution)
3. Stop corrupt 'rulers' from stashing money in Swiss accounts (Baba Ramdev solution)
4. Punish corrupt 'rulers' (Lokpal bill – Anna Hazare and IAC solution)
5. Hang the corrupt (Baba Ramdev/ Chinese solution)
Now, ALL evidence so far is that these "solutions" don't work (and they can't!)
Imagine a malaria infested area near a stagnant pond.
If you keep killing mosquitoes, or using half-open mosquito nets, or have people who WANT to be bitten by mosquitoes, then you CAN'T get rid of malaria.
Mosquitoes bite AT NIGHT. They are INVISIBLE. You CAN'T KILL ALL THE MOSQUITOES INDIVIDUALLY.
Similarly, the corrupt operate in INVISIBLE WAYS. They are blatant, but invisible. And there are LOTS AND LOTS OF THEM.
What's the solution? Drain the pond. Make sure no mosquito can be born in the first place.
You don't get malaria in the Sahara desert. Make sure you have a clean system.
POSITIVE SOLUTIONS ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT WILL WORK
So what is positive solution? It is very simple. It has JUST ONE MAIN OBJECTIVE: to ensure that good people are EASILY able to enter politics and become 'rulers'.
It is positive, because it ensures that mosquitoes can't get to breed in the first place. It doesn't go about fighting each of the MILLIONS OF MOSQUITOES.
Such good people will of course REDUCE unnecessary government intervention, and get out of the way of the people. They will ensure liberty. If any of them applies socialist policy, then the swamp will come back again.
Think of this as getting BUTTERFLIES instead of mosquitoes:
If we get good people (NOT MOSQUITOES) what happens then?
1. The 'rulers' NEVER demand bribes.
2. The 'rulers' RAPIDLY PUNISH those who offer bribes (or take bribes, below them).
And no one in the business world has any incentive to bribe (although that can't be ruled out – however such business people will be very scared once honest people become 'rulers').
GONE! Corruption gone! Over. Finis.
The solution is therefore simple: ENSURE THAT GOOD PEOPLE CAN EASILY ENTER POLITICS AND BECOME 'RULERS'.
How can we do it?
2. Remove all limits to electoral funding
3. Ensure the MOST RIGOROUS disclosure requirements for political donations
4. Pay the politicians VERY WELL.
5. Elect politicians who promote classical liberalism.
What will happen then?
People like me will find it worthwhile to contest elections and many such people will get elected. Today, people like me simply can't contest elections, because the system is designed to REWARD THE CORRUPT and THWART people like me.
Once good people have got elected, they will automatically (without having 'fasts unto death') establish effective systems to catch and punish any residual mosquitoes – the corrupt, etc. That's when negative solutions can help.
But today, just by focusing on negative solutions while ALL OUR POLITICIANS ARE 100% CORRUPT, corruption will never be removed.
Drain the swamp.