“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”
~ Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Laws are evidently for suckers. More accurately stated, respect for the law is apparently a fungible concept these days. Some assiduously obey the laws, some do so recalcitrantly and some set up private email servers so they can wipe them clean in order to avoid prosecution.
Most people can identify corruption when it directly affects them – but I wonder how many can identify it when the impact is indirectly felt? In something of a free association/Rorschach test, corruption of an oblique nature is often far more difficult to recognize because it happens behind a gauzy curtain…and usually behind the smile of the corrupt individual as they explain how what they are doing is really for YOUR benefit. For this reason, oblique corruption is substantially more destructive to your liberty.
Many people think that corruption is a function of a desire to achieve some financial advantage. Perhaps that is part – but the real objective is contained in a couple of famous quotes – one often misquoted, the other quoted incompletely. The first is “Money is the root of all evil.” That is not accurate, the accurate version comes from the Holy Bible, 1 Timothy, 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” It isn’t money, it is the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil.
Similarly, we all know of Lord Acton’s famous quote about power – that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely – but that is incomplete. The full quote is this: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.”
Distilled to its essence, the love of money is rooted in the power it brings and power breeds corruption in the people who seek it.
Earlier, I mentioned that laws are for suckers. It is blatantly obvious that the lawless are treated quite differently to those who follow the law. Compare and contrast the Hillary Clinton email situation to that of General David Petraeus. Look at the case of the family in Wyoming who is being persecuted by the EPA (charged $37.5K per day for building a pond meeting all state requirements and permits – tally is up to $16 million in fines) to the various government scandals – the VA, the DOJ, the IRS, Benghazi, etc. – in no case has any government employee even been truly sanctioned, much less dismissed. Look at the excuses made for not enforcing immigration laws as illegal aliens pour over the border.
Laws are for suckers due to the arbitrary and capricious enforcement of those laws. Rampant corruption guarantees that laws are used to persecute political enemies as political allies are ignored – or rewarded.
Mention political corruption on a national scale and Richard Nixon’s face appears in the ink blot – but Nixon’s corruption was compartmentalized and isolated. It was an act of personal paranoia, he did what he did because he was afraid of his personal power being compromised. The nation was subjected to month upon month of televised Congressional hearings co-chaired by Democrats and Republicans. There was a time when the law and accountability mattered more than political advantage – we no longer live in those times.
A corrupt individual is an isolation of corruption; a corrupt government is the institutionalization of it. Nixon level corruption pales in comparison to the institutionalized rot of the Obama administration. Nixon’s subterfuge appears as a Monty Python “Ministry of Silly Walks” skit next to the overt and “catch me if you can” corruption of President Obama.