Communities and Corruption
Corruption is something that many people believe to take place either in the government or in business. In fact, corruption can happen for many reasons and in many different kind of locales. The worst corruption I've seen was not associated with usual suspects. Instead it took place for reasons that many people consider sacrosanct - family and community.
In public mind, family and community are held in far higher esteem than business or government. The reality does not justify this stance. Towns, cliques, old-boy networks, families and communities have the capacity to be as corrupt, tyrannical and malicious as any government or corporation. And in many cases they are.
One example of such corruption concerns an older lady, an urban achiever who married an old man from a small close-knit country town. When the man had a stroke, his family tried to get him away from her even though she was a registered nurse. Then they poisoned the town's opinion of her until she had to beg cab companies for an hour just in order to get to grocery store. They finally had their way when she had to go to the hospital for a week, and the man was placed in local nursing home. During that week he was not given food or medication as prescribed, and at the end of the week he was dead. The nurses gave conflicting accounts of his death, and when an autopsy was requested his body was cremated before such could be performed. When a young man from the same town went after the wrong girl, he was put in mental hospital for an indefinite period of time. In that hospital, he was given twice the legal number of electro-convulsive shock treatments and was raped by the staff in the showers.
This is in no way unique to that particular town. Communities in Pakistan and Afghanistan hide the terrorists, using communal loyalties to keep everyone complicit in their crime. Communities in America perpetrate conspiracy of silence against victims of child sexual abuse, not only having regular people deny it but likewise corrupting the police and the social services to take part in the denial. Families and communities around the world do everything from killing women who have been raped, to falsely convicting or committing people they find inconvenient, to taking children away from domestic violence victims and awarding them to the perpetrator. And then they go into political discourse to claim that they represent "family values" or "traditional values" and corrupt the political system into reflecting their true values - the values of murder, subterfuge and deceit.\
Communities and families get away with these and greater abuses because, in the public mind, they are seen to be sacrosanct. Sacrosanct means above scrutiny; and entities that are held to be above scrutiny are not checked for their potentials for corruption, fraud and atrocity, to which for that reason many eagerly avail. In reality, there is nothing sacrosanct about either family or community. These are human arrangements like any other; which, as such, carry potentials for things good, bad, indifferent, or a mixture of the preceding.
The same, on a larger scale, is true also of religions. The wars for religion have killed more than have wars for money or territory; and once again the reason is the above. An entity that sees itself to be above reason, above law, and above rational scrutiny, becomes for this reason capable of limitless abuses. And of these limitless abuses many such entities eagerly avail.
No human entity - not governments, not businesses, not communities, not families, not societies, not religions - have the right to be seen as sacrosanct and above rational scrutiny. Such state of affairs does away with checks and balance as to the entities'potential for crime and corruption and gives human entities the blank charter to be as corrupt, tyrannical and abusive as they want to be. The worst atrocity and corruption will be expected to be found, and is found, in entities that are seen as above reproach. And the only solution possible for this is to no longer see such entities as above reproach and to apply to them the same scrutiny as is applied in Western countries to governments and big businesses.