To end abuse of political power we need more regulation, not less!

It is important when one discusses abuse of political power to bear in mind that in terms of the developed world, the greatest abuses exist in the United States and the situation there does not reflect that of other successful developed nations.

It is easy to assume that ‘everyone is just like us’ whichever country you call home but that is not the case. The most successful and least corrupt developed nations include northern European nations, Canada, Australia, NZ and to some degree, the UK. The least successful, in terms of the quality of the life the nation offers to its citizens on average, and the most corrupt political system is the US.

There is a great deal of rage in the US, a country which is also particular for the trait of both hating and fearing Government which is not found anywhere else in the developed world and there is no doubt that nation needs to change more than any other.

In terms of other developed democracies, and again, it needs to be remembered, the US is not a democracy but a constitutional republic, to lesser and greater degrees, political systems are in need of improvement; but then all systems are always in need of improvement. The developed democracies which function most justly and most efficiently need little more than tweaking – the system does work. It would be a mistake, to look at the problems the US faces and assume this is the face of democracy in a developed nation because it is not.

In terms of the abuse of power; there is less abuse where there is the most regulation. The successful developed nations have no fear of Government regulation and while one could make the charge there is too much, the fact is they work better than the alternative where there is too little.

Human nature is such that a way will be found to ‘milk’ the system to some degree for most people. There are also cultural attitudes which predispose one to this and the immigrant nations like the US, Canada, Australia and NZ may be more prone to such attitudes depending upon immigrant sources.

And human nature is the ‘fly in the ointment’ always. Humanity has come up with some wonderful ideas – religion and communism and capitalism being three of them. And the results for all three were deeply flawed and often destructive. Why? Not because they did not espouse noble and productive causes, because they did, but because they did not take into account human nature. And it was and is human nature which dragged and drags them down. If any of them had held to the highest ideals they would be very different beasts. All of them suffered from a lack of regulation; all of them became destructive because they relied on something which would never be a reality – human beings, in the main, acting with integrity.

Where there is little or no Government regulation or control, as history so clearly reveals and as so much of the Third world today continues to demonstrate, behaviour will be reduced to the base level; it will not, of its own accord, rise to the highest level. And those who are prepared to act without integrity or concern for others will set the benchmark, both in economic and behavioural terms, and most people will then, in order to compete, allow themselves to be dragged down to this level. It has ever been thus.

Where laws and regulations are in place which force or maintain certain standards, there will always be a few who will try to rort the system but most will ultimately end up in court, and the standards in general will hold.

When political systems become corrupt and Government systems become corrupt, then societies decline and you have the truth consistently demonstrated: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It does not have to be that way and in the developed democracies which function most effectively – it is not.

About rosross

Editor, writer, poet.
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