Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
I am coming around to seeing corruption in a new light.
There is the corrupt individual in an uncorrupted culture of leadership. He or she may be successful for a time because of the immediate advantages that personal corruption may offer, but the leadership culture will eventually find this person out and expel her or him for its own good. The SCAM DIEGO blog posts tell us that we have moved beyond this level.
There are the corrupt individuals who corrupt the civic leadership of society. This happens when civic leadership is capable of being corrupted and chooses to be corrupt, to keep up with the advantages of the ones bringing corruption on in the first place. I believe this is when at least one of our Founding Fathers said it is a good time to have a revolution, but in our system, we can hope that a large enough group of reformers can rise up and seize control without the human waste of revolution as civil war. There may be resistance to reform by a majority of persons who refuse to acknowledge or even care that a corrupt leadership culture exists, so long as the perceived benefits of corruption continue to roll in, whatever those benefits might be. Examples of this is the Roman bribes of bread and circuses to keep the mob in line, and Al Capone cited above. It may very well apply to the entire culture of "blight" redevelopment in San Diego right now, especially as it overrides concerns about obvious regional scarcities of power, water and other infrastructure.
Finally, there is the level of corruption that overtakes an entire society. This one is ripe for the pickings of neighboring nations who see it to their own advantage to impose order on a diseased society, even to the point of mass slavery or genocide. We don't seem to be there yet, but that distance grows less and less with what we are willing to tolerate in our leadership until corruption consumes us all. I am pretty sure we haven't sunk that low yet, or there would not have been an electoral revolt against the civic leadership's insistent promotion of Proposition D.
Freedom of the press is in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights because it matters that much for honest public safety against corruption in all forms, at all levels.
Financial bankruptcy is bad; moral bankruptcy is usually worse.
This first appeared as a Reader: Scam Diego blog comment of mine, but I wanted to have it stand alone as I will be referring back to it from now on.
The Al Capone reference relates to a previous comment in that thread.