Are YOU Uncorruptable?

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Not G. Ivingname:

OT: I do wonder how many incorruptable politicians in history their has really been.

Can I count it on one hand or two I wonder...

Depends how you define "Politician". There's probably been a great many if you include every diplomat and civil servant, as well as UN workers and generals and the like. Of course, that also increases the number of corrupt ones, but I think it's awfully hard to judge to be honest, and I also think that most people are far too presumptuous and damning about it.

I'm clean as a sheet so far, and I don't intend on accepting any bribes at all. I think it's quite possible to have integrity and be a politician, you just won't get as far as those who don't.

I like thinking that I am. I spent years in direct contact with things I could have done illegally to get (relatively lots of) money, and very easily too, with little chance of detection. Yet I turned down all the offers, even laughed about them. And I'm not very rich.

It wasn't even anything serious, just an internet thing. I'm sure I'd do the same right now.

I'm corruptible, and I'm not even going to say that it would only take a blank check, I'd probably do something at least somewhat unethical if it was a condition delivered to me by a very high-end prostitute. I wouldn't do anything obviously destructive but a favor for a lobbyist that wined and dined me for awhile, got me liquored up and sends me home with the best sex money can buy? I can't guarantee I'd turn it down.

Comando96:

Those who come from a more humble background are more likely to be satisfied with their role and not get embroiled by the greed.

I don't think that's true. In fact that lower 80% are easier to bribe because it takes a smaller bribe to be "their price". $1mil to the top 1% folks is nice but not a huge deal. For the bottom 80%, that's several years worth of income and could be life changing.

Heck, for the top 1% staying in office COSTS them money. For the lower 80% if they can't manage to stay in office they probably take a pay cut, and for the bottom 50%, they are giving up a salary they will probably never be able to obtain again. That makes it pretty tempting to bend your ethics to protect your job/get reelected.

Yes.

I say that not because I have experience with large bribes, though I have turned down the ones I have gotten for what's pretty much insignificant, but because that's the standard I have chosen to set for myself. You don't make decisions when faced with the choice, you make them when you realize one day you might have to.

Jedoro:
Yes.

I say that not because I have experience with large bribes, though I have turned down the ones I have gotten for what's pretty much insignificant, but because that's the standard I have chosen to set for myself. You don't make decisions when faced with the choice, you make them when you realize one day you might have to.

Money is not always the price. What if it were the life of a loved one at stake?

Kendarik:

Jedoro:
Yes.

I say that not because I have experience with large bribes, though I have turned down the ones I have gotten for what's pretty much insignificant, but because that's the standard I have chosen to set for myself. You don't make decisions when faced with the choice, you make them when you realize one day you might have to.

Money is not always the price. What if it were the life of a loved one at stake?

Then I would politely remind them that it'd be a better idea to threaten the family of another politician, one who is not the owner of nor proficient in the use of firearms. Because even when a man is in my position of prestige and authority, he can be pushed to go to great lengths in order to protect his loved ones without compromising his values. And the man who has owned his weapons for years is more dangerous than the one who goes out and buys one that day.

I would like to think so. The way the (U.S.) system is now, you can't be get into politics without being corrupt. That is the sad thing.

Vausch:
I put this in religion and politics because I pose a question: If you were in congress/parliament/senate/something similar of which I don't know the name, would you be unable to be corrupted by bribes and corporate donations?

Personally I'd like to think so. I have everything I think I need in life, and while there are things I want, I see them as extravagance if anything else. I don't need millions of dollars or a fancy car or big house.

How would you fare?

Problem: That isn't the only way to get a politician to be corrupt.

No. I am not incorruptible. No one is. Those who are most sure of their incorruptibility are the ones who are most likely to become corrupt since they never ever reflect or consider the possibility that anything they do could be wrong. Corruption often doesn't just "happen" - it's often a slow process in which you gradually and slowly give up or "tweak" your principles in order to achieve something for the "greater good". Sure, a politician reflects, it is bad that I'm accepting illegal donations from corporations - but I'm only doing it to win! If I don't win, that Bastard "Opponent X" will win and he'll be much worse! So, in a way, I'm doing the right thing by accepting this Bribe... er, um... clandestine funding money! Yeah that sounds much better!

Or how about this scenario: "Hm, this bill doesn't look very constitutional! But the (misleading/selective/fiddled) opinion polls show that it's what the people want! I'm supposed to do what the people want right? And aren't opinion polls THE most reliable way to tell what the public wants? It's not like the law will do anything terribly illegal! And if we make it a law, doesn't it cease to be illegal? I'm sure if anything goes really bad the Supreme Court will stop it, right? And all my colleagues are voting for it... I don't want to look like I'm not a team player!"

And again: "Yes, this does violate the letter of the constitution... but if you look at it another way, it doesn't violate the spirit of it! And isn't that the important thing? Sure, Gitmo might be.... uh.... unpleasant... but it's to protect American lives! Don't worry, we won't send innocent people to that place! Trust us, we're the good guys... right? Good guys don't do bad things! So we're not doing bad things, even if they LOOK bad, they aren't, because we'll make sure nothing too bad happens! You can trust us! We... can trust us, can't we? We know what we're doing, it'll be FINE!"

And eventually: "Oh sure. I'm accepting a bribe. But that's how things work around here! A little bribe, ha, a little bribe ain't gonna destroy the USA, right? I'm doing good work, and I need this money if I'm going to continue to do good work! Hell, I'm a senator, I'm supposed to be rich! Hell, I am rich! So what if a company pays me a bit of money to look the other way - just because I accept it doesn't mean I'm betraying my principles! I'm just taking them for a ride, I'll still retain my integrity! And maybe those companies aren't the bad guys - regulation IS awfully restrictive. It might be illegal for me to look the other way, but that's because the laws are STUPID! I never liked them! In a way, I'm HELPING America by looking the other way! Government is often the enemy, don't we always say that? Bribes could be seen... as... the grease! That makes the wheels work! And it's only a little money - what about couple of grand? No one will notice! Besides, I'm the good guy. I wouldn't do it if it was really bad! After all, it's only a LITTLE toxic waste - and it's not even THAT toxic - being dumped in a little bitty stream in some place in Iowa! We've got millions of little creeks and streams, America won't miss it! And besides, it's not like MANY children play near the stream anyway! And by allowing the company to, uh, 'dispose' of the... um, 'leftovers' in that stream, they'll cut costs and make more jobs! Isn't that what we want? EVERYONE loves jobs! Whereas not everyone might like that stream or use it! It's good for the economy, it's good for America, and now thanks to this.... extra cash, I can buy some leather seats for my porsche! EVERYBODY WINS! Except the people of that small county in Iowa, but hell, they're not in my district! And there's only a couple of hundred of them. I'm sure they'll be just fine. Why, the company tells me that the toxic waste isn't even that toxic - they're just forced to call it toxic waste by those bastards at the EPA, who are just a bunch of commie-tree-hugging liberal do-gooders! So let em! Let em dump the stuff in the stream! It's for the greater good!"

And so on and so on. Those who are most adamant that they can do no wrong will invent the most ludicrous and fantastic self-justifications to convince themselves of that fact. Look at your own past: Can you say you've never done anything wrong? If you think that, you are the problem: you are the self-serving, self-justifying, egotist who usually enters management of politics. Only a complete lunatic believes that he or she is incapable of corruption or evil or wrong-doing, and they are the most dangerous type of lunatic because they'll make up rationalizations for anything they do! They'll find some "reasonable" excuse for anything they do and never ever reflect on their own actions.

Jedoro:

Kendarik:

Jedoro:
Yes.

I say that not because I have experience with large bribes, though I have turned down the ones I have gotten for what's pretty much insignificant, but because that's the standard I have chosen to set for myself. You don't make decisions when faced with the choice, you make them when you realize one day you might have to.

Money is not always the price. What if it were the life of a loved one at stake?

Then I would politely remind them that it'd be a better idea to threaten the family of another politician, one who is not the owner of nor proficient in the use of firearms. Because even when a man is in my position of prestige and authority, he can be pushed to go to great lengths in order to protect his loved ones without compromising his values. And the man who has owned his weapons for years is more dangerous than the one who goes out and buys one that day.

Why do you assume that your ownership of a gun would somehow protect your loved one? Even if it was a direct threat of violence, how will your gun protect your loved one 24x7? People with entire armed security detachments 24x7 on their loved ones have lost them to kidnappers and assassins. What if the threat to your child was healthcare you couldn't afford? Maybe its access to a drug that is in the final year of the approval process for your dying spouse (who can't wait a year) but the company will get you a supply in exchange for a vote on some issue for them?

What if you spent most of your life fighting for Issue X, but the cost of getting the votes to get Issue X passed is that you need to vote against your constituents interest on issues Y and Z?

Maybe you are convinced that you could turn your country around for the better of all citizens if you became president/PM/whatever but the cost of doing so is that you are forced to take another position on one issue that is abhorrent to you (for example, you are pro sexual diversity but in order to get into office you need to make homosexuality illegal)

Everyone has something that they would be willing to fold on. They then explain away their fold by focusing on the gain they get.

Kendarik:

Jedoro:

Kendarik:

Money is not always the price. What if it were the life of a loved one at stake?

Then I would politely remind them that it'd be a better idea to threaten the family of another politician, one who is not the owner of nor proficient in the use of firearms. Because even when a man is in my position of prestige and authority, he can be pushed to go to great lengths in order to protect his loved ones without compromising his values. And the man who has owned his weapons for years is more dangerous than the one who goes out and buys one that day.

Why do you assume that your ownership of a gun would somehow protect your loved one? Even if it was a direct threat of violence, how will your gun protect your loved one 24x7? People with entire armed security detachments 24x7 on their loved ones have lost them to kidnappers and assassins. What if the threat to your child was healthcare you couldn't afford? Maybe its access to a drug that is in the final year of the approval process for your dying spouse (who can't wait a year) but the company will get you a supply in exchange for a vote on some issue for them?

What if you spent most of your life fighting for Issue X, but the cost of getting the votes to get Issue X passed is that you need to vote against your constituents interest on issues Y and Z?

Maybe you are convinced that you could turn your country around for the better of all citizens if you became president/PM/whatever but the cost of doing so is that you are forced to take another position on one issue that is abhorrent to you (for example, you are pro sexual diversity but in order to get into office you need to make homosexuality illegal)

Everyone has something that they would be willing to fold on. They then explain away their fold by focusing on the gain they get.

Some people sleep better knowing they failed instead of knowing they sold out.

Jedoro:

Some people sleep better knowing they failed instead of knowing they sold out.

So you'd let your wife or child rather than sign a bill that gives pharma companies 1 extra year of patent protection?

Kendarik:

Jedoro:

Some people sleep better knowing they failed instead of knowing they sold out.

So you'd let your wife or child rather than sign a bill that gives pharma companies 1 extra year of patent protection?

We all die anyways, so right now I'm setting the standard of letting a loved one die instead of doing something I don't agree with. Obviously it's possible that I'll think otherwise in that actual situation, but my stance is setting the standard now so that I give in to anything as little as possible, if ever.

Jedoro:

Kendarik:

Jedoro:

Some people sleep better knowing they failed instead of knowing they sold out.

So you'd let your wife or child rather than sign a bill that gives pharma companies 1 extra year of patent protection?

We all die anyways, so right now I'm setting the standard of letting a loved one die instead of doing something I don't agree with. Obviously it's possible that I'll think otherwise in that actual situation, but my stance is setting the standard now so that I give in to anything as little as possible, if ever.

That's exactly the point, when people are IN those situations they change their mind. My ex used to tell me stories about the people he hunted down for fraud. In most cases it was a trusted person who previously had fantastic morals. Like there was one women who started buying herself little gifts that slowly got bigger when at the age of 50something she was fighting cancer with little chance to survive and her husband of 25 years left her for someone else, and that's after he secretly mortgaged the house and gave the money to the new GF before he left her. Most people start honest, then something is just a bit too hard or a bit too much for them to resist. Everyone has a breaking point.

Look at how you spend most of your money now. Do you save and invest wisely? Do you spend way to much on your credit card? Do you give generously to church and/or charity?
That's just a small indicator of how you would spend it if you were a senator or congressman.

For me I spend my money wisely for the most part, but I just wish I didn't have to buy college textbooks or I could avoid credit card use altogether.

if i was in government would i be swayed by corporate donantions and bribes.. it would frankly piss me off thinking that i could be bought and i would make their life a living hell.. BRING IT.

i did get offered a bribe once.. slapped the pricks face for it

Jedoro:

Then I would politely remind them that it'd be a better idea to threaten the family of another politician, one who is not the owner of nor proficient in the use of firearms. Because even when a man is in my position of prestige and authority, he can be pushed to go to great lengths in order to protect his loved ones without compromising his values. And the man who has owned his weapons for years is more dangerous than the one who goes out and buys one that day.

Your belief in your ability to defend yourself and your family is, quite frankly, shockingly naive. It's actually almost funny. You seem to be under the presumption that the person(s) threatening you is/are inferior. A wise man doesn't underestimate his enemies; that's the mark of arrogance.

If you are in a position of power, you are at work all day, all week, almost all year. Not only are you not physically present, but do you seriously think that you or anyone like you could possibly stand up to someone who makes a living out of killing and kidnapping people? Don't make me laugh. As a politician, you and your family are the prime targets of such miscreants. It happens all the time- the degree to which you consider yourself a bad ass (quite a bit judging by your profile picture with the cool shades) with fire arms is almost completely irrelevant.

What counts is your intellect and your intelligence services, who essentially live to make sure you don't bump into any of those types. It rarely comes down to a brawl or gunfight like it does in the movies. You run away.

Vausch:

How would you fare?

I think I'd be pretty much incorruptible in terms of personal donations and material wealth. That kind of thing doesn't really appeal to me. I suspect my weakness would be doing or allowing morally dubious things if I thought that they could justified as being 'for the greater good'.

I think everyone is corruptible.

Not least because I think people tend to be corrupt without even realising they are when it's sufficiently subtle.

Danny Ocean:

Not G. Ivingname:

OT: I do wonder how many incorruptable politicians in history their has really been.

Can I count it on one hand or two I wonder...

I'm clean as a sheet so far, and I don't intend on accepting any bribes at all. I think it's quite possible to have integrity and be a politician, you just won't get as far as those who don't.

I'll give you a tenner if you ever do become a politician and call Michael Gove a bellend.

Does that count as a bribe?

hardlymotivated:

Danny Ocean:

Not G. Ivingname:

OT: I do wonder how many incorruptable politicians in history their has really been.

Can I count it on one hand or two I wonder...

I'm clean as a sheet so far, and I don't intend on accepting any bribes at all. I think it's quite possible to have integrity and be a politician, you just won't get as far as those who don't.

I'll give you a tenner if you ever do become a politician and call Michael Gove a bellend.

Does that count as a bribe?

Oh no, not at all.

Challenge. Accepted.

Danny Ocean:

hardlymotivated:

Danny Ocean:

I'm clean as a sheet so far, and I don't intend on accepting any bribes at all. I think it's quite possible to have integrity and be a politician, you just won't get as far as those who don't.

I'll give you a tenner if you ever do become a politician and call Michael Gove a bellend.

Does that count as a bribe?

Oh no, not at all.

Challenge. Accepted.

When I do give you some cash, make sure to throw some honours my way. I'm pretty sure that's still legal.

Vausch:
Personally I'd like to think so. I have everything I think I need in life, and while there are things I want, I see them as extravagance if anything else. I don't need millions of dollars or a fancy car or big house.

The only things you NEED are food, shelter and clothing (also the ability to have offspring but that's more of a thing that the species needs, rather than each individual). Everything else is extravagance. Yet, I'm willing to bet that you fell that you need more than that.
Once you would get used to the fancy life, you would suddenly "need" to put your kids in the top universities and you would "need" to eat at better and more expensive restaurants and you would "need" that new suit and those leather shoes to look good at work and you would "need" that vacation in Hawaii after 6 months of non-stop work etc.

Everyone is incorruptible as long as nobody is attempting to corrupt them :)

Money is nice, but i'd really have not much use for it. I'd rather have a clean conscience than a dirty wallet.

I used to think I was, and I'm very(very) close to it, but no, I'm not incorruptible. I have heavy duty willpower and a conscience that can kick my ass, but if someone knew the correct buttons to push(family, ability to fix my body, a few others) I'd fold. At least I know this though. Maybe I could avoid the temptations and at least look incorruptible.

Not G. Ivingname:

Zekksta:
No, my ethics and morals have their price I'm sure.

So good sir, I just want you to put your signature on the "Business Freedom act." Just a small little bill that allows me to buy our smaller competition without their premission or paying them anything... just need to give 1 million dollars to Goldmen and Sacs.

Well, in order to pursue the higher injustices in the world, I will require additional campaign funding. I suppose I can't expect something for nothing can I? It would be irresponsible to the people who voted me into office to have to renege on some of my promises because of poor campaign funding, that I could have avoided with this proposal.

I guess what I'm saying, in no uncertain terms in order to not mislead anyone based on the presumptions those might possibly be inclined to make of a nature that is not hand in hand with my motivations.. is that I accept for the good of the country.

Vausch:
I put this in religion and politics because I pose a question: If you were in congress/parliament/senate/something similar of which I don't know the name, would you be unable to be corrupted by bribes and corporate donations?

Personally I'd like to think so. I have everything I think I need in life, and while there are things I want, I see them as extravagance if anything else. I don't need millions of dollars or a fancy car or big house.

How would you fare?

The trouble with this is that the corruption (at least in the US) is frontloaded. You have to be a certain degree of malleable and corrupt just to *get* to that level of electoral politics in the first place. Someone truly uncorruptable in national-level US politics is someone who didn't win (and quite likely someone who didn't run).

In every single one of us somewhere inside there is an evil bastard dictator. I am entirely guilty. If I were dictator for a day the world would smell like death and ashes in about 4 hours.

The problem isn't having those ideas in you, we're all pissed about something. The problem is not seeing the ramifications. It can make the difference between an act carried out and one buried as a guilty fantasy.

Depends for what reason I'd be going into politics. There's a hypothetical me that decided to run for election to try and make a difference, and there's also one that wants lovely filthy bribe money, enough to swim in like scrooge McDuck. I'm not sure which one is closer to who I currently am, but the former is difficult to corrupt and the other is... Well, with a goal like that corrupting one's ideals is pretty much impossible, now isn't it.

I believe that, were I to hold public office, I would not accept bribery.

That said, I've never actually held one, so I can't exactly prove it.

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