Oleg Bazaluk.

From the monograph: “Corruption in Ukraine: Rulers’ Mentality and the Destiny of the Nation. Geophilosophy of Ukraine.”

Geophilosophy and corruption

We also discuss the relation between philosophy and corruption; that gives us the right to use the methodology of geophilosophy for the investigation of corruption in Ukraine. Let’s consider the advance information about a general characterization of corruption.

International experience (e.g. the researches of Michael Johnston [Johnston, 2005; Political Corruption, 2005], Mark Grossman [Grossman, 2008], Alexander Kirpichnikov [Kirpichnikov, 1997], Arnold J. Heidenheimer [Political Corruption, 2005], and others.) as well as the works of Ukrainian scientists: Mykola Melnyk [Melnyk, 2004], Eugene Nevmerzhitsky [Nevmerzhitsky, 2008], Oleg Bodnarchuk [Bodnarchuk, 2015], Alexander Kalman [Kalman, 2004], Yuri Kalnysha [Corruption in Ukraine, 2010], Vladimir Lanovoi [Lanovoi, 2015], and many others, which allow us to assert the following:

1. Corruption – is a social phenomenon that is found in all the loci of modern civilization. Currently, there is not a single state or a culture in which there is no corruption. Even Denmark, New Zealand and Finland, which according to Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International, took the first three places, received out of 100 scores, only 92, 91 and 89 respectively [Transparency, 2014]. Corruption – is an essential attribute of the public authority. Separate loci of modern civilization are distinguished not by the presence or absence of corruption per se, but its scale, nature of corrupt practices, and the influence of corruption on the social, economic and political processes.

2. The history of corruption has a few thousand years and is closely linked to the history of human civilization (this issue was deeply researched in the monograph of Eugene Nevmerzhitsky [Nevmerzhitsky, 2008]). It can be argued that corruption is a consequence of the development of a person’s mentality, which was accompanied, is accompanied and may be, will be accompanied by his evolution in the future. Corruption refers to human vices and is studied by psychologists par with greediness, envy, laziness, interests, avarice, and others. Interesting arguments on this issue were put forward by Jon Elster, who points out that human vices not always have a harmful effect on the community; they have also a positive social effect due to their presence and practices [Elster, 1989].

3. At international level, regarding the fight against corruption was organized and led by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (http://www.oecd.org/). One of the recent publications of this organization is “The OECD Convention on Bribery: A Commentary” [The OECD Convention, 2014]. This monograph defines bribery as an offer, promise or passing of anything, that can influence on public officials in the performance of their official duties.

In the scientific literature there is no single definition of corruption. This issue was considered in the monographs of Mykola Melnyk [Melnyk, 2004] and Eugene Nevmerzhitsky [Nevmerzhitsky, 2008]. For the most part, corruption is understood as bribery and any other remuneration, which was entrusted to a person for the performance of certain duties in the public or private sector, leading to a breach of the obligations imposed on him according to the status of a public official, a private employee, an independent agent or any other type of relations with the purpose of obtaining any illegal benefits for themselves and others [Corruption, 2011].

There are a number of concepts concerning corruption:
– “Protectionism” and “protection” – a system of informal political and administrative relations and services, which lead to the rise of the new family, compatriot and corporate clans as groups of political, economic, intellectual, and power support of their patrons;
– “Nepotism” – the appointment of relatives, friends or associates to profitable positions, providing them official patronage;
– “Favouritism” – benefits and advantages of the high-ranking official patronage;
– “Pull” – the use of personal connections and relationships for personal selfish interests;
– “Clientelism”, “patronage”, “patron-client relations”, “solidarity networks”, “mutual support”, “influence peddling” [Germenchuk, 2010].

As we have said, corruption is a social phenomenon, which not only covers each locus of Earth civilization, but also affects infinite localization of the Earth surface. Arnold J. Heidenheimer [Political Corruption, 2005], Michael Johnston [Johnston, 2005; Political Corruption, 2005], Eugene Nevmerzhitsky [Nevmerzhitsky, 2008] and other authors pay special attention to political corruption, which more often than other types of corruption leads to revolutions and the boundary changes of the loci of civilization. Political corruption affects the formation and functioning of the governing bodies, the adoption and implementation of political decisions and the destinies of the whole nations. For this reason, corruption falls into the sphere of interests of geophilosophy, because if not taking into account the degree of corruption of the society and the public authorities it will be impossible to predict qualitatively the development of the locus of civilization on the Earth’s surface and to research the process of infinite localization of the cultures.

Geophilisophy, corruption and Ukraine

In 2003, according to a poll of the Ukrainians, 8 % of respondents said that corruption in Ukraine was a normal phenomenon, which corresponded to the national-cultural traditions [Nevmerzhitsky, 2008]. In 2014, the real situation was described to the Master level students of the Faculty of Law of Kyiv University of Tourism, Economics and Law. On 18 June, 2014 in broad daylight, in the city center a seventeen year old daughter of a lecturer of the university was knocked down on a pedestrian crossing by a bus in front of dozens of witnesses. The girl with serious injuries was taken to hospital, as that was confirmed by medical reports. However, the lawyer who was dealing with this case said that the investigator Andrei Senchenko had been given a bribe from the owner of the bus fleet in the amount of $ 3.000, so he refused to initiate criminal proceedings against the driver of the bus. After telling that situation 52 students as future lawyers, a question was asked: “How would they act in that situation: they refused to take a bribe and forced the driver to carry a criminal sanction or took $ 3.000 and hushed up the case?” All 52 students answered that they would choose the money.

The author realizes that to explain the mass corrupt mentality of the Ukrainians by 2014, it was necessary to explore the whole range of factors: political, economic, legal, organizational, managerial, social, psychological, and others. The author also takes into account a certain influence of cultural and historical assumptions, which modern researchers of corruption in Ukraine discover in the history of the Russian Federation in the sphere of interests of which Ukraine was developing (e.g. researches of Mykola Melnyk [Melnyk, 2004] and Eugene Nevmerzhitsky [Nevmerzhitsky, 2008]). However, the author believes that in 1990, Ukraine received a unique opportunity – to establish itself as a separate and independent locus of civilization. And why, during 24 years of independence, Ukraine did not do anything – it is a direct fault of five presidents of Ukraine and a number of leading Ukrainian politicians. By the laws of Ukraine, very few people had the exclusive right to determine the internal and foreign policy, which was an integral part of anti-corruption policy and ensured its implementation.

The author realizes that Ukrainian politicians it is a mirror of the Ukrainian society; they are being formed and supported by the society. However, for the recovering society it is important to remember who has brought this disease to it, and what happened during its unconsciousness, after the final recovery to ask the guilty. The society must receive, what was stolen from it during its unconsciousness. The thief, no matter who he is – the president, a top-ranking official or an ordinary citizen, should be punished and return a master back a hundredfold.

Ukrainian Politician