Thunderhawk wrote:If my understanding of corruption is correct, I wonder then: If one could inappropriately use of power that benefited those who entrusted you with that power (under their own morals and your own), would it still be corruption?
Is the definition of corruption simpler?
The definition seems simple already, and I don't think the definition of corruption needs to depend on net positive or net negative effects. Inappropriate use of power is still a form of corruption based on its prescriptive definition and how we use the word in our vernacular.
You do raise a very interesting question about the appropriate use of power and whether a decision can be morally correct and yet still a kind of corruption or misuse of authority. Sometimes difficult decisions have to be made: crafting the necessary propaganda to spark a war and justify it to their people because that person believes it's the right course for their nation or for posterity (right or wrong), the liquidation and reeducation of bourgeois elements in the coming revolution, finding the daily strength to resist Godstud's propaganda and go live in that utopian Land of Smiles. That last one doesn't really count, but sometimes it's difficult nonetheless.
Godstud wrote:hmmm... lost my train of thought a bit. I think how MUCH power you have determines how corrupt something is. Very little power means very little corruption. right?
This seems to be generally true: the use of "corruption" in common parlance usually does correspond to a heightened level of authority and power. After all, one can easily say that a school district administrator who accepts bribes to make policy changes is corrupt, and a policeman who accepts an on-the-spot bribe to save a motorist from paying a hefty fine is corrupt (although in a way that is relatively positive). It, however, sounds odd to me to try to say that a mother is corrupt for attempting to hijack her daughter-in-law's wedding plans, because corrupt implies a greater amount of power and authority than simply being a maternal figure (or paternal if the example involved a father-in-law). It's certainly not a linguistic rule, but in that last example, it feels more appropriate to use a word that implies less power and authority.
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