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Does Placing First Mean Winning?

Everyone who has ever been an athlete knows that achieving a 15th place is nothing to be happy about. It is about being the winner. Placing first. The winner takes it all. But this post is not about sports.
It is about corruption.
Germany ranks 15th out of 178 countries in the Corruption Perception Index  for 2010 by Transparency International. At first I thought this was a decent result, taking into account that the situation in 163 countries all over the world was worse.

“Corruption is payment for services or material which the recipient is not due, under law”. At least this is what a generally accepted definition states. But what does corruption exactly mean? How does it feel? What effect does it have on people? Economies? Political systems?
I wanted to break this word up and make it more comprehensive. I found this interesting malaysian blog, stating that corruption “cripples the progress of a country” and “hinders the smooth flow of the operation of a system in a country”.
I could not stick to my plan, could not develop the blog post how I had intended.

The reason: I found blogs about corruption in the USA. On one of these blogs I found out about Jack Abramoff and I could not believe what I was reading.

Browsing the web in order to find out more about this topic, I found an amazing but at the same time an even more than frightening video.
I was sure about corruption being a problem in countries like Germany and the United States of America as well, countries ranked at the top end of Transparency International’s list. But I had not imagined that corruption could have so much influence on our daily life, our democracy.
I really urge you to watch it.

Now, what do you think? If corruption is influencing political and economical decision- making processes this dramatically in the US, how urgent is the situation in countries like Afghanistan or Somalia, ranking last regarding the corruption perception index?

After having watched the video, I believe that you cannot say anymore that ranking 15th or, as in the case of the US ranking 22nd, is great. Even placing first might not be sufficient. What we really need is a world without corruption, we need everyone to participate and we cannot let a few people shape the world due to their interests.

Take fifteen minutes to watch the video and join the discussion

Leave a comment


  1. Great Post! Also, the video explains alot. How are politics going to work if money controls the minds of people being in politics. This is not a share of common interest. Polititians turn out to be the executers of a lobbyists will.
    Still, I think it is great, that Jack Abramoff faced the truth and faced the public and actually talks about the existing drawbacks.
    I’m stoked to hear more about corruption in Germany.
    May be you could also write something about Mexican drug money in the financial system of the USA.

    • Lucas

       /  November 30, 2011

      I agree with what you said about Jack Abramoff. This has been a highly mature step towards filling gaps of a system which has been established many years ago and only slightly been changed.

  2. Lucas

     /  November 30, 2011

    Yes being first means winning. Not in every case but still in this Denmark has clearly not won but satisfied the most which is also an essence of winning.
    Besides this little error I started reading because I was curious about what you mean. After the first paragraph I was thinking: “Well, what could he aim for …” an highly interesting article. Unfortunately with an American example but most German ones are German so that was fine.
    I have to admit, the content of the video was interesting but did not shock me that much because I have just recently watched a documentary about Russia’s corruption which open my eyes already. Still interesting to see what being 22nd can mean. I really wonder what’s it like in Germany.

  3. If you are interested in further information about corruption in Germany check out this documentary.
    Unfortunately it is German.

  4. Hi there, all the time i used to check web site posts here in the early hours in the dawn, because i like to gain knowledge of more and more.

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