Corruption's insidious influence on society

Updated: 2014-07-21 07:36

By Zhu Yuan(China Daily)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Of course, you know what happens next: both the fraudsters and money will be gone forever.

I know someone, whose sister-in-law fell into such a trap. A man convinced her that he had connections that could get unqualified candidates into a prestigious university for the sum of 200,000 yuan ($32,000). Hoping to earn some commission, she acted as a broker for several families. In the end, the man vanished with 1 million yuan from five families, and she is now heavily burdened with a debt that she will hardly be able to repay in her lifetime.

Of course, there are many instances of people successfully buying their children's way into a good job or the opportunity to study at a prestigious university. There are those who have paved their way up the ladder with money.

The rampant abuse of power by those in powerful positions does pose a threat to the sustainable development of China's economy and its social progress at large. But I believe the impact corruption has on the psychology of the majority is even more detrimental to the future of this nation.

With an increasing number of ranking officials pocketing millions of yuan by taking bribes or embezzling public funds, many of their counterparts in minor positions have taken it for granted that they would be stupid not to take advantage of their positions to grab as much as they can.

That explains why traffic police officers allow overloaded lorries to pass a checkpoint if they are given some money, why a meat inspector will turn a blind eye to problematic meat without stopping it from entering the market after being tipped by butchers, and why an ordinary government clerk will refuse to do what he is supposed to unless his or her palm is greased. A patient will not feel confident before an operation unless he or she has paid the doctor personally. Even a primary school teacher will sometimes get gifts or cash from students' parents, who are afraid that their children may not receive enough attention from the teacher unless they do so.

As a result, society is unable to function properly. Those who have neither money to lubricate their way through life nor relations to get a good job or promotions will see no hope of changing their social status as a underdog.

The congealment of social strata corners such underdogs into finding their own way to get what they believe they are entitled to. That is the underworld of criminal gangs.

So it is never enough for the anti-graft campaign to just weed out the corrupt elements, it should guarantee all get what they should by the rules. That is the very basis on which a healthy society is built.

The author is a senior writer with China Daily. E-mail:

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page