Corruption – a pandemic emergency of international concern
A community is stronger and more resilient the more its members can see and understand what is being decided. There must be transparency – and it must be used. Today, corruption is often institutionalised and thus legalised and can hardly be brought to court. This is where the sovereign, the people themselves, are called upon to stand up for their rights again. Subsidiarity and community self-organisation are the key.
Whoever hears the word corruption usually thinks of bribed public officials or politicians. Bribery, or taking advantage are criminal offences in which at least two perpetrators are involved. They occur in a legally regulated environment and are mostly associated with the image of “black sheep”, who are discovered, investigated, and punished. Companies set up compliance teams to ensure, that such mistakes do not happen and do not cast a bad light on them.
Unfortunately, not all those who fight corruption have something good in mind for the entire population. For example, Transparency International (TI), a “coalition against corruption”, includes not only individual citizens or municipalities but also large private companies and foundations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Helios Clinics Group, GlaxoSmithKline, the Open Society Foundation and Allianz AG. Even tax evaders, pharmaceutical companies with criminal records and anti-democratic plutocrats believe they must do something against corruption. They all act reasonably, because every organisation, be it a sports club, a municipality, an industrial group or even a mafia, has to be careful that its executives are not bribed by outside agents or even the competitors and thus cause damage to the organisation.
Fighting corruption is not a moral mission
Fighting corruption is therefore not a moral mission, but a systemic necessity for the existence of any institution or organisation. However, the different interests of business groups on the one hand and political communities on the other must be kept in mind. Our communities are structured in a variety of ways, and they leave important decisions to experts who are specially elected or employed for each task. Technical progress and the complex challenges emerging require a wide range of knowledge and expertise. Such knowledge is acquired through a division of labour and is essential for prudent decision-making. For this reason, the diverse tasks are entrusted to specialised bodies, offices, institutes, or courts for due diligence.
In our bodies, we must rely on our organ systems to perform their respective functions. Similarly, in our communities, we must be sure that the work entrusted to our offices and institutions is not compromised by outside, secondary interests. Fighting corruption makes sense if it means that we can reasonably rely on the integrity of all public officials, who must not be subject to undue influence or misuse by outside interests.
It is getting too complex for civil servants
In recent decades with the world getting more and more interconnected and the knowledge needed to make appropriate decisions getting more and more diverse the scope for decision-making in economics, finance, politics, health, and other subsystems has also extended from regional structures via national federations to continental associations and globalised networks. Many decisions of direct relevance to local communities are no longer being taken in the town hall or in the national capital, but at great distances by unknown parties and based on considerations that are difficult to follow. Faced with the growing demands regarding content and administration, regional bodies and their leaders increasingly felt overburdened. Instead of adjusting, strengthening, and interlinking public capacities, policymakers, and administrators increasingly contracted specialised private service providers. However, this almost always results in the gradual erosion of the public institutions’ and bodies’ own professional competences – a process that often only becomes apparent after bad experiences have been made in reliance on external service providers. The dependencies that develop in this way make politicians and administrations vulnerable to blackmail and open further profitable opportunities for the private sector.
In view of the increasing demands in terms of content and administration, regional authorities and their leaders increasingly felt overwhelmed. Instead of adapting, strengthening, and networking public capacities, politics and administration increasingly turned to specialised private service providers. However, this almost always results in the gradual atrophy of the public offices’ and bodies’ own professional competences – a process that often only becomes apparent when bad experiences are made in reliance on external service providers. The dependencies that develop in this way make politicians and administrations susceptible to blackmail and open further lucrative opportunities for the private sector. Increasingly, politicians and administrations at all levels found themselves confronted with large private suppliers, consultancies, groups of investors or industrial representatives who, with well-paid engineers, scientists, and specialists, showed them that the problems of our time could no longer be solved without the skills, connections and think tanks they offered.
Lobbyists take the helm
In addition, a new group of specialists entered the game, which significantly strengthened and accelerated the success of private investors in both the takeover of former political decisions and tasks. They were the trained representatives of a rapidly growing PR and lobby industry, who were unilaterally sent into the race by the private sector. They developed the framing for so-called public-private partnerships (PPP), in which publicly entrusted tasks are to be financed, planned and/or implemented jointly with private companies.
These constructions by clever lobbyists, however, blur the fundamental and contradictory interests of those involved.
These constructions by clever lobbyists, however, blur the fundamental and contradictory interests of those involved. As is well known, one and the same problem can be presented from completely different perspectives. While, for example, representatives of a statutory health insurance (SHI) complain that only 10 per cent of their insured already account for about 80 per cent of expenditure, their counterparts, the managers of a chain of clinics or a pharmaceutical company, do not see this as a burden but rather as an opportunity to make a large part of their turnover with just these 10 per cent. After all, the lack and need of the customers increases the prices and the profit of the providers.
A company will immediately see to it in which self-help groups these potential customers organise themselves and will pay them a renowned speaker on their problem who will gather the hearths of the needy and make them useful for the company’s interests. The industry manager – in contrast to the public health manager – is not primarily entrusted with the welfare and health of the people concerned. He must first ensure the highest possible profits for his company. That is his primary and legitimate interest, that is what he is there for, and that is why he even takes care of health issues if necessary.
When the AOK Lower Saxony, a statutory health insurance, outsourced the care of mentally ill people to the wholly owned subsidiary of a producer of psychopharmaceuticals, there was a storm of protest from the representatives of those affected, because the conflicts of interest became obvious. In Germany, a morbidity-oriented risk structure compensation among the statutory health insurances also measures the severity of a disease by the amount of medication required. The insurance company could therefore assume that its business partner, who is specialised in psychopharmaceuticals, would of his own accord ensure that the medication was beneficial for both sides. This would have resulted in significantly higher pay-outs for the AOK from the national health fund.
Who was corrupted in this deal at the expense of third parties? Not the pharmaceutical company. But neither was the AOK, if it saw itself primarily in economic terms as a competing health insurance company. And that is unfortunately what it has been supposed to do since the introduction of perverse competition among the former “solidarity funds”.
The introduction of competition between SHI funds in Germany in the 1990s was a brilliant coup by the deregulators. It led to the managers of the health insurance funds focussing primarily on the economic survival of their company, which was in competition with the other health insurance funds. The public mission of a statutory health insurance fund, namely, to care for and help all those who need it most, became secondary as a burden to be avoided. Economic survival is primarily about the highest possible income and the lowest possible expenditure. The deregulation of the statutory health insurance funds can be seen as a prime example of institutional corruption. This was defined in Harvard as follows1:
Institutional corruption is manifest when there is a systemic and strategic influence which is legal, or even currently ethical, that undermines the institution’s effectiveness by diverting it from its purpose or weakening its ability to achieve its purpose, including, to the extent relevant to its purpose, weakening either the public’s trust in that institution or the institution’s inherent trustworthiness.
Whoever buys the office no longer needs to bribe the officials
Mechanisms of assimilation of public tasks by private economic interests can be found today
in almost all public sectors. Industry and its professional lobby have long since learned that it pays more to influence the boss than to bribe a large number of individual employees.
Large private-sector companies, such as the German Helios hospital group, are also aware of this and try to protect themselves and their profits. Years ago, for example, they banned representatives of the pharmaceutical industry from contacting the employed doctors directly and in future do their business directly with the clinic management. This increases the efficiency of the company and can even be used to improve the integration of its services. Only the ward physicians then had to invest themselves in specialist literature, stethoscopes, reflex hammers, or pens without pharmaceutical logos.
Corruption is even more rewarding if politicians can be convinced that their state could be supplemented with professional private partnerships.
This would relieve the state financially and – as mentioned above – could result in a public-private partnership for housing construction, bridges or tunnels, sports facilities, schools, prisons, public safety, research, or even pandemic control.
Because of the now gigantic funding possibilities of large financial administrators, such investment fields have become highly attractive and particularly effective at the international level. In contrast the actions of the democratically elected party soldiers in parliaments or governments seem weak and dependent. Sometimes, one literally believes to see the strings of such political puppets in the hands of grinning big investors.
Corruption with legislative approval
The takeover of public tasks by private-sector partners is not a criminal offence, and yet the primarily public function of governments, authorities and their institutions is thereby institutionally corrupted and exposed to exploitation by private interests. If key decision-makers, such as an EU Commissioner or his/her spouse, also sought personal private benefits in pharmaceutical deals, for example, this would be a devastating combination of personal and institutional corruption, but only the first would be punishable.
The abuse of entrusted power has long been clearly perceived by many as wrongful, antisocial, or corrupt – whether at the EU level, at the WHO, in the public media, in the army or in health care. And further, by handing over large areas of public tasks to private economic interests, politics and public authorities remain permanently susceptible to blackmail. In many places, the private tail has long been wagging the weakened public dog.
An irritating example of a deficient skepticism towards the power of lobbyists was provided by the German Bundestag when it accepted in the old Federal Epidemics Act (BSG §15) and later also in the Infection Protection Act (IfSG§21) that, on the orders of the responsible authorities, everyone had to accept the use of vaccines with microorganisms (2) that could also be spread via unvaccinated people (shedding).
With that the pharmaceutical lobbyists had already been able to expand the legal framework in favor of future technologies while introducing live vaccines against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). Such they even introduced wildcard formulations into the Federal Epidemics Act, of which we more than 30 years later could recognize the devastating consequences with consternation.
Yes, we could. But everyone should know, that representatives of private interests tend to seek advantages with the help of legislators and that they therefore join their forces and concoct plans together (3) in order to push through their private goals in spite of the resistance of dutiful civil servants, the opposition or the attention of public media. But most of the knowledgeable ones unfortunately put on their mask and obediently adopted the big media smokescreens in order not to be discredited and silenced like many critics of the infringing industry.
There are usually private interest groups that develop their strategies with PR firms or lobby agencies and their professional help. They monitor the preferences of MPs, organise flattering presentations for opinion leaders and use many other tricks from their lobby box to exert pressure and influence opinions. Of course, lubricated revolving doors towards lucrative follow-up jobs or financial courtesies for spouses, the party, or others close to the party are not uncommon. Unfortunately, this has been the case for a long time and usually takes place backstage.
They are buying grassroot movements
These companies can afford armies of psychologists, sociologists, and other opinion makers, and they are not afraid to use the opposite of what they do for their clients for their marketing slogan. A globally operating PR agency with thousands of employees all over the world boasts in its self-promotion:
“ …we illuminate our commitment to honesty and transparency that foster trust; diversity and inclusion that ensure equality for all; and best practices in all areas of our business that ensure our activities align with all with whom we interact.“
Great! But how does such a thing fit in with the real PR world of MP monitoring, grassroots detection or even astroturfing (4) for a money-grubbing and ruthless pharmaceutical industry? Anyone who uncovered or addressed such things in the past was an honourable anti-corruption campaigner. Anyone who still does so today is immediately blackballed and defamed. Many of the critical NGOs, for whose activism hopeful citizens became enthusiastic and donated in recent years, have long since been infiltrated and instrumentalised. They can provide their sponsors with very important information about expected resistances or about useful grassroots movements. Some of them are probably only corrupted because they have allowed themselves to be smeared in their voluntary activities in such a way that criticism can only be expected from them where it does not hurt.
The “pandemic emergency of international concern”
The industry’s influence on German infection control law (IfSG) has already been mentioned. In the last three years, during the Corona madness, the IfSG has been sharpened several times and provided with many authorisations for setting regulations and exercising coercion. During the “pandemic emergency of international concern” declared by the WHO in 2020, it was transformed into an instrument for totalitarian control under the direction of the Geneva authorities and their private sponsors, with several new definitions and extensions. The law has since been successfully tried out as an instrument for controlling the population. Fear of the “pandemic”, which usually only took the form of a positive PCR test or even just an antigen test, led to the closure of businesses and the quarantining of indispensable, able-bodied nursing staff. The entire population was – literally – unrecognisable behind their masks and stared paralysed at the fear massages with infection figures and diagrams on the daily news.
But even earlier there were constitutional manipulations and preparations to facilitate such a coup d’état. Such tools with totalitarian potential brought in by professional lobbyists were in Germany, for example, the already mentioned authorisation of the government to order self-spreading vaccines against all infectious diseases it considers dangerous (IfSG §21) or the masking of genetic engineering interventions in the human body as “vaccinations” (AMG §4 (4), 2009), as well as the many digital health data taps for authorities and their close partners in private data corporations introduced under the former professional lobbyist, Health Minister Jens Spahn. Space has even been reserved for individual genome data in the digital patient file.
Behind this, a long-term strategy is now becoming visible, with which, among other things, low-cost RNA technology has been bypassed the strict rules protecting people from genetic engineering and has become unlocked for further economic (or political?) use. With a “small pandemic”, the “window of opportunity for a Great Reset” seems to have been opened for transhuman experiments too. It is astonishing how something like this could happen in our hitherto so diverse and critical society. In the meantime, more and more people are wondering about the mental manipulation of whole populations and are discussing how such a mass formation, such a change in public thinking and feeling could have occurred.
Psychologists and PR specialists play a decisive role in the active politics of the political players. They are paid to develop “no-alternative” strategies for their wealthy clients in jungles of public-private partnerships or in the non-transparent civil-military amalgam, and at the same time provide the knowhow that is effective for influencing political decisions. Lobbying firms, PR companies and propaganda media are the new arms industry in the information war. Psyops and false flags are in fashion, while metal tanks and cannons are being tactically and lethally dumped at the cost of the lives and health of the populations on all sides in the economic war of the “Western powers” against the rest of the world, for example in Ukraine.
Everyone who participates profits from it
The driving force seems to be the greed for money and power of private investors who drive many national states into debt and dependency with money they have created themselves. In their “pandemics” they are now simultaneously grabbing as many important resources and structures as possible for the future. Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Bertelsmann and many other companies from the financial sector, intelligence branches and digital business earn their money from the unashamed access to the most intimate private data organised under the pretext of health. In return, they help their political partners to build up a control grid over the population that is as complete as possible. Everyone who participates is rewarded, and even large parts of the medical profession are following this new gold rush into the totalitarian control society. If the fees for irrelevant PCR tests, for revealing patient data or for administering toxic experimental nanoparticles with RNA are only high enough, and if the clinics are paid very well for coding the diagnosis Covid-19 or even for masking the side effects of genetic mass experiments as “Long Covid”, then there is no need to bribe anyone to join in.
All these are rational behaviours based on legal economic incentive structures, supported by democratically elected representatives. Corruption, when it is legalised and institutionalised in this way, cannot be brought to justice. This is where the sovereign, the people themselves, are called upon to finally stand up again for their rights vis-à-vis those to whom they had too long carelessly entrusted them.
In any case, trust in public offices, doctors, science, the media, or politics has been deeply and permanently disturbed. It will be very difficult to restore it. When dealing in detail with mechanisms of corruption and with possibilities of preventing them or at least making them more difficult, it becomes evident, that in a diverse community with self-organisation based on the division of labour, the role of trust as social cement fulfils an indispensable function. But how does trust develop? What conditions for growth of trust are needed? What endangers it and how can it be sustainably protected?
Trust – blind or justified?
Two adjectives often used in connection with trust are “blind” or ” justified”. Blind trust stands for something like a hope that things might go well. Those entrusting have no insight into or understanding of how their entrusted goods or interests are being handled. This may be because they are not willing or that they are not able to take an interest. It may also be because something has been entrusted to a person, organisation or institution that does not want to show its cards. An increasingly common cause is that responsible structures have become so large and complicated that it has become too much for even the curious to keep an eye on the matters entrusted. Just think, for example, of the regulations for marketing foodstuffs, medicines, motor vehicles or many other tradable goods. For decades, they have been increasingly handed over to international authorities or even non-governmental organisations in Brussels, Geneva and elsewhere. Those who cannot afford experienced legal advisors are now quickly caught in the webs of directives, regulations, standards, and patents spun by internationally appointed bodies and, in the event of violations, are punished with heavy fines or taken out of circulation altogether.
But those who are striving to gain from such regulations stay on the ball and exert direct influence on the legislative and regulatory processes through commissioned law firms, lobbying agencies or powerful association representatives. 25,000 lobbyists with an annual budget of 1.5 billion euros influence on behalf of their financial backers what is important for the entire population of Europe. Under such circumstances, even EU fans find it difficult to keep an overview, and if anyone still trusts some politicians in Brussels, it should probably be classified as “blind” trust.
But what would be the preconditions for justified trust? There are two very important basic conditions. First there must be transparency. And secondly it must be used.
Members of a community need transparency whenever they entrust their power or money to someone. Everyone must be allowed and able to know what is being done with those goods entrusted by them. And those who make representative decisions as trustees empowered by the community must know, that they can be observed and held accountable at any time. When such conditions are in place, both sides know, that abuse will not pay. This makes life easier and more productive because it is easy to dispel any doubts that arise. In a small organisation or in a village community, it is possible to create the transparency necessary for justified trust. However, the larger and more extended the community organisation becomes, the more obscure it gets, and the higher will be the effort to create real transparency for all concerned.
Mistrust costs energy and money
Nationwide organisations with many thousands of members use special media for this and employ whole departments to give their members the feeling that their trust is justified. Whistle blowers or investigative journalists occasionally shake this feeling, which then usually leads to a significant investment in so-called “mistrust effort” and ties up corresponding resources of the community. Often, entire compliance departments are set up after scandals. However, if such transparency procurement is outsourced, this naturally opens further areas for intransparency. Professional compliance or consulting firms ultimately bring their own economic interests into the decision-making processes. (5) Sometimes such processes remind one of the sale of indulgences in the Middle Ages.
But trust cannot be bought. We are currently witnessing that power, which was entrusted by the people to their political representatives is being grossly abused. Many administrations and courts are no longer performing their constitutional duties independently. They stand under the pressure of corrupt politics and, due to the lack of transparency in decision-making processes, a growing mistrust is spreading among the population. The communities seem overwhelmed and even some of their leaders seem helpless. There is a lot of injustice and suffering happening at the present time. Perpetrators and their accomplices should be held accountable. They have grossly misused entrusted power for themselves or the private interests of others. In addition to a legal and moral reappraisal, we should therefore reorient ourselves in such a way that justified trust can prevail again in the future.
Subsidiarity – a magic principle
Subsidiary means something like “substituting or helping, but only when necessary”.
The principle of subsidiarity states that a problem – if possible – is to be solved where it occurs. The larger, superordinate unit, on the other hand, should only step in if the smaller unit cannot master the task on its own.
For example, the municipality, as the lowest political level, should take on as much responsibility as it can. And only if a task exceeds its capacity, the region as the next higher unit steps in. The national state starts substituting, if necessary, on the next higher-level and thus in turn relieves the regions.
The principle of subsidiarity acquired legal status in the EU when it was incorporated into the 1992 Maastricht Treaty. Since than it had been proclaimed to be one of the fundamental principles of the EU, although in times of globalizing powers it becomes more and more forgotten or suppressed.
In Article 5. (1) of the European Treaty is stated, that “…The use of Union competences is governed by the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.” And further (3) “Under the principle of subsidiarity, in areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Union shall act only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States, either at central level or at regional and local level, but can rather, by reason of the scale or effects of the proposed action, be better achieved at Union level.” Promising Subsidiarity has contributed a lot to the fact that well-functioning communities, such as the initially sceptical Scandinavian nation states, dared to join the EU.
“But can rather ….. be better achieved at the union level.” is a wording, that has opened the door for growing influence of globalist lobbying, which in the meantime has gradually shifted the European ideal of subsidiarity into some historical museum.
For those powers, that traditionally are organized in hierarchies, like feudal clans, autocratic organisations, oligarchic or private economic enterprises, all kinds of subsidiarity or democracy are systemically incompatible. That is why their members mostly try to hide autocratic or totalitarian offences with propaganda and by soothing public opinion. When operating for their private gain and power, they are the ones, who employ PR-firms or the Lobby-Industry to secretly bypass democratic ways of change. In Europe such corrupting strategies have corroded common democratic principles substantially.
Subsidiarity incorporates the idea of a self-organizing society, which also is the origin of democracy. And organizing bottom-up power is a necessary consequence of the principle of human dignity. Equal rights for every human being are valid from the very bottom of our societies. But if there is a hierarchy, which was not established or at least legally framed in a transparent and democratic manner, equal rights are out of reach.
Facing this scenario, a decentralisation of power and media structures promises to be a saving idea.
Many sociologists and political scientists agree that true democracy is only possible in communities organised on a subsidiary basis. (6) Switzerland might be an example from which we could learn – even if there some other misaligned incentives, private influences and intransparencies prevent an ideal form of society. Community self-organisation emerges from the encounters of people in their daily life. However, since these encounters are neither predictable nor plannable, the most that can be done, in my opinion, is to discuss some principles which could make it easier to ask the right questions at the right moment.
A formula for resilient self-organisation
As an aid to memory and a summary of what I have said, I therefore offer the following mnemonic formula:
It says that a community is stronger and more resilient the more its members can see and understand what is decided there (T). The larger (S) and more complex (C) a community grows, the more likely it is that things will go wrong.
In history and still in some countries today, there were/are human communities in which only a few could decide, and the rest had to obey. Feudal rulers exercised power, which they secured by force, or which was inherited with the toleration of their subordinates in their clans. They set rules and squeezed their resources with the violence that was in servitude to them. In such structures, human dignity, human rights, and freedom are not basic rights that equally apply to all. This characterizes feudal rule and would presumably be even more sophisticated and thus even more drastic in a New World Order (“build back better”) planned by the World Economic Forum and its backers.
Individual fundamental rights apply in societies with a democratic claim. From them derives the power of the people, who choose in free and independent elections those representatives to whom they entrust their power. The power comes from the population and is entrusted for a limited time to some politicians, administrations, courts and other institutions. Such empowerment must be based on legitimate trust to protect it from outside influence and abuse. (3)
In democracy, individuals are all very different, but they all have the same rights. The disputes and conflicts that arise among different people and their diverging interests are peacefully mediated or resolved under the protection of a democratically controlled monopoly on the use of force. All this happens according to binding rules that have been democratically developed and proclaimed by the elected representatives of the people.
All force thus emanates from the people and must be monitored by the people and is used by them to create new rules if necessary. Active participation in one’s own community requires insight into these interrelationships and the assumption of human responsibility. The above formula is intended as a reminder that human abilities are limited and that people everywhere in the world should organize their coexistence with their human measure in such a way that they can say: Here I am at home, here I know my way around.Suggest a correction