Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

We Can Transform Our Politics if we Equate Corruption With Slavery

Corruption is a substitution of deception of others for happiness, and it doesn’t really make anyone happy.

8 min readSep 17


Freedom, desire, and control

I have never liked telling other people what to do. I don’t like being told what to do myself. I don’t want any control over other people. I don’t want that much responsibility. I don’t want responsibility for their failures or their successes. I want the people around me to know that they are free to do what they like, to the extent that they err on peace.

I am aware of slavery as a concept. I have never experienced it directly, without dilution the way we experience it now. I have never had someone tell me what to do on the threat of violence to my physical being. But I know that the threat is always there, somewhere, lurking in the background. I know that if I push the right buttons, pull the right levers, and say the wrong things, that threat will come out, hard and fast.

I know that my freedom depends on other people being less free. This is not a condition I desire. It’s an unfortunate outcome in the way that our culture is structured.

Some of the most powerful people in the world believe that they must tell other people what to do, or the work will not get done. They believe that negative consequences work better than positive consequences. They believe that we work because we fear homelessness, starvation, and isolation more than we enjoy the sensation of acquiring a new skill and applying it to a problem at work.

The most powerful among us operate on the fear of missing out.

Contracts are law

An equitable contract assumes that both parties would benefit from an exchange of goods and services. Similarly, an equitable contract assumes that all parties to the contract would be better off participating in an exchange of goods and services than if they did not.

Corruption is what happens when one or more parties cheat the contract. Sometimes it is just a social contract, but some people cheat nonetheless. Cheating or deception is a very subtle form of slavery.