The evolution of corruption
A politician takes some liberties with public funds, to put it mildly, gives a project to a friend, embezzle some money.
His/her subordinates see that our manager, boss, elected official, is creating a cosy life for themelves, why should I not be able to do this also. The person does a little underhand dealings, maybe put some pressure on other people, use the power that has been entrusted to him/her, they get a piece of the cake.
The cakes grows smaller, the people under him/her see a diminishing cake and of course they want to eat some, so they do some smaller things. Smaller because this is what they can get away with, and the cake grows even smaller.
Finally the people see what is happening, they complain, “THIS IS NOT RIGHT, BUT WHAT CAN WE DO,” and with a shrug of their shoulders the present situation remains as it is, status quo.
The bottom up approach
You wait in queue to get some documents, the queue is so long, it is warm, you have no energy to wait, and then you see your friend. “Hey can you just help me out with this?” you might ask.
Of course your friend helps you out, he/she is a good friend, and another person has to wait in the queue that much longer.
Your friend, a congenial fellow, a likeable person, needs some help, like we all do.
The bureaucracy is such a hassle, so he checks with his friend, a small favour. He gets it, just a returned favour, nothing big, maybe help to get rid of a staff member that has been bugging him, write a petition, nothing big.
Finally we are at the top, you are ahead of the pack, ruler of the land, for 4 years or so. Of course you have had a lot of help, and you must return the favours, what kind of person would you be if you did not do at least that.
So you do, give a project here, help a friend out there and for this you deserve some cake, after all you are at the top. Now the cake looks a bit scruffy, hardly more than crumbs, so you scoop up what you can, so little after all.
In the basement
Here we are, the friendless few. We stand in queue, like we should, don’t want to get in front of some other person, they are after all waiting too. We pay our taxes, we like what they can bring, we get schools, roads, healthcare, the things that should help the poorest, the masses and not just the few.
It is a bit scary to see the cake go bad, smaller at every step, but what can we do? Maybe we have a friend that can help us out after all.