Monday, May 16, 2005

Quote of the day

"Then Suharto looked at [James] Wolfensohn. "You know, what you regard as corruption in your part of the world, we regard as family values."

From Sebastian Mallaby's The World''s Banker: A Story of Failed States, Financial Crises, and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations. (via Marginal Revolution)

But this is, of course, exactly right. Corruption is merely putting family and friends above strangers. People who care about the benefit of strangers and refuse to help their friends and family are (rightly) considered odd. The rise of institutions which delegitimise the natural, humane impulses of nepotism and favoritism is not well understood.


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