Personally, I love corruption. There is a chapter in my book, The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business, called “Money is Not the Root of All Evil, It Reveals It,” that deals specifically with this unique way of looking at the world. Corruption is caused by the insecurity of a person, or a group of people, in their ability to produce. A person lacking corruption and is confident in their ability to produce will not seek shortcuts to success because they understand that the opportunities for which money is generated are always available to them. Whereas the cheaters trying to scam their way through each day feel they will only get a few open doors to financial opportunities in their lives, and they will bend their ethics to step through those open doors. Now all too often, those open doors are traps set by other people for the opportunity to take whatever value someone else has, and the whole game can seem very treacherous and bloodthirsty. But the value is in the money, which then reveals the content of the game’s characters. Once you can see and measure what people will do for money, you can then know everything you need to know about them and turn their efforts toward the success you want to see happening. Corruption shows what kind of people are playing the game, and knowing who is corrupt and who is not is very useful in playing the great games of value. There is a lot of evil in the world that would not be seen if we did not have the value of money to measure it and witness what people will do to get their hands on it.
I tend to view many things in life from the perspective of Poker. The religions of the world have tried for centuries to figure out the motives of mankind and to contain ambition behind otherworldly rules of conduct that, like Santa Claus, might get you into Heaven if you are a good little boy and girl. When religion doesn’t work, we turn to governments to regulate behavior, and the fear of being put in jail might keep us all honest and trustworthy in our interactions with each other. But what these methods essentially only do is to push corrupt behavior deep down and out of sight. It essentially makes all of society like a Thanksgiving Dinner with a family that doesn’t really like each other; when we pass the corn, it’s always very civil and polite. While behind everyone’s backs, there is always plotting and scheming going on. But at the table everyone is polite. That is what we generally have in society and why we are so shocked when we discover that corruption has been happening. Like how shocked many are to learn that Dr. Fauci has been a corrupt administrator in government health for most of his career. He can hide his corruption behind the façade of social rules and conduct. But when we study what he is willing to do for money, or how money moved from government to government employees as him acting as the broker for funding, the need for power is instantly recognizable, and that behavior tells us a lot about the people we are dealing with. The measurement of money reveals a lot about the people trying to possess it. The most corrupt people are the most insecure about how the value of money is generated. People least corrupt understand that money is produced from the value of production. But those naturally lazy and not wanting to produce in life will have all kinds of insecurities about their ability to acquire money and will jump easily at every opportunity to become corrupt to get it because they don’t think many such opportunities will come their way in their lives.
It really comes down to the question of what we want to know about people and if we want to really know it. Governments would like to believe that human behavior can be controlled through fear, such as fearing the law, fearing the power of government, or fearing the opinions of others. Religions believe that good conduct can be controlled in society by fearing what might happen to you in the afterlife. And if only you might listen to them, then maybe you might have everlasting life. Instead, to my eyes, a good poker game tells you everything you need to know about people, and a good player can control what everyone at the table is doing and thinking based on how big the pot gets. Poker is a uniquely American game that is born out of pure capitalism, and it’s actually much more moral than we have been led to believe by the same forces who today want us all to fall into centrally controlled socialism. Playing Poker reveals a lot about the characters playing the game to acquire the total sum of the pot bet between game rounds. The good and honest player will be willing to toss away a bad hand and play again in the next round. The corrupt player will try to cheat and stuff cards up their sleeve to pull out when the pots are significant because they fear they might miss such an opportunity if they don’t cheat in some way to make the conditions of the game more favorable to them. To my eyes, knowing such information about people is much more valuable than in the value of the money itself. Money is just a measurement of value. But what people will do to have it is far more critical.
So it is in that way I see corruption as a good thing to see because it tells you who you are dealing with. The rules of society might make the preacher look like a bastion of Heavenly summation. But when alone with children of the congregation, they might be abusing them all in the name of God. Or the politician might seek legislation to provide good conduct in social interaction while they are taking money from a donor to do something voters don’t want. But the temptation of money makes it hard to turn away from. The social face may look like an outstanding citizen, complete with power dress and nice shoes. But what goes on in the politician’s mind is another matter, will they take shortcuts to get the money, or will they hold true to constitutional principles? Are they worried that they only have a few chances in life to make wealth for themselves, or is every day an opportunity to hit the jackpot and they play the game for the joy of it, knowing they will have plenty of chances for success because of their character? These are the fundamental ways to understand social behavior, and yes, corruption is just one more measurement of a thriving culture. If we have a society with a lot of corruption in it, we obviously need to change something to inspire different behavior. But we can’t delude ourselves into believing that the rules of mankind might encourage good behavior. Instead, we must understand that we must first see it with some kind of measurement and act on that knowledge. Pretending that corruption isn’t happening because we refuse to measure it is not a way to solve problems. Half the battle is in knowing, and when we have money to measure corruption, we can then see a lot that is true about the health of our society, which I find extremely valuable.