Perception of Corruption

If you are a part of the Open Web world, you know that net neutrality is an important concept to limit the ability of government, corporate and lobby interest groups to hijack Internet Service Providers to block sites, content and applications to the end user in an attempt to degrade the users ability to access all content equally. You know that blacklisting certain sites no matter how crude or illegal the content might be, is a slippery, slippery slope. You know that Firefox is so much better than Internet Explorer for such a wide range of reasons (it’s open source, looks better, works on all platforms, better security, the list goes on). You know that as a community, we in the Open Web world fight together for the stability and future of a free and open Internet.

So what about the real world? What about the perception of corruption that the world has? The Corruption Perception Index is a annual index of “the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians”. The degree to which corruption is PERCEIVED. Which is about as scientific as measuring people’s opinions on anything. Perception is just that, it’s a way of interpreting something.

I’ve recently had two discussions about the United States government and the perception of corruption therein. For whatever reason, saying that the US government is highly corrupt is a good way to get yourself labelled a “conspiracy theorist” or a “nutjob”. But why, actually?

Overview of the Corruption Perceptions Index (...

Image via Wikipedia

This graphic shows the world’s perception of corruption (apparently), and the US is apparently not perceived to be corrupt. But what happened to Obama? Didn’t Obama run on a campaign of hope and change? Didn’t he speak as if he were going to lead the US into the 21st century only to get into office and become a completely different person? Did he or did he not promise to close Guantanamo? Did he or did he not promise to get rid of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Did he or did he not insist that helping the middle class would stimulate the economy? My theory – exactly the same as Bill Hicks theory. He became president and was taken into a room with twelve cigar smoking industrialist douchebags. A projection screen was lowered and Obama was shown an angle of the Kennedy assassination that he’d never seen before. The film rolled and afterwards one of the fat fuck monopoly guys said “Any questions?”

Everyone is always telling me that I’m a radical and that my views don’t take into account the complicated nature of politics and economy. My questions are: What is so fucking complicated about doing what you campaign that you’re going to do? What is so fucking complicated about following certain guidelines of humanism to make the world a better place? What is so complicated about FREEDOM? To each his own? Love thy neighbor? And a plethora of other biblical or historical idioms designed to keep people from killing each other.

I get it, I’m naive. I’m naive to think that the world can be a better place, I’m naive to think that having some balls and standing up and fighting against corruption should be a basic human instinct. Truth is, my perception of corruption in the western world is on par with my perception of corruption everywhere else on Earth.

Which brings me back to the Internet. The one place I see members of the masses fighting against bigotry, corruption and the systematic discouragement of free thought. Online you can say anything, build anything, be anything. You can support a million causes that are out there in the real world trying to change things. I love the people that organize and support each other online for real world change. It’s inspiring. But at some point the stupid corrupt real world comes to your house and fucks you up. Then you’re screwed.

But I’m keeping the power here on Zythepsary. No anonymity, no fear. I’m just going to say what I think and people can hate it, and I will just keep saying what I think. I welcome the debate. And when the day comes that they show up at my house trying to make me stop thinking like some sort of Ray Bradbury story, I’ll use the Internet and the skills I learned from Grand Theft Auto to remain truly free.

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