Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Essential Corruption

Over the weekend, concerning the ongoing Islamization of the West, I posed the question “Cui bono?” That is, who stands to gain from what’s happening now?

This question is especially perplexing when one considers the process of mass Muslim immigration, which effectively strives to replace the existing populations of low-birthrate Western countries with Third World immigrants. The losers in this deal are obvious — but who are the winners? Except for the Islamists themselves, the beneficiaries of Islamization stand well back in the murky shadows.

BrianFH left us this excellent comment on the post, in which he describes the role that generalized corruption plays in distributing benefits within a political system. It’s worth reproducing here in its entirety:

Check out de Mesquita’s podcasts; he presents and applies the lessons from research which shows the decisions of politicians and rulers, throughout history and currently, are explained by the size of the Selectorate and the “ruling coalition”, which may be a few generals, a nomenklatura, an aristocracy, property-owning males, or a large chunk of the voting public. Idealism and statesmanship are rewarded only when there is a large pool benefiting from Public Goods, whose support is necessary. Fake elections without freedom of information and association don’t count as democratic rule.

PayolaThe World Bank and foreign aid ministries in general have been drawn into a system in which loans, grants, and aid funneled through corrupt governments actively suppress growth and freedom.

In this system of analysis, corruption is the essential method of distributing spoils to the “ruling coalition”; it ceases to pay off when the coalition gets large enough that general societal improvement results in prolonged power for the “rulers” — it’s the only win-win formula. But even democratic rulers have the welfare of their closest associates and coalition at heart; lame-duck presidents are famously profligate in passing out goodies to friends and relatives.
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In the case of dictators, once they get past the first eighteen months or so and get the payola rolling, they stay in power for life — or until they are diagnosed with a fatal condition, like cancer. Then the wolves gather, deposition follows, and a new regime arises. (The Shah, for example, fell only when he was diagnosed with incurable cancer.) The gravy-train coalition suddenly sees the end of the guaranteed payoffs, and everything goes up for grabs.

The system, whether in autocracy or democracy, efficiently filters out genuinely ethical and altruistic leaders: they simply would not be able to assemble a sufficient inner support coalition to compete with those who hand out keys to the vault. In unusual emergencies, a power structure desperate for legitimacy might pluck someone like Vaclav Havel from outside the power pipeline to lead, but this is rare.

As an aside, I note that we all want power, in the fundamental sense of capacity to make stuff happen. It happens that political power depends on agreement and cooperation and compliance from others, so the tools used fit the context.

The podcasts by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita on Econ Talk are part of the Library of Economics and Liberty, which looks to be a fascinating and informative site. Here’s a blurb for an article, plucked at random from their main page:

Think Globally, Act Irrationally: Recycling
by Michael Munger

In this month’s feature essay, Duke University professor of economics and political science Mike Munger looks at the economics and politics of recycling. He examines when recycling makes sense as a way to save resources, and when it appears to be more of a religious act. Along the way, he looks at some of the strange things local politicians have required or encouraged citizens to do when it comes to recycling.

If you’re intrigued by this, as I was, you’ll want to pay a visit to the Library of Economics and Liberty and read the whole article.


David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 08/28/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Who would you expect to benefit apart from the Islamists?

Islam is a pyramid game of political power, in which everyone loses, except a few on the top who die before their neglect and inhumanity catches up with them.

European politicians? They get to stay in their comfy positions without too much trouble or dangerous challenges. Shortsighted, but what else can we expect?

A horizon of max. 4 years (a little more for the French president, perhaps) limits the amount of foresight needed by politicians.

mikej said...

OK, so cui bono? I didn't see an answer to the question in the post. I'm aware that our political "leaders" are not idealistic. I'm aware that they're corrupt. What puzzles me is how a corrupt politician profits by importing people who want to blow him up and/or impose sharia on his grandchildren. When I say profit, I mean monetary profit, because political office is temporary in America.

Profitsbeard said...


Maybe the majority of the Western/infidel leadership secretly want polygamy back?

As dominant, patriarchally-leaning males, they would only have to do what Mark Steyn joking says he'll feign should the Jihad succeed: "I'll just take a few more wives, let my beard grow out, and keep my head down."

The (otherwise-incomprehensible) success of Islam over the centuries has depended upon its preying on the ancient masculine contempt for women and promising more bedmates to tease the naturally-unbounded lust of the male half of the species.

A dangerous combo to use as bait.

Because these "enticements" also require you to bow to a theocratic paralysis of mind and spirit, which makes the "lording it over" any females and the three extra "wives" a cold and empty gain.

"Do Muslim men seem happy?" should be the existential question all those who are not resisting this intolerant theocratic movement should ask themselves.

And thereby reassess their invitation to this Totentanz (dance of death).

Whiskey said...

profitsbeard --


Lets' not forget gays, who benefit when sex with women and reproduction is limited to a few wealthy/powerful men. Ala Foucalt and his support for Khomeni (David Frum over at NRO Online takes Foucalt apart in his latest column).

Also, women. It might sound paradoxical but polygamy is a good deal for women as are most absolutist, hierarchical societies.

A beautiful woman can be the wife/mistress of a powerful man, and even a fraction of his resources dwarfs that of even an upper-middle class man. Plus she can exercise power the old-fashioned way, through the Sultan or Caliph or King or whatever he's called. No need to bother about building a career and the drudgery inherent in it.

The careers of Katie Couric or Mirthala Salinas (built upon sleeping with powerful men who further their careers) suggests this is not something isolated.

Already there are fairly large groups of young men without women, particularly in East Germany as the women move West. Where presumably they share powerful men with other women. [The men are not wanted as sexual competitors and are considered "unskilled" and "expensive" compared to cheap immigrants.]

For most men of course this is a loser: they are forced to substitute gay sex for straight sex. Polygamy BY DEFINITION means most men lose. It also creates a cycle of rebellion and conquering, out of which no real technical or scientific gains can be made.

It is for precisely this reason that the elites have sought to suppress the ability of the average man to form a family, while finding alliances of women and gays who not being stupid see their advantages.

Yes Gays face brutal death for overt acts or expression but gain access to most ordinary men. Yes women face oppression of economic and social activities but gain power and wealth unavailable through other means. And their offspring can rule over great amounts of people if they can maneuver right.

Anonymous said...

The reason Bush and his elitist internationalist cronies like inviting hordes of third-worlders here, is that it fragments existing communities, making it easier for international business people to do what they want. Where I live, projects that few people want get pushed through, because people are so passive. There is no longer a community, just several different communities of foreigners and a few older white people who remember self-government (racists, according to the new people). If you spent some time in California, you wouldn't even ask who benefits. It's obvious. The foreigners who are colonising us and the people who make money from the process are benefiting. And don't worry about Bush and co.'s grandkids. They'll pay lip service to sharia, but like the Saudi royal family, they'll live any way they want. Bush's grandkids are Mexican anyway.

Unknown said...

We must consider another group that can be pushing towards Islam: pedofiles. As pedofily isnot a crime in Islam. How could that be.