[ExI] The "most corrupt leader in the history of the world"/was Re: The Rationality of Belief is Relative

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Fri May 22 16:21:51 UTC 2009

--- On Fri, 5/22/09, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/5/23 painlord2k at libero.it
> <painlord2k at libero.it>:
> > Il 22/05/2009 13.37, Stathis Papaioannou ha scritto:
> >>
> >> 2009/5/22 Olga Bourlin<fauxever at sprynet.com>:
> >>
> >>> I meant to write, as well ... how can we not
> know about "other worlds"
> >>> when
> >>> we've recently seen news reports about the
> Taliban, Darfur, Indonesia ...
> >>
> >> Why did you include Indonesia in that trio?
> >
> > I remember a few young Christian girls heads chopped
> down as they went to
> > school by the adherents of a not particular religion.
> > The Bali bombing, that didn't come out from the blue.
> > The laws that prevent people from renouncing the not
> particular religion and
> > adopting another religion and the subservience of the
> state tribunals to the
> > tribunal of the not particular religion for matter of
> religion.
> >
> > Also child prostitution, but this is common in all the
> world.
> I would have also mentioned communist-hating,
> American-loving,
> neighbour-invading Suharto, the most corrupt leader in the
> history of
> the world (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3567745.stm).

Suharto was very bad, but I wonder if he could really take the title for the "most corrupt leader in the history of the world."  If we stick to the last few thousand years, surely there are quite a few other contenders -- even a few alive now, such as Robert G. Mugabe.

The BBC story seems to be basing corruption on dollar amounts.  I'm not sure what other factors could be used, but I wouldn't limit it to dollar amounts.  (This is accepting, too, the BBC analysis and data as correct as reported.  Not impugning the BBC, but just wondering how accurate all this is even accepting money amounts as _the_ measure of corruption.)

> There has
> been great progress in liberalisation since he was deposed,
> although
> unfortunately this has also coincided with the rise of a
> radical Islamic minority.

Yes, to my knowledge, on the liberalization front.  This also makes Indonesia somewhat of an oddball compared to other cases -- places where the corrupt leader is desposed by a new seemingly more corrupt leader.  I think, in Indonesia's case, this partly had to do more with the Asian Crisis and the failure of Suharto to keep the corruption machine well oiled than anything else.  Once the money stopped coming in, his support dried up.  (Yeah, there was an opposition, but there was always an opposition; it seems to me the loss of support, not the strength of the opposition, was the deciding factor in his downfall.)



"Organization implies the tendency to oligarchy.  In every organization, whether it be a political party, a professional union, or any other association of the kind, the aristocratic tendency manifests this very clearly.  The mechanism of the organization, while conferring a solidity of structure, induces serious changes in the organized mass, completely inverting the respective position of the leaders and the led...With the advance of organization, democracy tends to decline.  Democratic evolution has a parabolic course.  At the present time, at any rate as far as party life is concerned, democracy is in the descending phase.  It may be enunciated as a general rule that the increase in the power of the leaders is directly proportional with the extension of the organization." -- Robert Michels


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