Banditry is an attempt to Arabize the Greek word ‘Kleptocracy‘, which was fabricated in the early nineteenth century and serves to describe the system of government in which thievery (theft of public and private money) prevails through the exploitation of administrative and political positions by those in charge of its offices.
The term, although is not scientific, But it used with contempt and bitter irony, but it remains a descriptive term and is sometimes considered as a classification in extreme cases of practices of exploiting the position to achieve personal material or political benefits or for the league of participating practitioners or collaborators.
The term when it is used to refer to a state, even if it is an exaggeration, but it indicates a tragic and very dangerous matter that calls for stopping and searching for the connotations and causes.
Causes of the adjective
Undoubtedly, the first reason for launching the epithet is the spread of corruption, and corruption in government circles all over the world is a common occurrence throughout the ages.
Corruption is a human phenomenon that cannot be completely eradicated, regardless of the procedures, legislations and tools of law enforcement.
There are always opportunities available to be exploited by some, as long as corruption practices remain limited in quantity and quality (meaning the low indicator of the percentage of loss of GDP, as well as the frequency and number of cases investigated).
These practices will continue to be considered scams (the five percent is considered fairly acceptable, controlled and can be dealt with, and may be less than that).
This situation is enjoyed by a number of countries (highest on the list are Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore).
when it gets worse
But when corruption becomes rampant and rebounds, it may reach thirty percent, and this often occurs from the lower levels in government departments and public institutions, and the reason is primarily due to low income and the level of poverty, and an amount of salaries that does not guarantee a decent living, not to mention legitimate aspirations.
The second most important reason is the slack and deteriorating administration, poor enforcement of the law, and the spread of nepotism.
This level can be reduced when the supreme political will is available and the absolute and irreversible adoption of the principle that “no one is immune”, to be followed in succession by reconsidering the administrative, economic, planning, tax and development structures, and then enforcing the requirements of integrity and transparency at its highest level.
This requires an active civil society in accordance with international standards, a free media and press with absolute dedication to the right to information.
This is done according to a long-term strategy that serves as a ‘guidebook’ aimed at preventing corruption and enhancing transparency.
Of course, this will require superior training and qualification for those who carry out this task, ie the implementation of the strategy starting with the specialized training of investigators, prosecution and judicial bodies, and it goes without saying that the ‘judicial’ must be independent and compatible with international standards also in terms of personnel, procedures and implementation (the least of which is the famous Bangalore principles and standards).
We point out that all of this requires a good choice of who performs the required work in terms of competence, qualification, integrity (which must exclude those who bear ‘suspicion of corruption’ in the first place) and a strategic understanding of the manifold dimensions of the task.
To ensure good performance in accordance with the law and without media ‘pops’. And the work to be consecutive and vigorous enough to reduce the proportion to a reasonable extent.
When talking about raising the standard of living to ensure the fulfillment of needs, we will enter into another area related to the state’s economic status, resources and potential.
One article may not meet the requirement, but it must remain firmly in mind that one of the causes of corruption is the poverty of public cadres and the obscenity of private wealth.
Signs of the thieves coming
If you leave things alone, what will happen? The germs of corruption will infiltrate the upper classes in the administration, especially those that occupy major positions with powers to sign and acknowledge spending, and here will appear what is known as the greatest corruption, which is not only stolen to meet a need, but also a greed for obscene wealth and the enjoyment of millions.
The greatest corruption cannot be practiced individually, but rather occurs by consensus of several influential people in various bureaus (we may say a mutual corruption association). We call it the ‘Federation of Corruption Associations’, which may also evolve to reach unions.
Given the size of these funds, the foreign partner will be taken into account, or, to put it explicitly, ‘foreign interests or companies that are not good for us’ than non-national (some of which are fabricated for the ‘corrupt’ purpose) that once they agree to the principle of corruption (and for them this lies in their approval of the size of Commissions unfair to the wealth and resources of the country), what will happen?
These foreign interests will need a state of compromise in what is at the heart of national issues, and they will need to intervene through “patriotic partners of corruption” to amend legislation and regulations, and perhaps even draw up projects, works, and even policies that the country does not need in the first place.
Before reaching a conclusion about what may happen, we point out that the national elements (with their associations and federations) will also need to have the upper hand in matters of investigation, prosecution and judiciary. In other words, they need not to be covered by a law, i.e. to a kind of ‘immunity’, but how is this done?
Immunity by seizing some power
Immunity is achieved by the members of these gangs seizing the most important means of combating and preventing corruption, and dispersing its effects that may appear to the public. In other words, it will be important for them to be among the owners of the political decision, and the political decision is not necessarily the one related to the general policies of the state.
But it is sufficient for them to control the sources of wealth and its spending, and then to ensure that there is no accountability or prosecution, which are numerous.
Exactly here where it is correct to call the term ‘thieves’ for the state that reaches this level, but the risks do not stop at that, so what will happen?
In one way or another, the matter of managing the helm of the state will be confined to the hands of certain “persons” who rarely change, and if they change, it will only be like playing the game of musical chairs (it is said that “Zayd” was dismissed from the ministry and took over the quorum of the public ministry and “Amr” replaced him) and so on..
The aforementioned persons do not bear the traits of thief explicitly, several tools of theft, such as a mask over the eyes, invisibility, a lamp or a candle, and perhaps a knife. Rather, they wear the latest fashion, drive the most luxurious vehicles and live in the most pompous palaces, and they no longer deserve the name “technocrats”, rather they are closer to “thieves” .
When the upper class that is in charge of the state reaches this level, and remains in it for years, this will be reflected in the society you run, a kind of acceptance will occur, because people want to live and have no power to change the existing structure, and if acceptance occurs, corruption will spread more and more, it becomes a reality of the situation
There will be no development, education will collapse, and with it health, infrastructure and superstructure, the state will include governance and freedom of the media at the bottom of the lists of transparency, and so on.
The greatest danger will remain the security of the state, its independence and the well-being of its people. When ‘thieves’ control the affairs of a state, it is doomed to failure as a project and an entity.
Our Arab countries suffer to varying degrees (and sometimes close according to income) from corruption and its laws. In order to emerge from underdevelopment, it requires sincerity of intention and good preparation to fight ‘our corruption’ before undertaking the tasks of our development.