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When scoundrels are in charge

Nations or empires rise and fall throughout history. They all went through the same stages of change in their political ethos regardless of whatever political system.

When an empire or a nation is in the ascent, the leaders will be honourable and work for the betterment of country and people. The same leaders could become dishonourable and cheat, and run the country for their own personal benefits when the empire or nation is in decline. When nations are on the rise, there will be righteousness, rule of law, able leadership and a few good men.

A good example of a nation on the rise is China. Just ignore the political craps coming out from the West and look at how that country is being managed, growing in leaps and bounds, and will soon overtake America, driven by its own talents and political leadership. It was blessed with admirable and selfless men like Deng Xiao Ping, Jiang Ze Min, Zhu Rong Ji, and now Hu Jin Tao and Wen Jia Bao plus a few very able second echelon leaders.

These men are not without faults. But they are driven with a cause. The country is also not without faults, with corruption and abuses of authority in many places. But the rule of law is upheld and will deal with the violators. The violators are the scoundrels and the law is against them. The scoundrels know that they are doing wrong and will have to face justice and the rule of law.

When a nation is in decline, like the US, there will still be the rule of law. But scoundrels are everywhere. And the scoundrels do not think that they are doing wrong and that they have to account for themselves under the rule of law. They hijack and apply the rule of law to their benefits. The rule of law is for the scoundrels. When such a situation is reached, the descent from glory is imminent and unavoidable. For the scoundrels are in charge and the rule of law will not stop them, or cannot stop them from their wrong doings. The scoundrels are on the right side of the rule of law and interpret the rule of the law to their advantage.

See the difference in the case of a nation in ascent? There the scoundrels know that their actions are wrong. In the case of a nation in decline, the scoundrels do not think they are doing any wrong, and their conscience is clear, or they just pretend to be so.

Every society has its own share of scoundrels. But scoundrels are normally put in the right places on legal grounds, ethical and moral grounds. When legal, ethical and moral grounds are blurred and scoundrels can scale over them, no longer obstructions to their actions, when there is no guilt, no wrongs and no conscience pricks, the end is near.


Anonymous said...

Sound familiar.

Anonymous said...

The saying that power corrupts is still as valid today as centuries ago.

Some think they are the exception, but believe me, no exception will befall them. That is because corruption will creep in slowly, sometimes hardly perceptively, with the one in power thinking what they are doing is nothing corrupt as long as they can change the law to justify their actions.

Hitler, Napoleon, the Chinese Dynasties and Emperors all thought they were above falling down, but time proved they were wrong.

Man proposes, God disposes. How true!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the day when China becomes the biggest brother and China Communist/Capitalist Party the no.1 leading political party in the whole world.
Congratulations!Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

Probably the best example that I can think of is our Singapore.

Do you think we are still rising or in decline?

Anonymous said...

We are stagnating. No country can go on rising forever. It is now the turn of the wheel for countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and other less developed countries to pull level.

Even the Japanese, the most innovative people on earth, cannot fight the turn of the wheel. Twenty years of stagnation, trillions of dollars thrown in to stimulate their economy and they still fail to garner an orgasm. It is the end of their glory road. They will just limp along nevertheless, alive and fighting, but never leading again.

You think red dot is the exception?

juwel said...

I think the Japanese are not the most innovative people in this world,but can produce the most innovative copied works,credit to them too.

We are not even innovative at all,in general,but one thing in our great favour is that we are the most open society (apart from politics)and the ability to produce many copied works-higher than most second or third world countries,so far so good.

Our people also share on trait,in general,anything can be done if it makes money,so long as it is not criminally criminal.

Sadly many in younger generation do not share this view,fortunately we have many new citizens,PRs who share this trait.

The Westen society is collapsing,The East is rising,I think we should be OK so long as the current trend,current trait continuous,regardless of what happens to the original society,afterall,those who hold up the flag of morality would be powerless very soon,they have to search for rics bowls like the rest of us!
My rubbish thought,thank you.

juwel said...

It is my humble view that inevitably the whole world is moving towards the law of the jungle,the survival of the fittest and the total elimination of those who are weak.
The West made a big mistake when they made it and felt that all must share the fruit of prosperity regardless,it cannot be sustained and they are going towards difficulty.
Their prosperity was achieved when they were superior in knowledge and they exploited the earth.
The world is now moving towards uniform knowledge,especially,the major races,the Chinese,the Indians,the Europeans and the Americans,they have no more superiority.
Therefore it must be the law of the jungle,and we are actually the pioneer of this concept,even though we do not actually eliminate the WEAK but we made sure that they can survive at subsistence level.

The future may probably be worst,all over the world.

God bless human mankind!

Anonymous said...

The redistribution of wealth is going at great speed,from West to East and probably to South as well,hopefully a new world order will result in utopia,that would be the ideal development.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese Dynasties and Emperors all thought they were above falling down, time proved they were actually correct,as one dystny for example, Tang Dynasty lasted nearly 300 years,618-907,with many emperors,so long as they did not think it would last till eternality,they were all correct,with the exception of the unlucky last one.

Anonymous said...

Although I accept that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.I now think that our legalised power corruption may be the solution.
At least it does reduce corruption and we all know what is the bottom line,how much?and save on time and money to make efforts to investigate.

Look at the famous Marcos case,what did the people and governments get after so much time,money,manpower wasted,what did they get in return?
Almost zero!
Singapore may yet set another example of this.
Of course Presidents of USA,China and PM of India may not get a few hundred millions per year,but say $20 or 30 millions per year,those who have rightest values would then donate the money to charity causes.

Anonymous said...

A redistribution of wealth is happening among nations from East to West and that is unmistakably true.

But looking at it closer we can see that most of the wealth is slowly being accumulated in the hands of only a select few in every country, with no exception.

What this means is that the wealth or GDP of a country may seem to grow, but it ultimately benefits only a certain segment of its citizens. The rest of the lower down citizens, ie employees generally, hardly find their lives getting easier other than working harder to help the rich get richer.

If this continues, the law of the jungle it will be in time to come.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi juwel, welcome to the blog.

The most creative thing that came from this unique island is innovation in salaries for political offices. I can't think of anything else.

As for the distribution of wealth, our official policy is that the able must be paid more than the less able and the big income gap cannot be helped.

But don't worry, it will become more equal as I have picked up some changes in the official stance. Instead of $1 for you and $10,000 of us, it may be $2 for you and $10,000 for us. That will see more wealth being distributed to the lower income group.

We are progressing in how wealth is distributed. How I wish I be given a title of a chairman of something and get to feel richer.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

anon 6:37, the Qing Dynasty lasted longer, from 1644 to officially 1911. But at the end of it, the wealth of Aisingoro family went up in dust.

Anonymous said...

'Although I accept that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.I now think that our legalised power corruption may be the solution.
At least it does reduce corruption and we all know what is the bottom line,how much?and save on time and money to make efforts to investigate.'

The above is from anon 6:47.

Do the people know the bottom line?
Do the people really know how much the president, the PM and ministers total pay package last year? $4m, $10m, $15m?

Anonymous said...

Those who are really interested would have sound idea as to the rough amount those under our legalised system gets,as officially announced.

Of course you may be hinting that some actually get much more,but then I would speculate those very high amount would fall under ILLEGAL definitions,and should not be considered here.

The earth is slowly moving towards LAW OF JUNGLE,look at recent examples of British M.P.s,that gave some indications of where we are moving to.

Marcos,Surhato are fine examples of leaders who practised ILLEGAL corruption,what can the people do except to change the government,action to recover the money were largely ineffective.

My point is that legalised high packages are not perfect system under ideal circunstances,but it may turn out to be the only one that can work in this new world.

Should President Obama be paid only USD 400k a year,it is wrong and much too low,I do not think it can work in future by just looking at the example of corrupted practices of British M.P.s

Anonymous said...

Mr Chua,

Thank you.
I am not really supporter of the present government but I agree with you about the two trends:

(1)High salaries for political leaders and senior civil servants,it is ahead of its time but the world would move towards this system.

(2)Income distribution:it is bad but then again the world may move towards this without any choice.

In a sense,we are rather ahead of our time,if the LAW OF JUNGLE comes to the earth sooner,then any government(PAP,WP,NSP,etc)may not have other options.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The argument to pay obscene salary to people managing big money or making big decisions is flawed and been hijacked by those self serving individuals to pay themselves crazy. If one is to look at the logic carefully, it is so easy to see the flaws.

Just to quote an example. The CEO of a bank or a fund, he is already paid them well because of the portfolio and responsibility. He makes a right or wrong decision he is still being paid very well. The provision that he can be sacked is no good.

When he makes good decision or make good money, he wants a bigger cut. What if he makes bad decision or lose money, where is the pay back? The formula is one sided at the moment. Is it fair?

The argument and reward system is lopsided, in favour of upside when things are good, profit is good. Where is the downside? Sacking good enough?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The high salary trend and the widening salary gap is pure capitalism. The system will gravitate towards the law of the jungle like you say, where the fittest survive, where wealth will be in the hands of a few and the rest is inconsequential.

Next...revolution, when the poor rise to seize from the rich and history repeats itself.

Anonymous said...

Capatalism is the only idea in the world,even countries such as Cuba and Myanmar are embracing it,the only exception is probably North Korea but it would not last.

Revolution may be,but whether a new world system,communism,socialism or what it is called can work better is in my view,still unknown.

That is one of the reasons I believe in God!

Anonymous said...

I agree that paying crazy salaries to bankers are wrong,but with the capatalism model,do we hv alternatives?

What did Present Obama manage to do to Wall street?as far as I can remember,very little,and now he is going to fight and hope for re-election.

or should the world go back to our Asian model,one capable party rules?like PAP here and Indian Congree Party,Japan LDP before(54 years)?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Capitalism works very well in its early stages of development. Hard works and talents were well rewarded and attracted more hard works and more talents. Then extremism comes in. Not everyone is so talented. Not everyone is willing to work hard. The people who are reaping the most rewards are not necessarily the most talented or most hardworking.

Corruption of the system will end the system.

Communism in its early stage is like an utopia. Equality and selflessness. Everyone working for the community. Then when the lazy and untalented become more lazy and more untalented: ), the able and talented and hardworking will refuse to work. System breaks down.

What could be better is moderation and tempering without allowing the system to go to the extreme.

Even the animal farm looks very promising in the beginning. Again, corruption and greed wil tear it apart.

Anonymous said...

When the CCCP collapsed,the whole world believed that Uncle Sam was the winner and the ONLY world super power.

It went down real fast since then,now very few Americans believe it can be rescued without first going bankrupt.

I have my doube about the upcoming new world order?and still searching for an answer.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Some citizens of the breakaway countries of the former Soviet Union are saying that they had better lives under the communist regime.

I hope they are telling the truth, because I was asking myself, how can that be true that after embracing democracy, they are regretting their choice.

Is this the same reason that some Iragis are saying that life under Saddam may not be a bed of roses, but at least more tolerable than post-Saddam. How can that be true?

Anonymous said...

Of course you are perfectly correct to say that SOME citizens of former communist block and Iraq prefer to stay under the old order.

But that is when democracy come in,are these groups in the majority(generally more than 50%)?

I am sorry I frankly do not think so!Sorry