Monday, November 21, 2016

Parable of a Kleptocracy

Kleptocracy (n.): A form of government rulers use their power and influence to enrich themselves while in office.  

Kleptocracy is by definition something that never happens here, in Westland -- it happens over there, in corrupt Otherland. Here are a few aspects of the Kleptocracy in Otherland:

There, in Otherland, wealthy men campaign for office while hawking their products and promoting their properties. They commit fraud that costs thousands of people their entire life's savings, and shrug it off if caught. They pay bribes to try and make fraud cases go away, and shrug it off if caught. This sense of impunity and imperviousness to shame might seem strange to us, but their culture is very different from ours, in Westland. We must try to understand the ways of Otherland.

Women are second-class citizens in primitive Otherland. They are required to be sexually available to the leader for his enjoyment. The leader frequently assembles large numbers of women deemed to be "attractive" to men, and then sadistically ranks and quantifies their physical attributes on a 1-10 scale, humiliating and berating those women he deems inadequate. This might seem disgusting to us, but people in Otherland have not yet heard of feminism. Women are also forced to walk on uncomfortable shoes that elevate their height. 

Despite rules that forbid it, the rulers of Otherland appoint family members and loyal cronies to high positions in the government irrespective of their qualifications for the job. Those family members also continue to manage the leader's business while he is busy with his official duties. (In fact, the rulers of Otherland are not that busy; they spend much of their time on Twitter, criticizing comedians who have satirized them.)

In this imaginary Otherland, the wealthy ruler also regularly takes time off from running the country to make arrangements with businessmen from Other Otherlands to sell new products that will make all these men become even richer.

In this far off, barbaric Otherland, the wealthy ruler even leases buildings from the government and turns those government buildings into hotels, while also appointing the administrators who are responsible for determining the rent of those buildings. The wealthy leader will also personally profit on high room rates from those hotels, as lobbyists and foreign leaders attempt to curry favor with him. 

All of these practices might seem horrifically corrupt, uncivilized, and barbaric to us here in Westland. But we must understand that Our Ways are not Their Ways. We hope that the people in this society learn about the benefits of Democratic Checks and Balances, but it may take many years before that happens in such a primitive, backward society.

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