Letters & Opinion

The Metaphysics of Corruption

Image of Dr. Velon John
Image of Dr. Velon John
By Dr. Velon John

CORRUPTION is a perverse, universal and debilitating phenomenon that reflects in some measure the essential finitude of homo sapiens. It is an aberration that is in contradiction to the construct of perfection, and as such is a necessity in the very process of creation. Its aetiology reposes in the human condition that in itself is consequent and immanent to the process of “becoming” as opposed to “being”.

“Being” is and therefore is sempiternal. “Perfection” is not the quintessence of “becoming”. “Perfection” is and therefore is eternal. “Being” and “Perfection” constitute an eternal reality that embraces all that which has not been created. And so all that which is “being” is perfect and that which is perfect is “being”. Homo sapiens is anything but; and so his or her condition of existence reflects propensities that are either sublimating or demeaning. And that brings to the fore the notion, the issue of choice.

Choice is not human in its provenance: it transcends that, as it ensures our humanity. Without this faculty of choice Homo Sapiens would not exist. He could not decide since his or her decision making process is predicated upon the faculty of choice. And so with choice the genesis of alternatives become manifest with its immanent inequalities that are discerned by his evolving rationality.

Corruption is the epiphenomenon of this inequality and therefore is a perennial facet of human existence. It is a condition of living but not an existential imperative. Man is not born to be evil. He or she is not born to be corrupt. Within the core of his or her being corruption lies in potency, to be activated by the exercise of the power of choice.

Man, woman choose to be corrupt and it is his or her existential circumstance that provides the template for the emergence or reification of his or her acts of corruption. And for these acts he or she as a rational entity, is responsible. Only that which is rational can be endowed with the faculty of choice and thus rationality can be a double edged instrument of benevolence or venality.

Homo sapiens is not corrupt but he has the capacity to be corrupt. . He or she can live a life of immaculate rectitude , be a paragon of virtue but on the other hand the incidents that constitue the totality of his living impulses can be a checkered fabric with slots of rectitude and corruption, in varying degrees of prominence.

If he or she is corrupt it is because he or she chooses to be so and thus making himself or herself accountable for the consequences of his or her acts of corruption. And accountability is not a mere abstraction but an essential reality upon which justice in its various forms and modes is predicated. Hence corruption does not exist in a moral vacuum but is inextricably and consequentially with the notion of punishment.

Corruption exists in behavioural space peculiar to homosapiens. For example, it exists in political space and for the greater part it defines that space. Hence the ubiquitous observation and experience that most politicians are corrupt.

They are not corrupt metaphysically but are corrupt on a banal, mundane and deprecating level of human existence.

Rene Descartes’s Cartesian Doubt comes to mind. “Cogito

Ergo sum”: I think therefore I am. Or should the correct postulation be, “I am, therefore I think”. However philosophically couched the principles emanating therefrom can in my opinion be extrapolated to the phenomenon of corruption particularly when juxtaposed to the politics of our time.

I am anything but a mathematician, but another Latin phrase comes to mind. It is this: “Quod eratdemonstratum”. Do you see the connection?

Incidentally Descartes was both a philosopher and mathematician.

From the grains of my thoughts you may discern a pearl of wisdom and of truth.


  1. Garcon, I am taking a Tylenol. My head is hurting me and my eyes went out of focus with dem big words.

    Jokes aside, modern language teachers preach, simpler is better.

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