The Golden Rule as An Alternative Approach in the Fight Against Corruption

Joseph K. Rono


Just a few months ago, a boy in one of Kenyan high schools on hearing his teacher share about the extent to which corruption has affected the moral make-up in the country, retorted, “Then why not legalize [legitimize] corruption?” The boy’s statement suggests not only that corruption is so deep-rooted that we can do nothing about it, but also a call for a live-with-it situation. A recent survey conducted among the youth drawn from the four East African Countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda) revealed that a good number of young people are so obsessed with getting rich by any means (including corruption) so long as they play it safe – i.e., they don’t get caught. This predisposition raises a number of ethical questions: Do moral values hold anymore? Is corruption a moral or a legal issue? How effective (or ineffective) are the anti-corruption initiatives and do they signal an end for corruption? Is there an alternative for dealing with corruption?This paper addresses corruption in its different forms along with some of the global anti-corruption initiatives that have been formed in an attempt to stamp out the graft. The paper proposes the Golden Rule (GR) as an alternative approach in the fight against corruption because the issue is moral rather than legal. It concludes with the claim that the GR, in its emphasis on love, fairness and selfless disposition would be a preferred option towards fighting corruption and advancing a moral and responsible society – as opposed to the rather punitive legal or anti-corruption approaches which tend to heighten hate and irresponsible behavior in the society and that the focus of the fight against corruption ought to be on the restoration rather than destruction of the agents.

Keywords: corruption, the Golden Rule (GR), anti-corruption initiatives

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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