Corruption – is it all relative?

A market in Lagos, Nigeria.

In January 2017, CNBC released a review of some of the most corrupt countries in the world. Positioned at the top of the list were Somalia, South Sudan, Korea and Syria.

Bearing in mind that there is a huge gulf between the concept of a developed nation and a ‘third world’ country, is it not therefore questionable if the level of corruption in a developed/developing nation, such as Korea, can be compared with the corruption in a ‘third world’ country, such as Somalia?

Growing up as a child in a developing country, I had first-hand experience of the negativity associated with ‘third world’ corruptions. Having lived as an adult in a developed nation, equally, I have another direct experience of the contempt that meets corruption in a first world country.

This leads me to question whether there are different levels of corruption. I mean, in the classification of developing countries, one will find capitalist, communist, resourcefully wealthy and economically poor nations.

Like-minded ‘first world’ countries perceived these countries as developing nations not because of what they have or do not have but more so how they allow ideologies to becloud their sense of achievement and aspiration for the betterment of their countries.

An example of the differences in corruption is typified as follows: take a residential area in Surulere, Nigeria, where jail time is waived with just a token N20000 (roughly £40).

Comparatively, 7710 miles away in another residential area in Seorabeol, Korea, a loan-shark dines with a police chief, where an unspoken discreet lump sum of cash is settled between them.

With such examples (blatantly or subtly), does bribery/corruptions operate at different levels?

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