Korruption begreifen

NEW YORK: Ich bin gerade aus Indien zurückgekehrt, wo ich vor dem englischen Parlament einen Vortrag hielt, im selben Saal, wo vor kurzem US-Präsident Barack Obama seine Rede gehalten hat. Das Land wird derzeit von einem enormen Skandal erschüttert: Bei einem gigantischen Betrug auf Ministerebene im Mobiltelefonsektor wurden viele Milliarden Dollar in die Taschen eines korrupten Politikers umgeleitet.

Doch eine Reihe von Parlamentariern war außerdem bestürzt, als sie entdeckten, dass Obama, als er zu ihnen sprach, von einem „unsichtbaren“ Teleprompter abgelesen hatte. Dies hatte sein Publikum zu der Annahme verleitet, dass er frei gesprochen hätte – eine Fertigkeit, die in Indien hoch angesehen ist.

Beide Episoden wurden als eine Form von Korruption angesehen: Bei der einen ging es um Geld, bei der anderen um Täuschung. Nun sind beide Episoden offensichtlich nicht von gleicher moralischer Verwerflichkeit. Doch die Obama-Episode verdeutlicht einen wichtigen transkulturellen Unterschied bei der Beurteilung, wie korrupt eine Gesellschaft ist.

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