Corruption as a mode of survival

I often read discussions on survival forums that say people in poor countries have an easier transition to chaos and collapse scenarios. I agree. One of the reasons is that they already live in some sort of scenario like this every day. Today I want to talk about the key aspects of what keeps broken systems running around the world. The corruption.

When resources are few and many people want something and the person who decides who gets it is also low (or is just greedy and there is no one to enforce the law), then you enter the world of corruption. I think it’s an important part of understanding how things work on corrupted systems.

This not only helps you in the disaster scenario but even when you travel or move to what I call “unorganized countries”.

I live in one so this is something like an everyday survival school, after the Balkan war my country never recovered. If both parents work full-time and you still don’t have enough money to feed your children, something is wrong. Anyway, I hope you can benefit from my experience of living in such a broken system. So let’s go straight to the first thing:

“I have certain rights!” Wrong.

This is the first and most important rule of survival in a disorganized country. You are not entitled to anything. Right to freedom of expression, right to employment, right to some protection of the law or any other “right”. Now, don’t get me wrong, the laws are the same in most countries in general, and they say you have all the rights, but the reality is different. You need to fight for all the rights and find a way to make them work for you in some cases.

You are just one man with a bunch of other people who are equally unemployed, tired of crime, political nonsense, and many years of the hopeless economic situation. So, in the end, you find that the only thing you can do is blend in, and act like most people. If you want to live, you’re going to have to bribe people at every turn, and you’re going to have to accept bribes.

If you want to work for a company, you need to start looking for people who have connections with employees in that company’s management. The person in management who decides who gets the job knows that having a job is worth something, but he won’t ask for a bribe directly. No matter what qualifications, somehow he just won’t get you a job. Nobody openly accepts bribes in most cases because it is against the law. You need someone that the administration person trusts and then send the bribe through that intermediary.

You are giving money to the intermediary and he is giving money to the manager. The rich guy in management gets richer, and if the middleman hasn’t screwed you, you get a phone call saying when you can start work. If you’re lucky, there’s only one intermediary between you and the manager, because if there’s more, you’ll need more money. After all, everyone is getting their share.

Once you get it, actually, after you buy that crappy job, you start working for a really crappy paycheck that’s clearly not enough to feed your family. So you’re starting with little things in your circle or network of people you know. Little things are wrong. This is the case for the vast majority of situations in non-organized countries. Once you connect to this strange and corrupt system, you will have a better chance of living and feeding your children.

Another example. If you have a little more money and you want to start some work, for example, let’s say you want to start a small business or something else. The law says you will need some state licenses, some workers, a place, equipment, etc. So you go to government offices and start working on paperwork and permits, and you find that at every turn these people are causing you problems. You may ask yourself, why? I want to start a normal job, earn honest money, and give work to some people and they cause all these problems?

Sooner or later you realize that the whole system doesn’t give a damn about your intentions because every clerk big or small wants a bribe for his stamp on paper. In another case, your paperwork will get “strangely lost” somewhere, or you’ll face some weird health regulations or whatever. So you finally bribe people, have all the paperwork, rent a place, hire workers and get to work. After 10 days you’re going to have some inspector at your door who says you don’t suddenly have everything it takes to make this deal because some of your papers aren’t correct. Of course, you need to bribe again. Anyway, if you’re not part of this weird corrupt system, you’re not going to move forward.

If you have a sick mother and she needs to go to the hospital, you will find that there is no room available and that she cannot come until next month. You’re looking at your friends who have some connections there, with some doctors. You offer some money on that friend to some doctor, and miracle, there’s a spare room in the hospital for your mother on the same day.

So what you need to do is just find a nurse and offer her something to make sure your mom doesn’t die in the middle of the night because some equipment is faulty or something. It’s okay if you decide to go to the police and talk about the fact that someone asked you for a bribe over anything, you’re welcome. The cops there will listen very carefully to what you have to say, after you finish your story they will take all the notes, and tell you that you did your duty as a law-abiding citizen and that you did the right thing. because this region is suffering because of corruption, crime and that’s all.

One morning you wake up and realize you’re living in a terrible country, it’s time to start acting like everyone else. Do not hear, do not see and do not speak. You plug into a corrupted system and become a part of it all. So you’re starting to do little scams with your employers, tax scams, you find a connection in the tax department, bribe a guy there, steal from his employers and split the cut with that guy in the tax department. Your employers start stealing from you, whatever they can. Again the circle is happening.

The point of living in a disorganized country is how many people you know, I mean how many people with connections. Corruption becomes not just part of the system, corruption is the system for doing things. To finish any job, you will need connections and bribes, smaller or larger. In the end to survive you become one of them, a man who can do some business that helps others.

You’re finishing jobs for people, sometimes for money, sometimes for favours, sometimes for friends, and you’re expanding the network of people you know. The term “human capital” takes on a new meaning. The more people you know (people who can do something), the more power and money you have. I have mentioned here just a few more everyday examples of corruption.

Already living in a corrupt system and making things work through people you know is one of the reasons why it’s easier for people in disorganized countries to live better in the aftermath of the collapse. People have already adapted to the fact that they need connections to make just about anything happen.

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