A Machiavellian simplicity

Dear Editor,

Amidst the steady stream of financial skullduggery by officials, a friend and I exchanged some thoughts recently.  While these thoughts provoked some merriment, they also make one shudder as to where matters really stand in the corridors of power.  When the constant overpowering diet of stealing and cheating and deceiving and dissociating is clinically considered, a certain standard becomes discernible.

First, quite a few of the names resurfacing with issues attached, now and in the past, are known miscreants, if not serial ones, and have revealing histories of sticky hands.  How could they have been allowed near the piggy bank again?

Second, for real senior and rewarding positions, colour and a particular orientation are unbeatable criteria, and by now both should be undeniably obvious.

Third and here is the key: hiring practices are taken a step further through recruiting mainly those with checkered track records.  Thus, there is no need to fear these incumbents.  They can be trusted not to see anything, or do anything that might result in exposure and embarrassment; or bring the house down.  Contrariwise, people of integrity and who are clean cannot be trusted; they are problems waiting to happen.

Fourth, these veteran hacks and degenerates ‒ principle and ethics are foreign words and concepts to them ‒ not unexpectedly succumb in time to the attractions of their new situations, and tumble willingly into the money pot smearing hand, face, and pocket.  In fact, they are expected to yield to temptation.

Fifth, when all of the aforementioned is considered, a certain method to the political and hiring calculations becomes apparent.  It is that the crooked, compromised loyalists who fall are then too deep in, to squeal, to discover God, to locate conscience; the umbilical fastening grows inseparably tighter.  Nobody knows anything, and a vast nothingness is the order of these developments. The main concern is self-preservation at all levels, and keeping the dough, of course, while contemplating the next financial perversity to be inflicted.  Silence is golden in more ways than one; everything stays intact, the party is happy, the party continues.  Case closed until another of the many currently undetected scoundrels is caught in flagrante delicto.

All of this makes perfect sense, and there is neatness to the Machiavellian simplicity of this modus vivendi.  It has worked well, for the red wall of silence remains impregnable.  While I had a good laugh at this believed well-entrenched scheme, I think the laugh is on me.  For here I am lamenting and preaching about honour and duty (or lack thereof) while the handpicked legion has to be saying: “You deh pun stupidness.  You tink peeple dotish.  Somebady gah fuh duh something with all dis money wha deh round lookin fuh ownah.  Nobady caan duh me nuthin becaaz ah gat secret fuh dem tuh.”

So behind all the public handwringing done by hypocritical party people, there is this officially sanctioned thievery; this beautiful arrangement.  Ignorance and incompetence would have to be criminal to explain the endless parade of thieves exposed to assault the senses almost daily.  It is just the way things are, and it is not farfetched.

Yours faithfully,
GHK Lall

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