For many years, Kazakhstanis have been suffering from corruption in the country and demand to eradicate or at least reduce it. But all these calls are aimed only at fighting the consequences, not the causes. It’s like weeding the leaves of a weed without uprooting the root of the plant itself.

In fact, corruption is a direct consequence of the authoritarian undemocratic construction of society. Where there is no competition between political and social forces, where there is only one centralized vertical power, there is no struggle between parties, there is no real criticism of the ruling elite, there is no transparency in public administration, which means there is ground for corruption. If officials in the state hierarchy are appointed from above, and not elected by the people, then it is enough for any official to negotiate with a superior, or even better to take him into a share and “chop cabbage”.

In a democratic society, where representatives of various political parties are present in any state body and where any violation is fraught with information leakage and public scandal and where key positions in the state hierarchy are elected by the people, it is impossible to agree with all colleagues and competitors. Any official is always under the gun of opponents, which does not allow him to commit crimes in the shadows.

Therefore, it is useless to fight corruption in authoritarian states. All this struggle will be reduced only to replacing some corrupt officials with others, and all this confrontation will be useless until the source of corruption itself is eliminated, that is, the lack of competition in power, the lack of struggle and mutual control of various political forces.

Accordingly, it is necessary not to fight corruption, but to achieve the democratization of society, that is, the presence of many political parties and social movements, the independence of the judiciary from the executive branch, democratic elections of key government positions, regular turnover and electability of power. That’s what will make our country truly democratic and free from corruption.

These words are confirmed by indisputable facts. The list of the least corrupt countries in the world practically coincides with the list of the most democratic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, etc.). The more democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of political activity in a country, the less corruption there is in this country.

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