What the fighters against corruption are silent about. Six pillars of Ukrainian corruption

18/ 07/ 2018

Author: Maksym Karyzhsky, the founder of the management and communications consulting agency “Karyzhsky Communications”

Corruption in Ukraine will be ineradicable, while public politics will be much more profitable than business.

People strive for power because very power was one of the sources of excess profits, and now it remains its only source. The Institute of Electronic Declarations is a confirmation: electronic declarations filled by high ranking politicians and government officials reflected the situation in which all the same high ranking politicians and officials, without high salaries, declare, for example, $ 500 thousand. People strive for power in order to trade power. This, in turn, is a completely different type of relationship in which application of anti-corruption legislation is not predictable. After all, corruption is abuse of power, and in Ukrainian politics such abuse is the norm, it is the basic process.

The solution is maximum liberalization and deregulation. Entrepreneurial talent must be realized in a free market with fewer risks than in a bureaucratic post.

The solution is liquidation of state monopolies. Very for the sake of control over such monopolies the “oligarchs” finance politicians and then demand appointments of their own people to the management of such companies as Ukroboronprom, Ukrspetsexport, Ukrspirt, Ukrzaliznytsia and the like.

The solution is control of motivation during employment. Check on the lie detector before employment to the position of an official and a good way to prevent appointment of people who go to the civil service for enrichment in an illegal way.

The high cost of admission to politics. High dependence of a politician being elected, in money and mass media.

The more funds can be spent on the election campaign, the more politicians depend on the owners of such funds. If the media can agitate for candidates and keep the same candidates in prime time, then the candidates will be dependent on the media owners (especially the largest TV channels). How to make politicians independent of funds and owners of key and largest media? For example, to get rid of political advertising as a phenomenon. If there is no political advertising, then the need for funds will decrease. And in such a situation, politicians will be forced to approach not to the oligarchs or media magnates, but to voters, in representation of whose interests they will automatically become interested. Very shut off of legal channels of high costs will force politicians to really take into account the needs of society/voters and at the same time reduce their dependence on capital and media.

More frequent elections could be an effective tool for reduction of the amount of financial motivation of voters. There is an example – rotation of a third of the US Congress every two years. Frequent elections would have drained the cash funds of the politics sponsors.

The status of privilege should be given to the right to vote.

Introduction of voting qualification is important and feasible within the framework of the Constitution condition for improving the quality of politics and reducing the level of corruption in it through the conscious voting of citizens.

A significant number of people do not pay taxes independently and has no motive to participate personally in monitoring of political decisions and government expenditure. A significant number of people refer to politics as a soap opera, where citizens are not players. Politics happens in their lives as a one-time event of elections. And on very such citizens shadow ways of motivation at elections. Not because their votes are bought, but because there is an irrational motive. After all, in the minds of the voters, the politician who fulfilled the pre-election promise is a good politician. And the politician who pays 500 UAH for each vote as if fulfills the promise even before the elections!

How to wean off people of taking money for voting? Or minimize the proportion of those who vote only for money? The status of privilege should be returned to the right to vote. For example: to reduce the amount of tax on personal income or increase pension / scholarship, if a person voluntarily refuses from the right to vote. The choice will be appreciated only if it becomes a privilege.

People will not control the power until their personal taxes are paid for them by the employer.

In the times of Kuchma-Kravchuk there was a certain pact between the state and citizens. The state did not require taxes from citizens. The subjects of tax payment were legal entities, unlike Europe and America, where a citizen receives money first, and then pays his/her own tax. It is in this case that a person becomes interested in how the state spends money. And in Ukraine, enterprises have long been not the subjects of profit and innovation formation, but the agents of the Ministry of Finance (and now the SFS) in collection of taxes. There will never be a liability to citizens for the money spent, while citizens will not treat budgetary funds as their own. As long as this continues, clarifying the transparency of budget expenditures will be only an element of competition between the participants of power, and not the subject of relations between society and authorities.

Moreover, it is no accident that this situation persists from one tax reform to another. Thus the power protects itself from the prospect of real control by the citizens. So, we need to monetize taxes, just as many experts point out the need for monetization of benefits.

Human relations in our society are more important than the law. And this is a cultural problem.

There is a problem of protection of authorities and immunity to any anti-corruption movement, which is reinforced by the creation of parallel structures. What to do with the primacy of human relations before the law? This is a question that should be considered seriously. After all, no matter how perfect the law is, it will not be fulfilled if people do not benefit from it. That is why real progress in the fight against corruption will begin only when the law will be implemented at the level of the simplest everyday situations, for example, when parking a car in an unauthorized place.

The use of force and the re-establishment of law and order from the very bottom, which will affect every citizen. Corruption means getting an illegal good. Only inevitability of punishment can force people not to accept a bribe. According to the Razumkov Center, the Ukrainians are supportive of corruption. In 2015, investigation was conducted, according to which 58% of the Ukrainians asked what Europe means for you, answered “a high level of income”, then – “protection of rights”, then – “visa-free”, and only in fourth place – “the primacy of law”. That is, the law is important for only 16% of the Ukrainians.

When the masses feel the action of the machine for the legal use of violence, then they will become interested in those who control this machine. In the meantime, no one is interested in a real fight against corruption: neither 84% of the citizens of the state, nor those who spend the budget, nor those who must implement anti-corruption legislation.

Establishment of parallel repressive structures, such as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine / National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption / State Bureau of Investigation, lead to competition between these structures.

The institution of corruption will take advantage of their competition with pleasure. It’s one thing – if there is a political decision that establishment of such parallel structures takes place for the purpose of deconsolidation of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine. If there is no such task in the state, then establishment of such parallel structures appears not simply unproductive in the fight against corruption, but also such that promotes corruption itself. After all, in the presence of structures parallel to the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, corrupt officials choose their own ways to move, if one agency does not meet their needs, they can go to another and solve their problems there, or use internal intrigues in these structures to achieve their goals.


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