Is it possible to contain corruption in our society
ESSAY ON CAUSES OF CORRUPTION AND ITS REMEDIES
The English have not, as a nation, whatever may be supposed by those who gather their estimate of national feeling from the Reviews, much sympathy with this kind of sensitiveness. We have arrived at that happy pitch of national self-esteem, and our national pride is so little disturbed by unwelcome surmises or suspicions that in this or that particular we are really emulated or surpassed by our neighbours, that we calmly set down any one who comes amongst us, and tells us that, in certain matters. John Bull is surpassed by other nations, or an object of ridicule to them, as an ignorant or spiteful twaddler at once, and do not suffer the national temper to be ruffled. however unwillingly, we can even afford to be satirized, or, as we would say, caricatured in some minor particulars, and can magnanimously laugh at the same. But not so with America. She feels, and with reason, that justice has not always been done her in essentials, and by Britain in particular. She knows that there has been a spirit abroad having a tendency to keep the truth and her real praise away from the eye of the world, shrouded behind a vein of coarse ribaldry, and detail of vulgarities which, if not positively untrue, were at least so invidiously chosen, and so confirmatory of prejudice, and so far caricature, when applied to the people as a mass, as almost to bear the stigma of untruth. She has felt that the progress made in a very limited period of time, and amidst many disadvantages, in reclaiming an immense continent from the wilderness, in covering it with innumerable flourishing settlements; her success in the mechanic arts; her noble institutions in aid of charitable purposes; the public spirit of her citizens; their gigantic undertakings to facilitate interior communication; their growing commerce in every quarter of the globe; the indomitable perseverance of her sons; the general attention to education, and the reverence for religion, wherever the population has become permanently fixed; and the generally mild and successful operation of their government, have been overlooked, or only casually mentioned: while the failings, rawness of character, and ill-harmonised state of society in many parts; the acts of lawless individuals, and the slang and language of the vulgar, have been held prominently forward to excite scorn, provoke satire, and strengthen prejudice. In short, she has felt that her true claims upon respect and admiration have been either unknown or undervalued in Europe; and that especially that nation with whom she had the greatest national affinity, was inclined to be the most perseveringly unjust.—Hence partly arises, it may be surmised, the querulous state of sensitiveness, to which allusion has been made, and also that disposition to swagger and exaggerate, which has been laid to the charge of many Americans, not without reason.
24/10/2010 · ESSAY ON CAUSES OF CORRUPTION AND ITS ..
As for their inordinate conceit of the superiority of their country, all the nations of Europe had the like, until they began to know one another; and the cure for it, in America as elsewhere, is greater intercourse with foreigners. Nor must it be forgotten that, to a stranger, both the conceit and the sensitiveness to criticism are likely to appear greater than they are. He sees the Americans in their awkwardest aspect—when they are attempting to do the honours of their country to a foreigner. They are not at their ease with him. They have the feelings as a nation, which we usually see in an individual whose position in society is not fixed. Their place in the estimation of the civilized world is not yet settled. They have but recently come to their importance, and they cannot yet afford to despise affronts. On this subject the liberal remarks of Mr. Latrobe deserve attention. He says, (Vol. I, p. 68.)—