An essay from CRIonline, translated by CDT:
Chinese characters are brilliant. For instance, the character for corruption, fu (ËÖê), has a “government” on the top and “flesh” in the bottom, meaning officials becoming rotten. Something that rots will “wither” – bai (Ë¥•), thus the word fu bai for corruption.
From the human perspective, corruption stems from personal desire, resulting in an insatiable quest for money or property in an illegitimate or illegal manner. The external reason for corruption to happen is the disfunctioning of political management. Sporadic money chasing is fu, but not bai. But done over and over again, it becomes fu bai for sure.
In corruption, money and property are the media. Then there are women. Some corrupt officials consider having a mistress, or er nai, to be a pride or evidence of ability. “You don’t have an er nai? Then you are not capable enough.” A typical example is Zhang Erjiang, Tianmen city secretary of Hubei, who had 108 mistresses. [Full Text in Chinese]
Conclusion of history: if official spirit is upright, then civilian spirit is upright too; if official spirit turns evil, civilian spirit will too. If social spirit turns evil, then a hundred evils sprout up, either the powerful bullying the weak, or widening wealth gap, or thugs looting the innocent, or evils sweeping justice, and law will become nothing but words.
Corruption is not only the origin of all evils, it’s the head of evils. Ancient saying goes, prostitution is the head of all evils. In fact, compared with corruption, prostitution is way behind. Prostitution damages morals, breaks up families and triggers epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases (STD), that’s it. But corruption brings out so many of the evils we mentioned above. And every corrupt official spirals around in the evil cycle.
So corruption is the “mother cancer” of all social ills. Everything else is just a “child cancer.” If corruption is mingled with something, it will mess up a good thing. Or, the company of corruption leads to the failure of everything.
[Full Text in Chinese]
See People’s Net’s “Zhang Erjiang on trial (Chinese)”