On infidelity and corruption or, how the twain shall meet
Monday´s Comment
On infidelity and corruption or, how the twain shall meet
23. 5. 2016

Before the German invasion of the USSR, Stalin possessed the most detailed set of information about the upcoming attack, including its exact date. He did not trust the dossier, it might have been planted. He had earlier ordered his GRU counterintelligence service to identify specific telltale signs, which would indicate the real state of German preparations for a war of aggression against the Soviet Union. Before long, GRU agents found themselves scooping information all over Europe, regarding the number of live rams, collecting greasy rags and scrap paper, with which troops cleaned their weapons, and sending fuel samples to the USSR… Last week’s reports about adulterous Czech men and women reminded me of the GRU operation and made me ask: How best to assess the level of corruption in the Czech Republic? What telltale signs to look for? The GRU military intelligence organization arrived at correct conclusions. During a war with the USSR, it would be impossible to avoid winter warfare. A blitzkrieg was out of question: Russia was not a Belgium in terms of sheer geography, size of population or the stare of road and rail repair. GRU found out that the stock of European rams remained unchanged, therefore no sheepskin coats were being stitched for millions of German soldiers; gun oil froze in winter conditions, while motor fuel disintegrated into noncombustible components in deep freeze… Many other telltale signs were being studied, but all of them were negative. Their nature is still a closely guarded secrecy today.

Before the German invasion of the USSR, Stalin possessed the most detailed set of information about the upcoming attack, including its exact date. He did not trust the dossier, it might have been planted. He had earlier ordered his GRU counterintelligence service to identify specific telltale signs, which would indicate the real state of German preparations for a war of aggression against the Soviet Union. Before long, GRU agents found themselves scooping information all over Europe, regarding the number of live rams, collecting greasy rags and scrap paper, with which troops cleaned their weapons, and sending fuel samples to the USSR…      

Last week’s reports about adulterous Czech men and women reminded me of the GRU operation and made me ask: How best to assess the level of corruption in the Czech Republic? What telltale signs to look for? The GRU military intelligence organization arrived at correct conclusions. During a war with the USSR, it would be impossible to avoid winter warfare. A blitzkrieg was out of question: Russia was not a Belgium in terms of sheer geography, size of population or the stare of road and rail repair. GRU found out that the stock of European rams remained unchanged, therefore no sheepskin coats were being stitched for millions of German soldiers; gun oil froze in winter conditions, while motor fuel disintegrated into noncombustible components in deep freeze… Many other telltale signs were being studied, but all of them were negative. Their nature is still a closely guarded secrecy today.

Thirty-seven percent of Czech men and women cheat on their spouses, at least according to an April survey. Infidelity is fraud. Corruption is also fraud. Infidelity means cheating a close person, someone you share your most intimate moments with. Corruption means cheating on an anonymous mass of people, with whom one shares almost nothing. I said almost. I am not an expert, but I’d intuitively say that whoever is capable of infidelity will be all the more capable of corruption. Actually, curiosity killed the cat… I leave it to experts to find a closer correlation between both phenomena. They might win multibillion-crown grants from the European Union, which would make it easier for them to tell the full story.           

Some political leaders believe that the cure for corruption is in curbing the possibility, and indeed curbing the role of the state. So be it. A leading proponent of this approach, Marek Benda, has been curbing the role of the state by virtue of being a member of parliament for 26 years now… At the same time, he is a great champion of traditional family and marriage, i.e. relationships based on partnership. But partnership offers itself as a great opportunity for infidelity. To anyone wishing to curb infidelity, I would propose curbing the opportunity for infidelity as a remedy. That means eschewing a stable partner and not starting a family… Infidelity would cease to exist, analogously to corruption, at least according to Mr. Benda…        

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