Political corruption is one of the significant themes in the novel “The House of the Scorpion. ” Political corruption is the use of power by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Everyday political figures and governments who we rely on to protect us betray us. Whether it is by bribery,extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, embezzlement, criminal enterprise, drug trafficking, money laundering or human trafficking, political officials or governmental systems we look up to have dabbled in corruption here or there.
However, the corrupted governments inside the novel do not differ from our everyday government such as: the American government because both governments inside and outside the novel prevent people from leaving the country, make illegal deals with people and corporations for favours and both have become a country in a state of regression. To begin with, the American government relies on Opium’s border patrol to cease people from leaving the United States of America because they live off the ever deteriorating population. Similarly, everyday people in the United States are prevented from leaving the country.
Per year about 24 million people emmigrate from the USA, and 25% are prevented. However, the reasons why the people are prevented from leaving are not legitimate. The American Government “enraptures” most people into tax schemes, financial issues etc. that prevent them from leaving the country such as the mandate “ObamaCare” scheme. The mandate requires you pay up to 10,000 in fees before leaving the country which has caused a great deal of problems including the shutdown of the American Government. Furthermore, in America there were 2 recent laws waiting to be passed and 1 is still being discussed.
The first law requires all citizens to have a passport in order to pass the border, even when driving into Mexico or Canada. Obtaining a passport, however, is neither free nor guaranteed. You must apply, pay an exorbitant amount of fees, and wait for weeks for the passport to be verified and returned. The second law that is still pending, states that recently, the State Department quietly proposed a new questionnaire as a part of the of the passport application criteria.
The new form requires you to provide things like names, irthplaces, and birth dates of your extended family members, records of blood tests and also and, where you got vaccines, the address of every place you have ever lived in your entire life, and also, the name and location of every school you have ever attended. Most people would find it impossible to provide such information, yet the form requires that the responses “are true and correct” under penalty of fines or imprisonment. If this proposal passes, then US citizens will have a nearly insurmountable hurdle to obtain a passport and be able to leave the country at will.
Even if it does not pass, it is a clear demonstration of what the people who run the country are thinking. However, preventing people from leaving the country is just looking at the base of the tree. Pursuing this further, as we start to climb up our tree we encounter further resemblance of the American government to it’s counterpart in the novel. In the novel the powerful government officials help the people like El Patron stay in power by strangling most businesses in the market.
In the same way the American government officials in our world do many dealings with big people or corporations in return for favours in terms of votes, campaign funding, discounts, or money. For example, in the book by law, clones must be given drugs at birth to stunt their intelligence, making them just a step above vegetables. Matt, avoided this simply because of El Patron’s influence on the government similarly leading corporations and people have influence on the government officials by having a sufficient amount of money to bribe the politicians who let them do bad things and then do it again.
For example in 1997 around the time the Pentagon was converting its documents into digitized storage systems, government official Duke Cunningham proposed a document-digitization system which was 20 million dollars. The system was invented by a company called Wilkes, and it was later known that Wilkes had given Duke Cunningham $630 000 in cash, pre-owned Rolls Royce and a $2000 contribution to his daughters graduation party. Further more money laundering has become a significant factor in every American election.
Another politician, who took bribes from people and corporations was government official Marcelo Co. To begin with, Co had taken bribes from co-conspirators in order to get his friends elected in his office. As a result Co was elected representative of Moreno Valley every year. Pursuing this further, Co had taken a $2. 36 million from a corporation in return for Co to vote for them on land zoning distributions. In spite of being involved in illegal activities, the most shocking occurrence was when FBI investigators discovered that he was siphoning publicly raised funds to his mother in the Philippines.
Together, with Co taking bribes to elect his friends into his office, accepting bribes from corporations, and laundering money to foreigners Marcelo Co is now serving a 20 year sentence in jail. Finally, we reach the top of our tree only to realize all the branches have long been withered. In the book as said by El Patron “The United States has become the equivalent of a third world country. ” America has dropped low in many rankings where it use to be the top competitor due to a government who places attention to a higher degree to weapons development or drug eradication.
Thus, other problems such as education, and the welfare of the people are rarely given attention. Our tree has transitioned from a lively and full to a leafless and withered one. It has become much like the tree in the summer with leaves and beautiful branches becoming withered and leafless in the winter. In fact, a recent survey on where do Americas best days lies, uncovered that, 75% people think “Americas best days lie in the past. ” These staggering statistics indicate how much America, has deteriorated from its former glory.
Furthermore, statistics prove that in most categories America used to be a top competitor prove that America barely reaches the top ten. American participants rank 16th in literacy, 21st in math, and 14th in tech skills beforehand they were at the top of these categories. However, the reasons why the have fallen from these rankings is not because other countries like Japan or Finland advance precipitously, but because America regresses. The reason why America is a underprivileged country is because, it constantly worries about the uncertainty of the future and does not give attention to it’s present.
As said by Dalai Lama, a buddhist spiritual leader “What matters is to live in the present, live now for every moment in the future. ” As a final analysis the American government portrays a bona fide resemblance to its counterpart in the novel “The House of the Scorpion. ” This is due to the American government both inside the novel and outside preventing people from leaving the country, making illegal negotiations with people and corporations and by doing so, has become a country in a state of regression. However, like any other tree it has the potential to change as the seasons go by.