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IC Course Lecture: CORRUPTING INFLUENCES
Friday, February 20th, 2015
Lecture by Dr. Bill English
Larry Lessig has a concept of Institutional Corruption (IC) as a deviation from the purpose of the organization. This is shown graphically by a compass pointing north--true north is the purpose of the organization; if you get pulled off of true north (like with a magnet pulling the compass off of north), that represents corrupting influences.
So the number one question is what is the purpose of your organization? Why does it deviate from that purpose?
You cannot engineer out conflicts completely, but you can manage them. You manage with the law, norms of the group, markets or the architecture of the organization. It is an engineering question-- how do you manage the conflicts?
The nature of bad influences can be either an improper dependence (you are supposed to depend on the people and instead you depend on lobbyists) or an improper sphere of activity.
Check: What purpose does my organization serve? What do we depend on? (who funds us, for example). What are the truly essential factors to the purpose?
Question if all of the dependencies are legitimate; perhaps, but they are held in balance with each other.
Example: UNC Football; they had become too dependent on athletics and not on education. Note, dependencies need to be balanced.
Government cannot transgress certain boundaries. What can't the State do? Government power should not be for sale.
And what sphere are you operating in? There are spheres in which it is wrong for government to go into; this type of conflict is what led to the English Bill of Rights in 1687.
What is the purpose of Homeland Security? What corrupts the organization?
What are the boundaries of the organization--the purpose of the organization needs to be consistent with spheres in which it operates.
In IC, there are 2 spheres where there should be moral boundaries, and there is not--they intersect too much. Check, what spheres can be included or excluded in the purpose of the institution. Key: what rules preserve our sense of boundaries. Rules are essential in creating boundaries between spheres.