ANOTHER VIEW OF CORRUPTION—NOT SHARING. David Brooks, in this article praising what he thinks were the best magazine articles of 2010, called my attention to this brilliant article by Lawrence Rosen. It contains this definition of corruption, which he says hold true throughout the Arab world: “Corruption is the failure to share any largess you have received with those with whom you have formed ties of dependence.” With this world view, nepotism is a good thing. Kickbacks are “just buying and selling.” Thinking about it, I recognize that this alternative point of view applies to a degree to a lot of political thinking, from ancient Rome to American politics today—and to family life around the world.

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