Corruption is normal for humans as we want to get ahead, however extreme corruption, at a societal level can be very detrimental over time. There are two kinds of corruption.
Corruption as defined here is work that benefits one individual or group of society at the expense of others. To clarify what corruption is let’s look at 2 examples.
- A masseuse works and provides massages for a price. They benefit from the money they receive for the service and their customers benefit as they value the massage more than the price of the massage. This is a purely positive exchange.
- A snack is sold from ‘Healthy First’ which has a green label and lots of fresh fruit and a meadow on it. However, the snack actually is high in sugar and unhealthy. The customer purchases it. The company benefits as they make some profit on the snack, however the customer does not benefit as they tried to purchase a healthy product but instead consumed something that made them more unhealthy. This is legal of course.
The first example is fine because everyone benefits. In the second the purchaser loses as they are subtly deceived. If self interested activities result in win / win situations for everyone that is far superior for society.
Avoiding predatory behavior (as much as possible) where self interest harms society is a core problem to avoid.
This is what most people think of when they hear the word corruption and it is a serious threat to any society. However, DC has shown that simply through legal means society can be corrupted to greatly favor the already rich. This is the bigger concern.