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Reader feedback: No wake-up call

Oscar, I disagree with you that if Tom "had not written the article, fewer people would have known about this issue, and likely less would be done about it".

First of all, I don't think that Tom's assertions that bribery is rampant in Slovakia took many people by surprise.

Second, I am not discouraging journalists from writing about this, or any, issue. What I am discouraging is Tom's advocacy of the attitude that this is "just the way things are in Slovakia" and that you have to bribe to survive.

From Tom's article, I understood that he thinks the situation is intolerable and that he believes government officials should do more to limit bribery and corruption in the public sector by passing more laws or whatnot. I agree that the government obviously has a role to play in this fight.

However, my point was that regardless of whether the government does a single thing, we each as individuals have moral choices that we can and do make every day. We do not have to wait until the government decides to act, and our moral choices do not depend on first having a law passed. Again, who will force government to change if not the average citizen who decides that they would like a better society and that they are not going to tolerate bribery and corruption any more? I think that it is inconsistent and hypocritical to say that bribery is bad and in the same breath say that I am willing to bribe someone. This is what I think Tom did.

Finally, do you really think that Tom's article is going to make politicians any more determined to fight corruption? Since I don't think many politicians will be surprised to hear that corruption and bribery are common in Slovakia, I don't think Tom's article will be the wake-up call for governmental change that you seem to think it will.

Eric M. Roberts

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