It is known as kleptocracy to the system of government that, instead of looking for the common benefit , is focused on the enrichment of its own leaders , for which it takes advantage of public resources.
The kleptocracy, therefore, implies the institutionalization of corruption and theft for the benefit of rulers . This type of system appeals to clientelism at nepotism and other mechanisms to loot the state.
It is understood by clientelism to the methodology that puts into practice any person with power, such as a ruler, when he grants to certain others Benefits on the condition of receiving something in return, especially favors, submission or ideological support. In the specific case of politics, where this term is often used a lot, candidates for public office can rely on clientelism to get more votes.
Another of the concepts related to kleptocracy mentioned in the first paragraph is nepotism; It can be defined as the preference that certain public officials have when granting jobs, since they choose their close ones, such as their relatives and friends, regardless of whether they have the necessary skills. In countries where kleptocracy does not reign, nepotism is considered a form of corruption.
Although corruption and illegal actions can be recorded in all government systems, what distinguishes kleptocracy is the extension of these practices to all areas and as the essence of the regime. This particularity guarantees the impunity , since there is no sector of power that is exempt from the crime. If he Executive power control the Legislative power and dominates the Power of attorney , kleptocracy can be strengthened and perpetuated.
Among the most common practices of a kleptocracy are the diversion of funds from the national budget (money is not used for what it should be used for) and the increase in taxes (which allows the government to have additional funds without having to provide direct consideration). Rulers who get rich, meanwhile, often have front men and bank accounts in tax havens so that it is not easy to prove the crimes.
The concept of figurehead It is used in several areas, such as psychology, literature and laws, to refer to the individual who impersonates another at the legal level, giving him his identity completely including his name and signature, or representing his social role in a legal level In the context of kleptocracy, it is a figurehead who lends his person for the execution of fraudulent business in exchange for certain benefits, such as tax evasion. It should be noted that in Uruguay and Spain, for example, this figure is not considered illegal.
A system as corrupted as in a kleptocracy it usually causes serious damage to the country. Theft and misuse of public money destroy the economy, generating unemployment. Social problems, in turn, are not adequately addressed by the rulers. This multiplies the poverty , the violence and other scourges.
From a historical point of view, Latin America and Africa have been the parts of the world where more cases of kleptocracy have been recorded. On the other hand, certain analysts use the word "kleptocracy" to negatively criticize the political processes thanks to which large companies get influence in the political environment of a country.
The North American activist Ralph Nader He used the term "kleptocracy" to describe his own country during the 2000 elections, giving it the meaning mentioned in the previous paragraph. It is worth mentioning that in this case it is more correct to talk about plutocracy, the organization of a society according to which the richest are those who control the government.