Earth & Conservation

How Communism Breeds Corruption

Romania scrapped a controversial corruption bill after thousands of citizens protested. Why are former communist states more corrupt?

In February, Romania quietly passing a controversial executive order that would make it difficult to convict officials for corruption and abuses of power. This anti-corruption bill sent shockwaves throughout the country and thousands of Romanians protested. The executive order was quickly rescinded in response.

This was the largest uprising in nearly 30 years, but Romania has a long and storied history with battling corruption. The country, along with most of Eastern Europe, aligned with the Soviet Union and adopted a centralized economy, meaning price controls and all production was controlled by the state. This system is highly corruptible, as businesses were only able to function by offering bribes and kickbacks to politicians.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, many countries adopted democratic institutions, but they failed to get rid of corrupt individuals and practices. So does communism breed corruption?

Learn More:

DW: Romania decriminalizes official misconduct amid mass protests

RFERL: Corruption Is The New Communism

New York Times: In Romania, Corruption's Tentacles Grip Daily Life