In 2015, Sarah Chayes came out with her book Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security.
She has since moved to West Virginia, where she’s writing a book about corruption in the United States. It’s a take off on Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.
Working title? Kleptocracy in America.
Kleptocracy – as in – government by thieves.
“I was loading a lot into Thieves of State,” Chayes told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview last week. “I was saying that violent religious extremism is actually related to governmental corruption, not religious ideology. That was a big thing to try and say. I didn’t want to load this book down with too much controversial analysis.”
“But I did have a chapter at the end that looked at Iceland, Ireland and the United States in the lead up to the 2008 financial disaster. Many of the factors I was identifying in developing countries were visible in the West. And if we weren’t careful to try and put some constraints on systemic corruption in the West, we were going to suffer the same kind of extremist uprising that could take who knows what form. And that we were susceptible to some kind of extremist uprising.”
“Now that book came out in 2015. I thought there was a little more time. I didn’t expect a version of an extreme reaction so quickly. But that’s what we got in this country in 2016. Much of the vote for Bernie Sanders and the vote for Donald Trump was one of these wrecking ball, smash the system, anti-corruption votes.”
“Paradoxically, what we came out with in my view is not just more of the same, but a doubling down on the type of corrupt practices that made a lot of people indignant.”
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