POVERTY AND NEGLECT
ARNOLD ROGOW AND HAROLD LASSWELL, in their book Power, Corruption, and Rectitude, reported on an analysis they conducted of thirty political bosses “who dominated local governments in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.” All of these bosses had a history of corruption and scandal. The authors discovered two main types of bosses. One type they called the “Game Politician” and the other type they called the “Gain Politician.”
The “Game Politician” had been raised in an emotionally neglectful environment. In the family, there was little expression of love and affection. Often the father was punitive and strict. Thinking back on his childhood, the “Game Politician” could not remember times of happiness. As an adult, the “Game Politician” was manipulative and corrupt in politics so as to acquire “power, prestige, adulation, and a sense of importance.”
The “Gain Politician” had been raised in a family that was emotionally close but suffered from extreme poverty. In adulthood, the “Gain Politician” was corrupt for personal, monetary gain.1 this analysis by Rogow and Lasswell is interesting, but it should be regarded with caution. The investigation is not scientifically systematic. One cannot make any claims that neglect or poverty in childhood Causes corruption in adulthood. Nevertheless, the authors’ premise begs for further research that might indeed establish this fact.