Res publica and corrupt public officers

In classical republican thought the duty of public officers is to promote the public good or general interest. When public officers use their positions to promote their own interests instead of those of the public at large, then republicans will speak of corruption.

To put straight forward: corruption is the abuse of public office for private gain at the cost of the public good.

Corruption has many forms, the bribery of civil servants – common in many parts of the world – is probably one of the most well-known forms. Another common type of corruption is the embezzlement of public funds by government officials.

In ancient Athens people who were suspect of being potential usurpers, could face ostracism – i.e. (temporary) exile from the polis. The idea behind this was that by removing such persons, they would not be a threat any longer.

In our opinion public officers who have been convicted for corruption should be punished with deportation to a penal colony. Additional their property should be confiscated, also they should be striped from their right to vote and hold public office.