Nepotism is the lowest and least imaginative form of corruption | bambinoides.com

Nepotism is the lowest and least imaginative form of corruption

Nepotism is based on favoritism granted to relatives in various fields, including business, politics, entertainment, sports, religion and other activities.

The term originated with the assignment of nephews to important positions by Catholic popes and bishops.

The term comes from Italian word nepotismo, which is based on Latin root nepos meaning nephew. Since the Middle Ages and until the late 17th century, some Catholic popes and bishops, who had taken vows of chastity, and therefore usually had no legitimate offspring of their own, gave their nephews such positions of preference as were often accorded by fathers to son.

Several popes elevated nephews and other relatives to the cardinalate. Often, such appointments were a means of continuing a papal “dynasty”. For instance, Pope Callixtus III, head of the Borgia family, made two of his nephews cardinals; one of them, Rodrigo, later used his position as a cardinal as a stepping stone to the papacy, becoming Pope Alexander VI. Alexander then elevated Alessandro Farnese, his mistress’s brother, to cardinal; Farnese would later go on to become Pope Paul III.

Paul III also engaged in nepotism, appointing, for instance, two nephews, aged 14 and 16, as cardinals. The practice was finally limited when Pope Innocent XII issued the bull Romanum decet Pontificem, in 1692. The papal bull prohibited popes in all times from bestowing estates, offices, or revenues on any relative, with the exception that one qualified relative (at most) could be made a cardinal

 

“Nepotism is the lowest and least imaginative form of corruption.”
― Daniel Alarcón, At Night We Walk in Circles / 

Daniel Alarcón’s fiction and nonfiction have been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Virginia Quarterly Review, Salon, Eyeshot and elsewhere. He is Associate Editor of Etiqueta Negra, an award-winning monthly magazine based in his native Lima, Peru. His story collection, War by Candlelight, was a finalist for the 2006 PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award, and the British journal Granta recently named him one of the Best Young American Novelists. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Fulbright Scholarship (2001), a Whiting Award (2004), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2007). He lives in Oakland, California, and his first novel Lost City Radio was published in February 2007.

 

United States

Around 30 family members or relatives of President Ulysses S. Grant prospered financially in some way from either government appointments or employment.

John F. Kennedy made his brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, the first director of the Peace Corps and his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, Attorney General.

In December 2012, a report from the Washington Post indicated various nepotism practices from the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia’s Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), including one family with five members working for the MWAA. One of the reasons given by the associate general counsel to defend the alleged nepotism was “if [the employees are] qualified and competed for [the positions] on their own, I don’t see a problem with relatives working in the same organization.” The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Congress pressured the MWAA to resolve practices of nepotism. Authority employees are no longer allowed to directly or indirectly influence hiring or promotion of relatives, as documented in their ethics policy.

Nepotism is also practiced in the NBA, as Philadelphia 76ers chairman of basketball operations Jerry Colangelo named his son Bryan Colangelo his general manager without a thorough search for the position.

On 9 January 2017, then-president-elect Donald Trump appointed his son-in-law Jared Kushner as a senior adviser to the president, raising both ethical questions and legal questions about whether this appointment will conflict with a 1967 federal anti-nepotism law. He then announced on 29 March 2017 that his eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, would also become an official White House employee.

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