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Friday, 8 December 2017

Culture of cheating

A few days ago, the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. BBC: "It follows an investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Games hosted by Russia in Sochi." Several articles claim there is a culture of sports cheating in Russia (eg, FTJapan Times, WaPo).

In 2017, Deutsche Bank "paid over $670 million in civil penalties to US and UK regulators" for its "role in a $10 billion Russian money laundering scheme" (eg, CNN, Guardian).

Robert Mueller is Special Counsel investigation on the Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. His investigation is about Russian cheating. The structure of Russian involvement was outlined in my 2017 blog: The 45th President - Follow The Russian Money.

On 1 December 2010, Slate magazine published an article called: The Cheating Cheaters of Moscow. Byline: "How infidelity has become accepted and even expected in Russia". Other articles support this view: Elena's Models, Moscow Times, and Russia Beyond.

Early 2002, Jan R Magnus, then professor of econometrics at Tilburg University, published a study called: "Tolerance of Cheating: An Analysis Across Countries" (PDF). This study covered Israel, Netherlands, Russia (Moscow), Russia (provinces) and USA. The study indicated a higher tolerance for cheating in Russia. 

The study's tentative explanations included an "attitude to the law and to officials": "In the former USSR, the judicial system served as an instrument of the party, and a common view was that officials are enemies. This attitude existed toward policemen, civil servants, train conductors, and also toward teachers, and may explain the strong negative attitude toward informers among Russian students." 

Study: "It seems plausible that the same cultural factors influence other behavior such as tax evasion or corruption. If so, one may expect that cheating and corruption are closely correlated, and this would be of interest because perceived corruption is much more difficult to measure than perceived cheating." Indeed, Russia ranks badly in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index.

The above covers 6 out of the 7 Belief systems, being Love, Money, Philosophy, Politics, Science and the TruthReligion seems exempt but the Russian Orthodox Church is not independent (eg, Politico, R&P). It's safe to conclude that Russia has a philosophical belief in cheating.

The Dutch have a saying which literally translates into: "The innkeeper trusts his guests after his own character" (source). Example: Basil Fawlty, the innkeeper of Fawlty Towers. The English equivalent is: "Evil doers are evil dreaders" (Oxford). These Dutch and English sayings (probably) explain the many "misunderstandings" between Russia and the West.

Cheating (2013) by John Newman - artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

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