Corruption. The central function of the Death process (Hail Shiva!). Restated, corruption is simply the decay of Integration. Integration aka Integrity (think structural integrity) is best described in the phrase, "everything in its proper place". Corruption: "Things are not as they appear." Corruption is portrayed theologically in the classic apple-serpent story, represented by Satan, the forces of evil and like manner of epic, dramatic and apocalyptic language. The various mythologies have corruption covered as well... Grendel comes to mind as an anthropomorphism (or personification) of the concept, for example. While corruption, on a large scale, can be considered as 'evil', in daily life this force is much more mundane. Here Screwtape's bureaucratic machinations are far handier a metaphor.
Corruption is anything that breaks down the continuity of one's internal order & structure. In our contemporary societies, we are all beset by constant pressure to conform to countless external rules, conditions and moral & ethical procedures & statutes. One must work hard, often against the non-stop flow of traffic to assert one's True colors in the world. Fear is the strong arm of Corruption, 'forcing' us into situations wherein we give up following our inner feelings, in exchange for some awesome sounding experience(s). This is our individual re-experiencing of that infamously terrible fruit-based exchange (of my prior mention) set in idyllic surroundings from our collective memory.
The compromised individual (and we are all a bit so) is pressed into the service of further corruptions, and the slow, gradual decline into utter disintegration carries on as scheduled. Whenever we encounter corruption outside of ourselves, we are shocked ("I am shocked, outraged and hurt, frankly!"), yet we neglect to observe the sheer irony of this projective scenario. "Something must be done about all this corruption!" Indeed. Go ahead and get on your internal situation, and when you 'complete' that, or at least make a great deal of headway, only then can we make use of your talents on external clean-up efforts. Most assuredly, you will have a less damning perspective at that point. 'Fighting corruption' is about as useful (and enjoyable) as repeatedly punching one's self straight in the face. What we require is a modicum less outrage, and a bushel's more Integrity.
Setting the example takes courage. Activism is the coward's way. So is combat, and I happen to have the credentials & experience to escape such a statement unharmed (trust me... I'd know). What is True Integrity? This is a huge question, that I shall do my best to answer. 'The state of being whole' is an excellent starting point. What does wholeness have to do with ethics, morals and 'right behavior'? It all goes back to pressure. Wholeness implies solidity. Unshakableness. Where does this foundation arise from? Internally-developed structural moral frameworks. Morals decided through an application of one's experience, Intuition and Logical cognitions become our personal Wisdom. A moral precept taken from another, a book, a 'law', etc. is not truly 'yours', unless it has been integrated with your own Inner Truths. Corruption is a house of cards, a facade of ethical behavior that immediately collapses with the application of appropriate pressure. [A aside here, this principle is how our society is currently controlled, blackmail being the pressure, and the 'house of cards' being all of our social institutions. All of them. Every single one. Yes, it's a mess. Integrity is required to survive this impending collapse. Get your internal house clean & ready.]
True beliefs, no matter how subconsciously hidden from even our own awareness, cannot be modified at any price. Corruption manifests as layers of deceptions hastily stacked one a-top another, and we are quite loathe to commit to a full demolition and follow-on new construction project. We attempt to get away with as minimal growth towards Integration as humanly possible. This is, again, primarily due to the Fear of such a daunting prospect, and encouraged by the various social & cultural norms. "Nobody's doing it" is as influential as "Everybody's doing it". What 'everybody' is doing at the moment is corruption, and 'everybody' is not exactly enjoying it. One at a time, let's get our part of 'everybody' trying this Integration thing. Life all around will become less chaotic & hopeless. Focus on Living for Meaning, instead of Dying for Fun.