Interesting story on subverting democracy.
Conflict between different notions of behaviour. The UK government is (allegedly) impersonal. No room for favours for friends from community even if you've spent a life-time together. In other cultures such loyalty to community is not merely accepted but expected as being good.
I wonder how much the "impersonality" style is related to "alienation" in the market. Does an impersonal market also breed propriety? After all it's traditional cultures without long traditions of markets where nepotism is an important principle of economic distribution. This is also a real problem for discussions of GiftCulture. Most traditional GiftEconomies are actually based on allocation of goods according to traditional roles and rights. Doesn't this look a lot like nepotism when put in charge of a complex civil machine like government?
Of course, could be a lot of Western hypocrisy too. Doesn't this go on in heart of Western capitalism? (the axis of Enron)
Three Quarks on Theroux and Sachs : http://3quarksdaily.blogs.com/3quarksdaily/2006/01/mondaymusingi.html