When I was about 13 or 14, I noticed that my peers used to cheat just to get a few more points on tests. Some used to flatter teachers to get more extra-curricular opportunities. Girls flirted with teachers to get opportunities. By the time I was 16, it had become rare for someone not to cheat. I was considered stupid for not cheating. Even teachers had become complicit in mass cheating. At home, I would get chastised for not cheating because they thought I would be left behind, which happened.
At no institution did I ever have a good experience. Both of my highs schools were corrupt. The latter even got its accreditation repealed. Outside of school, I had bad experiences at every government office. I tried to get an internet connection from BSNL. It was a terrible terrible experience. When I applied for a passport, a senior official told me that he had never seen such a complete application. Right outside the office, you could literally buy a passport without getting an appointment, which is the route most took. They just wanted to avoid unneeded bureaucracy.
The problem was not that my peers were cheating but how little they were cheating for. An A in high school has no long term value. I wondered how far they would go when tempted with huge sums of money. I feared what the future would be like when these people become society. Guess what happens when a man has been immoral for all his life: his pride doesn't let him admit his wrongdoings. Instead of repenting, he looks for evidence to justify his wrongdoings. It means my peers probably now have reasons to justify cheating and flattering. The rationalizations/justifications have probably become their long-term permanent attitudes. They are likely to continue to be corrupt until a major event strips them of their pride.
Here is the model -
1. Situations elicit behavior. Elicit immoral behavior by rewarding them and extinguish moral ones by not rewarding them. For example, in high school, my peers were rewarded for flattering teachers and ignored for asking questions.
2. Repeat. The subjects must go under so many cycles that their response becomes conditioned so they no longer even think of moral principles before acting.
3. Overtime, they will get so conditioned that they won’t even know that they have been sinning all their lives.
4. Introduce pride. Pride can take any form, of nation, religion, ethnicity, race, money, etc. All forms of pride blind people. Their pride won’t let them repent. In fact, they will distance themselves from any man who tells them the truth and associate with people who tell sweet lies. They will do everything to restore a healthy ego. They will never repent. There you have an agent of evil.
Growing up, I used to feel like society might be a scam because scams were I ever saw growing up. Since ego only builds up with age, I saw no reason why my peers would suddenly become saints. I didn't say anything openly because I had not yet seen everything by myself. Now that I have experienced enough society, it appears that my fears have come true. Everything is a scam: banking, financial markets, religion, politics, media, education, employment, justice, rights, civil services, political parties. What we call "the system" is nothing but a giant hoax. You just need everyday people who work to earn their living. They produce food, clothes, shoes, furniture, utensils, tools, etc. You can get rid of everything else.
It is mind-boggling for me to see people listening to their governments when they know very well how corrupt they are.