Third World countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, and just about any other nation you can think of that is currently afflicted with chronic, large scale domestic terrorism issues are also riddled with corruption, maladministration and huge gulf between the rich and poor. Corruption seems to go hand in hand with poverty. But which causes the other? We all know that endemic corruption, and all the maladministration that can come along with that, can keep a country from being able to advance out of poverty. But I have another theory, I think widespread poverty may be fostering a culture of corruption. Think about where the leaders came from. They might have been born into poverty (or lived growing up with a very real fear of poverty) and later clawed their way up. They lived in survival mode and now even when they have wealth and power they are still in that mentality where they will do anything to get more personal wealth. They might have engaged in petty corruption while they were climbing up the ladder, then one thing leads to another and they have sold out any ethical values they might have once held. There's a strange paradox and that is that the more poverty that exists in a society, the less altruism that society feels towards others. While a few cases of poverty might elicit sympathy, they are just overwhelmed with all the poverty they see around them and it's easier just to shut it out. People are afraid that they themselves could fall into poverty, the visible poverty they see all around them, and they shift into more of a survival mode, self-preservation where the individual comes first. There's not much room for empathy towards others, or a sense of civic duty. This no doubt encourages corruption. People in these societies desperately want to have economic security, and will often pursue money at any cost, despite risk to themselves or morals that have to be sacrificed. This of course could lead to a perpetual cycle of poverty (theoretically), where poverty causes corruption and endemic corruption keeps the country in poverty. Of course, there are probably other factors that create the culture of corruption as well. So the question can be asked: What are these other reasons that these countries are so corrupt? Is it the people? Is it something about their culture? Their religion or values? More worryingly, if these people come to other countries are they going to bring their culture of corruption with them?