Elsewhere he has enumerated the right to ignore traffic laws as an unearned privilege that accrues to the Thai elite."The gift giving which flows as a tangible sign of respect is the slippery slope that descends easily into corruption. It becomes the basis of patronage and the client/patron relationship."
I expect that he'd approve of the following passage from Charlotte Jay's The Yellow Turban in which a character looks back at his arrival in Pakistan:
"If the doctor had offered me his bribe a month or so later after I had contracted a few of the local money-getting habits, I might not have been so overwhelmed with indignation. But I was new to the land. I obeyed the signals of traffic police without thinking and was shocked when Iqubal had slipped past them. I queued up at the post office for stamps, instead of thrusting my way through the grubby peons gathered round the window and slamming my money on the desk, as I was to do a month later. And the taking of a bribe was neatly labelled in my mind as antisocial—even criminal perhaps."and this:
"Naturally he had heard of the corruption of the East but he had, I think, believed that this was largely a charge manufactured by certain Europeans to explain their own failure to understand the Oriental, and that with the departure of the British such evils would simply and automatically cease. And he was too honest and naïve to stand up to the collapse of his ideals."Jay, an Australian, lived in Thailand when the novel, published in 1955, was released, according to a blurb for my edition. I'd guess from the two passages I cite here that she, like Moore, thought with considerable insight about what happens when Westerners try — and, in the second case, fail — to adjust to Eastern notions of conduct and ethics.
© Peter Rozovsky 2010