Exploitation of trust

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Abuse of trust

Human beings instinctively need to trust both individually and collectively. We seek to repose trust in family, friends, confessor or psychoanalyst. The need to trust is extended to institutions as well; institutions to which we are accountable and which have power, sometimes life and death power over our lives. The heads of institutions must be able to accommodate the trust of the many. Institutions are repositories of trust but usually trust in a specific sphere of society or culture.

Trust is both given to an individual or institution and at the same time taken. Giving trust is an action and is not a passive process. When trust is given by the donor it becomes power in the hands of the recipient. Trust can be genuinely earned or acquired by deception or extortion. Trust can be limited to a very narrow field of activity; a lawyer can be trusted to represent one in a court but not to repair cars. When an individual acquires many kinds of trust: political, religious, etc, a demagogue like Hitler can result. The recipient of trust can use the resulting power to benefit those who conferred it or exploit it for their own gain. Repeated disclosures of the abuse of trust by the head of an institution will result in the withdrawal of trust.

Exploiting trust
Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST