The insidious practice of corruption cripples institutions, consumes communities, and cuts deeply into the very structure of people's lives. It destroys nations and saps their moral fiber. Corruption is invasive and unforgiving, degrading governance, distorting and criminalizing national priorities, and privileging acquisitive rent-seeking, patrimonial theft, and personal gains over concern for the commonweal. It also costs an estimated $1 trillion annually - roughly a loss of 2 percent of global GDP - and disproportionally affects the most needy countries and their peoples. This opening essay shows that these baleful results need not occur: the battle against corrupt practices can be won, as it has been in several contemporary countries and throughout history. Ethical universalism can replace particularism. Since collective behavioral patterns and existing forms of political culture need to be altered, anticorruption endeavors must be guided from the apex of society. Consummate political will makes a critical difference. Anticorruption successes are hard-won and difficult to sustain. This essay and this special issue show what can and must be done.