The organization of the Dutch Wast India Company (Verenigde Oostinische Compagnie, VOC) is in many respects comparable with the government bureaucracies of the 17th and 18th century. Like the officials in the administration of the state, the servants of the Company used their position to enrich themselves in a way that nowadays would be called corrupt. But it has been stressed that it would be incorrect to apply modern moral standards on the bureaucracy of the ancien regime. It is in fact impossible to draw a sharp line between what was allowed to the Company's servants overseas and what was forbidden to them. The directors or bewindhebbers of the VOC themselves were not very consistent in these matters. On the one hand, they appointed members of their families and their clients to honourable positions in order to provide them with a moderate salary and a well-spread “free” table during their stay in Asia. On the other hand, the directors tried to keep the monopoly of the VOC intact, which meant that no other Dutch merchants, not even Company's officials, were allowed to carry any trade in Asia on their own account.