noted earlier. To move to this final stage of maturation, people must be willing to confront the nature of individuality and inequality.continues to be the crucial ingredient as
An emotionally logical argument will run something like:
I require a viable functioning community to meet many of my everyday needs… if a community exists to meet my needs, and I have become aware that others are like me, then others must have the same requirement for community—to meet their needs.
But a community only does things through its members making the effort… and so communal life requires my personal efforts, in some appropriate fashion, to meet the genuine needs of others.
This notion of a community existing for its members was where the concept of governing began, but it has taken a long maturational process for this to be culturally viewed as part of the nature of things.
Yes—but not as social institutions.
The misunderstanding may lie in the existence of personal approach to making ethical choices.as a
Theconviction comes from an awareness that we are social animals; and looking after ourselves entails a natural obligation to look after others amongst whom we choose to live.
Sohas long been promoted by communitarians, and has occasionally led to experiments with actual communities. It usually manifests as an ideology of public services and advocacy bodies.
However, prior to this point, it is not feasible to convert society-wide political institutions appreciated by the majority, because society is not sufficiently mature.into
Social groups will become aware thatis a means to serve each and all in regard to communal living. Political failure will lead to communities fragmenting as people remove themselves mentally and/or physically.
Just as there is a deep inequality implicit in personal individuality, communities are unequal in their own uniqueness. They may compete to keep good individuals, just as individuals can compete to be valued within a community.
The political and governmental preoccupation turns to what its citizenry and community really need, rather than on waging distant wars, interfering in foreign countries, or manipulating money and markets for electoral purposes.
In particular, all intentions or promises to meet needs in the future will be costed and adequately funded by willing agreement with the community. The monetary system is likely to be completely reformed with free-banking enabling any community to look after its own prosperity. Such an ethos will encourage people to become risk-aware and to expect communal risks to be sensibly addressed.
What counts are the actual territorial communities where people live and potentially interact. These will only thrive within a philosophy ofin which political power is maximally devolved. That gives those in government the possibility to grasp the issues and see effects of their choices.
is about ensuring decisions are taken as close as possible to those affected i.e. the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. There will still need to be several tiers of government, but the unnecessary expensive intrusions from higher levels must reduce.
The tragedy is that ordinary citizens are not recognizable in vast societies defined by most Nations. No national politician ever knows either what is going on in most towns and districts, or the effects, both expected and unintended, of most central government decisions. Centralization, nation-creation, and hegemonic aspirations are usually power-centred and paranoid, not person- and community-centred.
Centralization to increase power and let government 'do more' or 'use economies of scale', must be thrown into reverse gear. A central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks that cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level.
This makes corruption a local matter, so affecting lesser powers and smaller sums. Governmental incompetence is also likely to continue but the damage should be more localized, more varied, less severe and less wasteful.
More on tiers and their appropriate responsibilities: see the section on the natural political territories at the end of this Satellite.
After safety and the ability to make a living, everyone regards being valued and respected in their community as important. The social implications of personal attitudes and behaviours will come to the fore in public attention.
The view that individuals have many potentials will provide opportunities to discover value. So the ethos will oppose tendencies to mindlessly label people. Mature mutuality free of stereotypes will still be a long way away, but scapegoating attitudes should become increasingly unacceptable.
The other consequence of recognizing individuality will be a far better use of the diversity within the community. The source of prosperity in the specialization of labour has been recognized since the days of Adam Smith at least, but that was still an instrumental perspective.
At this stage, it becomes desirable and possible to generate a vigorous community through the distinctive emotional and psychological strengths that people have. Social well-being will burgeon through this form of specialization dedicated directly to what social life is all about—gratifying social interaction.
Provision of Knowledge:
The Internet made access to information easy, but did not make officialdom pleased to reveal its activities and knowledge (“people will misunderstand” or “people will get anxious”). Laws guaranteeing freedom of information required too much bureaucratic cooperation and were vitiated by often invoked clauses allowing secrecy 'in the public interest'.
Terrorism and criminality, the excuses for secrecy, will not disappear—but people will be unwilling to allow governments to attack the same values that terrorists and criminals disdain. Perhaps all information could be made available automatically without an exceptionally good reason, and that judgement could be made by a random panel of citizens.
could well emerge as the key value. People desire and enjoy living peacefully and working hard in secure communities. There are many examples of long-standing peaceful coexistence amongst disparate ethnic groups in a town or district—until coexistence gets disrupted and poisoned by outside forces for extraneous political purposes.
All earlierthrive when peace reigns, and are often put aside when it does not. War exhausts itself, but the capacity for peace is inherent and self-sustaining. If the desire for peace is strong, the use of hate to unite a society may possibly be rejected. Although border skirmishes and revolutionary insurgency may continue in many countries, the probability of total war between prosperous civilized societies might become rather unlikely.
One of the primary features ofhas been engaging in wars. In earlier times, wars of plunder and glory; in more recent times, wars of national interest.
Re-directing the massive expenditure wasted on the uneconomic and inefficient military could solve numerous domestic problems. But, until this final Stage, political goals were never primarily about the common good or the public interest.
The glory of war is a sham, the waste of life is tragic. In recent times, we know that survivor-veterans are often physically and mentally damaged, neglected by governments and rejected by the rest of the community.
The aspiration inof altruism may be asking too much. However, people living peacefully in a community are capable of activating their own good nature, being helpful to others when possible, contributing appropriately to community life, and rising to challenges in emergencies. This disposition in regard to civic and political matters can be summed up as « ».
Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 11-Apr-2014