Politics > Spiral of Political Maturation > Arrival of Participative Pluralism

Arrival of Participative Pluralism

The same basic principles of pluralism appear in different forms at different stages of political development.

ClosedClick to see the Matrix of Features

Better viewing: narrow or close left navigation column; use browser zoom if needed.

Categories Pluralism
Source of
Intrinsic and
Money and
its control
The strengths of the people
Commonality Fundamentals
Integrating Force Popular ideals Culture-based
Sectional Socially useful
Socio-Political Institution Enduring groups Based in tradition or brute power Based on
Communities of choice
Political actors Privileged
Community leaders
Individuality Fundamentals
Access to
social goods
Under control
of elites
Via lobbying and
group pressure
Criteria of sensible fairness
Maintenance of
& social pressure
Provision of
Management of
Propaganda &
Via crusades &
Easy accessibility
via many sources
Personal-Ethical Requirements    
Core Value Fraternity The sphere within which fraternity applies progressively enlarges through increasing self-awareness and empathy. The criteria used for prudence alter as society becomes more open, fair and free.
Civic Virtue Prudence    

Values & Institutions of the Pluralist Mode Revisited (Again)

Note: Updated diagram needed.

The fundamental features of pluralism as emergent in the time before design are still present, but they are manifested very differently now. Above all the source of power is not brute force or time-bound tradition, but the many strengths of a self-aware people.

Political power is liable to be decentralized to smaller territorial communities as explained in terms of subsidiarity.

Communities will vary according to the nature of their territory, historical factors, and the productivity and constructive attitudes of their members. Those that attract and keep the most capable individuals as members are likely to have the greatest influence on matters affecting communities within wider society. In any case, power will spontaneously emerge according to the significance of particular communities.


Integrating Force:
ClosedPopular Ideals: Socially useful

Socio-political Institution:
ClosedEnduring groups: Communities of choice

New groups of significance now flow from the devolution of power to defined territories in the communalist mode. The community of everyday significance is the one where people interact, often work, receive most of their services, and can genuinely know what is happening. This is currently the basis for local government.

Territorial community size will determine the realistic handling of issues e.g. university matters cannot be decided by a small village; and regional governments cannot decide about street decorations. For how subsidiarity decisions may be allocated, see natural levels of political territory.

Governance Requirement:
ClosedPolitical actors: Community leaders

Political actors of pluralism are the community leaders that are dispersed throughout the populace.This includes politicians and senior bureaucrats, but also many in civil society.

Not every person will feel able or be disposed to engage as a political player. But there is likely to be a broader engagement in politics, as per Aristotle's ideal, and a recognition of the need for diverse leaders.


Personal Benefit:
ClosedAccess to social goods: Via criteria of reasonable fairness

Access to social goods, the influence that led to so much pain and corruption in earlier immature times, will surely continue to generate debate and dispute. However, society will have abolished the extremes of exploitation, privileges of class, and the convention that «might makes it right to get most at the expense of others».

At the very least, gross abuses could become wholly unacceptable and disappear purely via emergence of new conventions and norms. More positively, the use of general criteria based on a communal sense of what is reasonable and fair can be expected.

Social Interactions:
ClosedMaintenance of social order: Interpersonal and social pressure

Maintenance of order is generally a local matter, and should be handled primarily informally. People are capable of tactfully, yet unequivocally, indicating that certain behaviours are not conducive to a peaceful order. It is cheaper and easier to settle everyday disputes and even socially significant complaints through mutual understanding and compromise rather than using the courts.

Different communities may well develop different styles to enable peaceful activism on social issues. In any case, order should be primarily based on civility, self-restraint, and conventional social pressure with coercive enforcement in the background and primarily targeted at antisocial personalities.

Provision of Knowledge:
ClosedManagement of information: Easy accessibility via multiple sources

Achieved freedoms and greater public understanding should lead to a condition far removed from the propaganda and censorship with which pluralism commenced.

Diversity of group perspectives will provide for multiple sources of information and distinctive narratives. Accessibility to these should be easy and cheap. Learning that is relevant to living a constructive life and enjoying life can become a life-long process.

Personal-Ethical Requirements

Core Value & Civic Virtue
ClosedFraternity & Prudence

Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 11-Apr-2014.

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
All Rights Reserved.

comments powered by Disqus