Politics > Determining Political Choice > Individuals in Politics & Government

Individuals in Politics & Government

Government Cannot «Do» Anything

Only individuals can «do».

Government is certainly the coercive institution par excellence in society, but its operation depends on specific individuals. To repeat the axiom: Closed Nothing deliberate happens anywhere, including government, without particular persons acting to make it happen.

ClosedWho Pays Taxes? 

Classification for Political Choice

From our perspective of «politics enabling the government of society», we can divide individuals in society into three important groups:

A: The people en masse who Closed determine the social mood and whose views coalesce to form public opinion.

B: Many «legal individuals» like Closed organizations and associations whose staff and members are obliged to pursue the goals of the «legal individual».

C: Officials who Closed are persons in posts relevant to governing and to the well-being of society as a whole. These officials seek to shape the views and behaviours of specific individuals or organizations (B), as well as the people en masse (A).

There are three sub-groups of Officials:

#1: Government officials including…Closed elected politicians, government ministers, senior bureaucrats (civil or public servants), high-level advisors and special appointees, members of the judiciary. 

#2: Officials of society’s powerful benefit-seeking groups like…Closed presidents, board members, chief executives and senior employees of: labour unions, employer associations, industry lobbies, professional bodies (doctors, lawyers, scientists &c), other membership organizations.

#3: Official representatives of bodies concerned with society’s well-being and direction  e.g. Closed the media, the churches, non-profit reform-oriented associations, think-tanks, advocacy groups.

Only Officials are in Politics Full-time

So what about the rest of us? You can only exert influence through membership of a group that is powerful enough to force some response. Within that group, only its officials have the time and obligation to be politically active. So, each individual usually operates indirectly:

Being an official takes a lot of time and aggravation, so most of us do not bother unless it is a career choice. See more about participation in the next section.

Individuals do not count in a modern society. The uniqueness of each person just cannot be recognized from its perspective. That is an aspect of the «tragedy of individuality». Even prominent respected personalities only exert an influence by virtue of their social role. The moment that this role is lost,Closed the individual and his/her views, however valid or brilliant, fade into insignificance. The words of the new incumbent, however mundane or even foolish, take on an aura of significance and are given serious attention by those who would otherwise be regarded as intelligent people.

Officials, being individuals, can be expected to operate with principles of the Individualist mode. That immediately suggests:

Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 2 June 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.
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